I'm an undergraduate mechanical engineering student working on a senior design project. Our goal is to develop a UAV with the following characteristics:
- The UAV is tethered to a power supply on a ground vehicle (maximum length is ~50 ft)
- The UAV has one or two mounted cameras. These cameras need to have some image processing capability (perhaps OpenCV) in order to detect artificial markers on a ground vehicle (and eventually natural markers, but that is for later work)
- The UAV needs to be able to autonomously take off from the ground, position itself relative to the ground vehicle, and land back on the ground vehicle (there will be a landing platform)
- The UAV needs to be able to communicate with the ground vehicle to provide its relative positioning
- This system will be used in fields, so Wifi is not available (not sure how GPS correlates, but that may not be available either)
As you can imagine, there are a fair amount of complexities to this project. It is early in its design stage, so I was hoping to get in contact with a community (and what better community than this?) in order to get ideas and hear from personal experiences that may help this project.
I thank you in advance for any contribution you have!