I'm currently using 3 different frequencies to operate my plane. 72 MHz FM RC radio, 900MHz Xbee and 2.4 GHz Video. This seems crazy. Perhaps someone could start thinking about building a radio system that wraps this all into one frequency/connection. One could at least send down the autopilot data in the audio channel of the FPV tx. It wouldn't be two-way but its a start and would cut out $200 worth of Xbees. If anyone has insight into whether this type of system may or may not be possible, please fill me in.
I have done some work on this and have had it working on the ground.
The only real way of doing it cost effectively is to mux the data over an IP links.
- You replace the RC control with Joystick via laptop control.
- You convert the Serial telemetry stream to a UDP stream.
- You use an IP camera.
In terms of links, there are only a couple of choices...
I have experimented with doing it over cellular links with some success.
The reason this is not commonly done is latency.
If you are trying to control a plane over an IP link, you will discover that there is up to 1/3 of a second delay between when you move the control and the plane responds. In that time, a plane can already be nose into the ground.
Do a search for my post on Releasing the Shackles, it has all the technical details on how to do it via cellular link.