Development Help: Tethered UAV to provide Image Processing Data


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!

- Bryce

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    I think my red-balloon-finder and Daniel's precision landing have much of what you need to get started.

Thank you Randy! I'll definitely look into these projects to start gathering ideas

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