I'm looking at the Prosilica High resolution CCDs and all of them are 802.3 or Firewire based. What can I use to connect the camera to for downlink? Should I connect it to an onboard wifi card of some kind or a mount an entire router on the RC plane?

They look pretty sweet...

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You could have a small routerboard with a wifi module onboard to do the bridging (I'm using the lightweight WBD-111 with a powerful XR5 wifi module, around $150 total, with a dipole in the air and a patch antenna on the ground). Select the right module for your application, the XR5 might very well be an overkill if you don't want 5 miles of coverage.
Martin, thanks for the info on specific model, I was looking for something similar but then ended opening up simple wifi camera( Edimax IC-1510WG) and installing the module and camera only inside a 46 trainer, Your option is more professional with longer range, what Rc radio and freq were you using for this setup?
I'm not flying it yet, I've just done a bunch of range checks and simulations. First test flights are expected sometime mid-summer on a hexrotor UAV :)

All communication will be done over the wifi link, no classic RC equipment is planned. The latency is very good (ground-to-ground, ground-to-car), so is reliability, and even if there was a drop-out the vehicle will have a decision tree with fallbacks to handle it. I'm not going to go acrobatics, just regular AP.
Hi Martin,

The high res CCD cameras I've been looking at are around 1.6-2 megapixels and 30-60 fps. That is easily 70mbps speed I need transfered over Wifi. The range I need is around 600-800 feet. Ubiquiti seems to make a lot of interesting products like the XR5 you recommended, but doesn't an XR5 have only a 54mbps transfer rate and has a range limited to what 802.11a can deliver? I was considering using a Linksys 802.11n router.

Also, would this be a better solution from Ubiquiti?

Tell me what you think. Thanks.

UBNT Bullet is definitely better for what you're describing. The only drawback I can think of is its weight: 0.180 kg. But since you're flying a fixed wing plane then that is not really a problem.

The XR5 does indeed have a maximum bitrate of 54 Mbps. The maximum range I tried was around 7 km (5 mi) with a 2 dBi dipole on one end and an 8 dBi patch antenna on the other. At this range the real data rate (throughput) was around 700 KB/s. It's enough for me though because I'm compressing the video directly on the plane (in a hacked linux routerboard) before pushing it through the link.

There is a thread called "Bullet airborne data link" on Ubiquiti forums, but they seem to be having issues right now, I can't get anywhere from the home page. Try later, there might be some numbers for you.
You will find here some interesting wifi long range stuff. and after it is upto your imagination, i have used some of the products here for a project/client and they work well.
Please take a look at the RaptorEye and RaptorEye II at www.airborneinnovations.com
Multiple GigE / USB / Firewire cameras are possible, options for Ubiquiti and other MiniPCI radios, optional fast SATA storage integrated (currently up to 512GB possible), expresscard, low and high bandwidth satellite / radios.
Also with a multitude of interfaces on the RaptorEye II (dual GigE, dual serial, CAN bus, GPIO, dual analog in, SATA, expresscard, MiniPCI), Piccolo and other GPSINS supported.
RaptorEye: compact high performance
RaptorEye II: very compact, low power, very flexible

Prosilica and Lumenera cameras currently supported, user camera additions possible, or use as an open imaging platform with your own software.
University discounts.

Hi Martin,

I'm looking to use the XR5 module for a high altitude flight. Have you used it yet for your video application? If so, was it successful and would you recommend the XR5, with regard to data rate and power consumption? I assume the transmission range is acceptable :)



How are the performance of these units? I've experimented with 802.11n wireless already and it gives great quality video, but the frame rate can dip dramatically when there is bad interference or misalignment. Do you have any video samples?

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