Aerial mapping: first results

Hi all,

I want to share with you the first results obtained with my Bixler-UAV. I had never flown a RC plane before but must say that this little hobby quite gets into your skin once you get familiar with all the basics. So I started with an Bixler ARF kit and made must adaptations according to this guy:

Make sure to read all about CG before your first test-flight, or you’ll be climbing trees to get back your precious toy. Needless to say that the learning curve was steep..

Today was a calm day (7km/u wind), perfect to make the first flights with a camera.This is the setup:

Airframe: Bixler - Still my first one. Unbelievable tough and when you brake something, there is always the CA glue to the rescue.  I moved the ESC outside so it cools down easier and you can connect the battery without moving the mounting platform with all the electronics. I also cut out a hole  below the nose of the plane for the camera to fit. Foam along all sides of the camera should reduce the vibrations




Autopilot: APM1 with GPS, airspeed sensor, magnetometer and 2.4GHZ Xbee. Except the X-bee, everything is mounted on the Bixler electronc chassis. Works like a charm, just as described  by all the great people here at the site. I used the bixler.param file posted by Chris and played around with some of the PID settings. Now with the camera integrated I have to do some more twitching with the extra weight.

Camera: Canon IXUS 220HS with CHDK interval meter. Just like these guys from  Fits perfect in the nose

Morning flight

Camera setup: Focal length: infinity; ISO:auto; Shutter time: 1/500

Average Altitude: 100m (still to verify)

Average Ground Speed: 12m/s (still to verify)

Number of images taken: 260 (did the track twice). I had many blurred images and had to remove 140 images before stitching. Shutter time was set to fast.

Evening flight:

Camera setup: Focal length: infinity; ISO:auto; Shutter time: 1/1000

Average Height: 100m (to verify!)

Average Ground Speed: 10m/s (to verify!)

Number of images taken:194. I had only 6 blurred images, but overall scene was too dark. Next time I will fly with better illumination conditions.

The stitching was done with Microsoft ICE, I will also be looking into software which include the GPS/IMU information into a real map.  Comments, suggestions,.. always welcome!




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  • Well done! Not much to add. maybe
    have a look at Apero/MicMac.
  • Well done, great result. I ´m doing mapping to buth with the Zephyr II

  • Great map! How long did it take you to stitch it in ICE?

  • Nice job Dries, your map looks great!

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