I'm an aerospace engineering student (midlife career change) and I am exploring the possibility of designing from scratch an airframe piloted by the Arduino platform for long duration video capture and or community surveillance. Lots of vandalism and other dim wits running around the neighborhood these days. Anyone interested to work together combine time, expertise and ideas? No need to be geographically near, skype and email works fine.




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  • Jeremy,

    Do you have the materials and manufacturing process in mind? I'm working a similar project with a team of aerospace engineering students. We don't have the same endurance requirements because we're not aiming for long duration surveillance, but we may have some overlap.

    We want as much of the system as possible to be COTS, but have finally decided that a custom airframe is necessary. We want to use EPP, which has performed admirably for our current prototype, but we can't find good information on procuring a custom EPP airframe. How do you plan to procure your airframe?

    Congratulations on the career change and welcome to aerospace engineering!


  • I'm in. I've been working on something already, if nothing else I'd like to share my thoughts with you on the subject.I've been working on a disaster response or maybe first responder type aircraft for smaller towns. Working earthquake and natural disaster type stuff. Also thinking along the lines of animal and marine conservation.

    Give me a call @ 971-239-7361 to discuss. Best to start on the phone I think.


  • A gas engine variable pitch prop ArduQuad would fit the bill....

    The future will have it reading the power/water meters (a UAV ..I mean UAS can cover more terrain in a hour than a man driving and walking can in a day), taking over routine patrol areas for local LEOs (is the park cleared of reefer smokers after dark, responding to alarm monitoring alerts, etc)  Sensing/Geolocating RF interferences for Cable, TV and Cellular carriers, the list goes on as far as the imagination.   I would gladly put my company on it.... 

    Fly it strictly over treetop level with smart routing to minimize damage risks if it pooops itself.  A group like this could cover all the bases and the necessary fixes in a week. 

    Gas isn't green but until they come up with super batteries that can land on a induction charging platform and be off again in thirty minutes, gas lasts.....

  • This is a project that although inherently good natured will attract the idiotic fear mongering brigade also. Tread lightly.

    We have dim wits too and while I'd love to stick some 1080p cameras on a platform and follow the dumbasses to get proof I have resorted to the safe option on having two camera outside mine on an aiming platform (using the movement code I did for APM). Less hassle to build and protects about 20 homes (I live in a cul de sac).

    Q&A decisions:

    Are you patrolling more than 100m x 100m? YES - plane will provide extra coverage and conserve battery. NO - quadcopter will provide coverage and allow you to hover over a designated target to monitor.

    Do you wish to patrol for more than 10 minutes before changing battery? YES - plane will provide 30 minutes without problem. NO - quadcopter has short duration but is better suited to monitoring slow things.


    Duration is about managing power (both in the battery and on the airframe). A 2200mAH battery on an APM driven model plane would get you just 30 minutes in gentle winds. On an APM driven quadcopter you would see 5-10 minutes dependent on how gentle you were. These numbers do not include live stream equipment and battery usage let alone with added strain on the motor(s). Make it a 5000mAH LiPO and the frames will maintain those figures with the gear on the airframe. Of course more batteries can be used but then you are adding more mass and must therefore make sure the motor(s) will still work as wanted.


    Hope this at least gives you an idea. Skywalker model plane would suit this excellent and an Arducopter frame would suit also dependent on your choices above. Flying over a community is a bit of a dicy subject, let alone the legality (bit of a grey area) so please be tread carefully.

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Jan 12