Hi All,

I was brainstorming on coming up with an idea based on UAV, Quadcopter application in real-time. In the area of surveillance there are many different ideas that can be employed.

Battery Life

For instance, tackling the area of improving battery life.

Can anyone point me out 'WHY' this is still a concern in the area of UAV and what has been done to tackle this problem 'successfully' until now? Has anyone extended the life, if so by how much? Any papers to point out the work will be useful. 

Obstacle avoidance

What about the area of obstacle avoidance. Any area(s) that are unexplored in this? If so, why are they unexplored, any papers in this regard will be helpful in my understanding. 

This forum will help me add the flame to my brainstorming. 

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how about putting your 2 ideas together.


Drop the battery life all together, go tethered and avoid the obstacle of a power source wires?

Hi Captain,

Can you elaborate on your idea. I do not understand the idea of 'tethered' in this respect. Is this area new? What is to be implemented in the area of obstacle avoidance of power source lines, is it with the change in magnetic field one will know that I am nearing the power lines, or via the camera (It must be fully autonomous).

What is wrong with the idea of extension of battery life (by means of say, a collaboration)?



tethered as in plugged in. then you don't need a battery. you can fly indefinitely. you have a 100+ foot long cable plugged into the copter and a power source. it will then need to fly in a manner so that it doesn't cut its own power tether. either using cameras to watch there the tether is or fly in a grid manner and carefully turn so that it doesn't get caught in the tether.



Hi Captain,

I am sorry to ask you, but what is the target on implementing your idea? Is it obstacle avoidance (in the way that) of avoidance with its own 100+ foot long power cable and fly in a manner that it does not get entangled in it own power source or will it be something else too?

How will this be useful in the area of the current research in the field of UAV?

Next, think about the weight of 100' of cable (which can transmit at least 60-120A @ 12-24VDC), the weight will not be central, and will impart a asymmetric loading on the airframe, which will lead to poor PID tuning. Furthermore, the amount of voltage drop due to the internal resistance of the cable itself also has to be taken into account... 

Then perhaps think about using a different idea.

The target would be to fly indefinitely while performing commercial or mission operations. Say survey a large field, or crop dusting for example. With unlimited power you have many more options for missions, such as longer endurance, payloads, etc. The obstacle avoidance can be the same as any other drone in addition to avoiding the tether which can be quiet simple.

You would run a pretty thin cable and wouldn't be using DC current. You would need to use AC voltage and convert it onboard. AC is more efficient for transmission over long power lines. The tether could also be used for real time data and video feeds.

You can then have a very high power CPU in the ground station to do real time image recognition and flight automation.

Also, high-voltage, which would allow smaller (lighter) wires in the tether.

Or here's another idea... microwave power transmission! and a base station that tracks the UAV.

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