Hey guys, I found out about the UAV scene and want to get involved, and was hoping that everyone could answer some questions. My queries are as follows:
(1) Is using a Wi-Fi signal and on-plane access point a possible way of telemetry using the Arduino Ethernet shield?
(2) How do you set up the Ardupilot to make use of the "Point Camera Here" function on Mission Planner?
(3) And finally, what are some ideas for a non-Xbee-based antenna tracker? I am hoping for some long range flying, and omnidirectional antennas wont cut it.
Thanks in advance for any help I receive.
Bill Bonney said:
How long range do you want? The best long range telemetry radio I know of is the RFD900. With omnis you should get between 60 and 100km with a pair of those, especially if you configure them with a low air rate (say 19200).
Beyond that, if you want direct communications you need to start getting into gear that needs a HAM license.
The operating constraints are starting to lead you into the area of something like this: High bandwidth satellite modem. Alternatively, you might be able to use a UHF radio modem (could probably handle the trees, but wouldn't handle mountains/buildings as LOS obstacles).
Either solution though is getting away from a hobby system and the limiting factor will be cost. Solutions are out there and available within the civilian space... they just aren't comparatively cheap to the system you've been considering.
Wait, as far as I know, all "WiFi" is, is the 802.11a/b/g/n protocols implemented over the standard 2.4/5.8Ghz frequencies. We put 2.4/5.8Ghz transmitters on our drones all the time, for FPV flight. What's stopping you from using the same antenna setups that FPV users use?
A wireless LAN is probably not the best medium to remote control a drone. The best thing you could use it for would be digital video downlink or similar.
You can use any wireless link that will connect to serial IO and has sufficient bit rate. One can turn down update rates and still have a nice and reassuring tracking with less than 10k bits / sec.
You can connect directional antennas to XBees. I had an XBee connection at 15 km range using a quad biquad antenna on the ground and a simple 1/4 wave on the plane (similar to the typical little WLan plastic antenna). But there must be direct line of sight, and I had to fly high at that range!
Another alternative is GPRS / cellular data. Then you have practically unlimited range but quite a lot of latency.