I am currently doing my Master's thesis at Linköping University (Sweden) and would be much grateful for advices. The task is to make an UAV autonomously plan a route as well as detect and track animals using an IR camera.
For the image processing and control of the platform there are two alternatives: computations onboard or computations on the ground.
Important parts for the image processing:
* Thermal camera with video stream to computer
* Measured sensor information (angles) from the gimbal
* GPS and sensor information from the platform
If the image processing are to be performed on the ground, a link with telemetry (including gimbal pose) and video is needed. Also a remote control that can be controlled from a computer is needed. If the computations are to take place on the platform, there must be a way to communicate with the flight controller, to control the platform.
Is there any system that are RTF, or almost RTF, and fulfils these requirements? It seems that most flight controllers are closed, and cannot be controlled from a device onboard. Are there remote controllers that can be controlled from a computer?
Lastly, a link with some examples. The important difference is that the image processing in my project must be in real time, which introduces difficulties.
Thank you for your input!