Need help with UAV....

Hey.

First of all, I have to say that I'm at the beginner level with these things and thats why I'm asking for some help. I hope you wont criticize me, but I've been always interested in robotics and technology. I have not much experience from flying planes or other, but I'll practice with RC Flight simulators too before I even think flying that, I don't want to crash it immediately. Well, I really like the Predator UAV, I'm sure everyone knows what I mean, the model is just super cool. It'sa just so impressive model, but I have no idea how to build one, so tips are needed for now on. First of all, how do I start? I just like Predator's model and thats why I would like to build one Predator. I watched http://www.securitytube.net/Build-your-own-Predator-UAV-%28Shmoocon-2010%29-video.aspx , and it really made a high impression to me, but still, it wont explain the whole thing, and now we are getting to the point. I've been looking for a good tutorials how to build one but haven't find any really good what even I can understand. First of all, I'll tell that I have 600-700 dollars to use into my project. It's not much, I know, but thats everything I have to spend in this project. I have thought that if I cannot get a predator's model, some kind other will do the same, right? I have thought about it. I have made a list what I would like it to do.

- Staying at air for 1-2 hours or more if possible.
- Flying independently with AP, of course I will some times control it.
- FPV camera or/and other camera which will send a video in the real time (Also taking pictures from target, good quality ones).
- GPS, of course.
- Devices to perform actions (sniffing, sensing, transmitting)...

Some questions:
1. Well, if and when I want to, how easy is it to "program" AP to do more? What will be "the best and cheap" AP?
2. If I would want to use it for "sniffing", how would that be possible (802.11, etc.)? I also mean, is it easy or even possible to add more operating payloads?
3. Is some kind sound/voice system possible?
4. Is Electric better than gas one?
5. If you could tell me, what to buy (platform, engine, cameras, etc.), and link some really good tutorials and guides.

I know this may be too much for my budget but lets hope the best, but with your help, I'm really sure that I can success, even with currently budget I have.

Thanks.
 

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  • Moderator
    With all that payload you are going to be making a big Predator to lift that lot,and I think your budget will really be stretched.

    First thing to do is to perhaps purchase an Easystar or clone and get flying. Then when you get to adding your sensors you will have a better clue if things are not working correctly.

    In fact, you could follow the simulation round of the T3 contest thats coming up and use all the freeware tools that will be mentioned to have a crack at flying a UAS without spending a cent. You can then find out for yourself all the programming and issues.

    I think it will make a big difference when it comes to spending time.

    Oh and FMS, Flying Model Simulator is a great free sim to try first.
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