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Medical Express

Outback Joe is at his property in remote Queensland, Australia and has been feeling unwell. He has had a remote consultation with his doctor using video conferencing, and his doctor has requested some blood tests be done as soon as possible. Joe is well prepared, has a home sample taking kit, and has taken his blood sample. The challenge is now to get the blood sample to the lab. Joe’s property is very remote and to make matters worse, it has been cut off by floodwaters.

Teams are invited to attempt to retrieve a blood sample from the remote Outback Joe and return it to base where medical staff will be waiting to analyse it. Teams must deploy unmanned aircraft to Joe’s location, and then return a sample bottle from him utilising a remote landing and takeoff site close to him. They must complete all of this within one hour.

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  • 100KM

    At West Coast UAV we are using the companion computer with conventional RFD900s from the support aircraft to the GCS but are using 433MHz radios to relay telemetry from the support AC to retrieval. This avoids the frequency interference issues others have been seeing.

    It does mean the support needs to stay within about 1km of the retrieval due to the low range of 433Mhz at legal power but works smoothly in our testing (several long range missions operating 2x aircraft under our belt now).

    We are using slip to create a IP bridge over the RFD900s which allows us to send 2x udp streams down the link that we then separate out to the GCS for each aircraft.

    If anyone is pursuing similar approaches would be happy to share our config in a bit more detail if people need help.

  • Hi Tridge,

    'that doesn't work as I tried to explain previously. The problem is the two radios in the support aircraft interfere badly with each other even if running on different frequencies.

    If you use LBT_RSSI as I described earlier it can be made to work quite a bit better, but still not great.'


    Apologies I missed that bit but reading back I see that now.  I'm surprised that if their given different frequencies to use that they still interfere that badly with each other.  What if the duty cycle was reduced, I know this would reduce the throughput.  No way around the packet loss though on the serial PPP link.

    I think it was good that we aren't ready, I didn't get to do the radio testing I wanted due to delays.

    Thanks for your efforts, good to see someone helping out for the greater good.  Good luck.

  • Developer

    I think you might be using more in hover than we do in the whole trip. ;-)

    very likely!

  • Lol Tridge. You know me, not much a fan of running fossil fuels! I think you might be using more in hover than we do in the whole trip. ;-)

    Our revised D3 Video is here btw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n6W8VV-bPk

  • Developer

    @JB, we're well below that current draw, but some might claim that using a petrol engine is cheating :-)

    Glad you got D3 in! I look fwd to seeing you in Dalby

  • @ Thx again Tridge. Might have to give Seppo a call.

    @Chris and Anthony

    Shame you guys can't make it, but I'm sure there will be more.

    @All

    PerthUAV managed to get our Deliverable 3 in today. We're pretty happy with it.

    Out of interest is anyone else managing 4Amp draw at 17m/s cruise in forward flight on a quadplane? Logs get really long with 10Ah onboard! At least we shouldn't have any range anxiety! ;-)

  • Developer

    @JB, you'd have to ask RFDesign about the RFD900x. I hope it will be released soon!

    It would be possible to modify the older SiK firmware to do relaying. Not really easy, but quite possible.

  • Developer

    @Chris,

    Hi Tridge, as a work around for people that arent lucky enough to have a RFD900x, surely running two telemetry radios off a companion PC in the support A/C, one to the retrieval a/c and the other to the base

    that doesn't work as I tried to explain previously. The problem is the two radios in the support aircraft interfere badly with each other even if running on different frequencies.

    If you use LBT_RSSI as I described earlier it can be made to work quite a bit better, but still not great.

    using a serial PPP link?

    PPP does extremely badly on a lossy packet oriented link. I think you will find your effective throughput is close to zero when you are over a long enough range to start getting significant packet loss.

    Cheers, Tridge

  • Hi Tridge, as a work around for people that arent lucky enough to have a RFD900x, surely running two telemetry radios off a companion PC in the support A/C, one to the retrieval a/c and the other to the base.  The companion PC would be connected to the retrieval radio and the support A/C's wired telemetry link to MAVProxy and have it forward them over the Support to Base telemetry radio (using a serial PPP link?).  Two telemetry streams would be tight but possible from what we observed.  That was our fall back plan.

    Good luck, I wish we had a few more weeks but sadly life is what it is.

  • Hey,

    Sadly SydneyRPA's is also not ready in time.  We had some motor delivery issues for our Support AC.  Sorry Aussie vendors you made us wait 6.5 weeks for a DLE 30.....  I got it in 3 days from an overseas vendor and it runs great.  We really need another 6 weeks to make it work in time.  Oh well, I hope you all do well and I hope that either this or a new challenge is presented next year.

    I look forward to hearing all about it.

    Hi Anthony, it'll buff out mate.....

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