I have a Skywalker X8 that I've been building for aerial photography (wildlife population management), and I'm having an issue with a way to trigger the cameras. The two cameras I have onboard the plane at a time can be triggered with a servo, as I don't want to open them up and mess with the switches. I have read in the ArduCopter forums that for some reason, the camera trigger option doesn't work except after a dummy waypoint, or something like that. It may have been fixed, no matter. I'm looking for something a little different.
What I would love to see in ArduPilot 2.69 or 2.70 would be a continuous shooting mode, where the APM will trigger a channel once every couple seconds or so for the duration of the flight. I know that most of the other aerial surveying platforms like the Gatewing X100 and the Sensefly swingletCAM use something like that -- they collect hundreds of images, one taken after another. Now, I'm aware that I could just take (low quality) video and use software to extract a high quality map of the area, but that wouldn't be optimal as the camera I have can't take higher than 320x240, which is terrible.
Basically, I'm looking for an option in the Mission Planner for a small piece of code to trigger a servo channel continuously every few seconds. I don't really care about the distance between points, the X8 will be flying at a pretty constant speed. Does anybody know if this is possible, or is coming up in 2.69?
Thanks for looking,
PS. My camera isn't capable by itself of continuous shooting -- it's also not a Canon, so no CHDK for me.
Have you considered using CHDK on a canon point and shoot? Basically buy a cheap canon point and shoot camera, load some different firmware onto the card, and voila...
You are then able to control things like shutter speed, ISO, Interval picture taking mode. It's worth investigating if you do not have an investment in any cameras yet.
I'd be interested in how you are mounting the Camera in the x8.. bought one recently but haven't taken it out fo the box yet...
You could probably add this feature yourself if you're somewhat familiar with coding, there's a section of the source code to allow the user to easily add stuff like this. It might be possible in the mission planner already but I'm not that familiar with it (yet). A cheap and easy solution would be a piece of tape over the shutter button and it would take pictures like mad.
Where did you get the 720nm filter from? Did you have to cut it yourself? Any issues with that?
I also use continuous shooting - tried adding a camera trigger command to each waypoint but having those waypoints so close together makes the AP go crazy. I could have probably tuned it out a bit. Still, I opted for continuous shooting and I've added a little button to MP that sends a command to CHDK to turn the camera off when you're bringing it around to land.
Most glass infrared filters you won't be able to cut and still use after that. These are easy to cut since they are gels, they are also cheap. I've purchased them from a local camera shop for less than $20.
If I remember right they are 730nm which is a little more dramatic than the typical 720nm. Exposed film works in a pinch but it can soften the image and let in some undesired spectrums. The only thing I don't like about the gel type filter is they scratch very easily so you have to handle them carefully.
That's a lot better than I thought it would be. The transmission is better on the commercial filters (more than 90% in the near infrared) but the exposed film is more than adequate. Thanks for sharing the results!