Dr Mike Black's Posts (2)

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Firstly I wish to convey my highest appreciation to all the developers and members of this community.

For those who do not know us, i wish to make a small explanation as why i am posting this.

Im my/our line of work, i/we have worked (and still do when required) on high end Mil spec UAV/UAS, and we wanted to do a mission not dissimilar, to what is required in real world situations.

This is the explanation of our comparisons, capability of the DIY Drones AP/IMU (for the amature market)

In the past we have been asked to over land flights, without the return trip for reconnaissance/info drop, info sec.

Given that due to a multitude of rules and regulations, for the DIY`er we had to plan this very carefully and get permissions to cross places and property, not belonging to us, and thankfullly the people involved, were very interested in this project and wanted to see success (another thank you to those who helped, by making this easier). We also did not want to risk the UAV community byt doing somthing very stupid that could end in tears for all, the loss of the aircraft, being the lowest priority.

So, with carefull planning we came up with a route where we take off from a field on our companies grounds, and the idea was to fly to a close friends/associates field, where the aircraft was to lioter until told to land.

With this in mind, we planned to take off, get to altitude, switch WP1, which was over our field, once WP1 hit, off it goes.

We had spotters with a back up system to command the aircraft if it went south, given that we were flying between two places over a valley, this was to our advantge as spotter 2 was at the half way point and at the highest point on the other side of the valley could see the take off point with binoculars.

Spotter 1 could see the aircraft with another back up system at 1/3rd distance, take off point in view at our side of the vally.


So take off was performed, Auto hit, telemetry comming down to the car with GCS in nice and strong.

as soon as WP1 hit....off she went....wobbled a little at WP2 as cross winds were quite strong....(at this point i was running for the car (i wasnt driving just incase anyone wants to jump on me!!) as it was on its mission and doing well).

In radio contact with spotter 1 all was good, and telemetry was confirming this. As we exited the field it was was already clossing towards WP3, so i told my driver (asked nicely, as it was my wife :~)) to get to spotter 1 position, but as the aircraft was moving quickly and was already passing spotter 1 to keep going to spotter 2, all telemetry was confirming the feed back from spotter 2 now as it was about to pass him.....we then decieded to go striaght to landing point...

for me telemetrt dropped out 2 times for about 3 secs when we passed throught the woodland head, spotter 2 was confirming that it was dead on target. when we got to the landing points...the telemetry was telling me that the aircraft was liotering over head.....AND IT WAS!!!!!!!

So...in conclusion.....we did a 3 mile flight with no visual interaction from the primary pilot, in full view of spotter 1 and 2 just incase anything went wrong...

I NEVER saw the aircraft from WP1 to Lioter at WP7, but telemetry confirmed the flight.

In conclusion, to do this kind of flight we (in the past have relied on high end Autopilots with huge $/£ value attached) and NOT had this kind of success the first time attempted.

I would like to also point out that this the result of about a years work, from our end, and much much more combined from the community.

Specs for those interested:

AP - Ardupilot 2.6 with shield removed for this flilght.

IMU - IMV V2 with 1.7 code.

Telemetry link - Xbee pros x 3, 1 AP side, 1 GCS/laptop side, 1 ground station with spotter 2

Mil spec serial link for flight controls and AP switching (40km range)...(stolen out of a high end UAS for insurance reasons)

Flycam1 nailed to side (but crapped out 2 mins in - Grrrrrrrrrr!)

Twin-star with 2 x 2300kv motors with 5ah 3s cells (complete over kill, only used 2ah for flight)

back up 1800 3s pack for APtelem.

AUW 2.8kg

Other parts added to system, 4 sets of bicycle clips for trousers as fitted to all pilots and spotters, this was 10 minutes of abject fear for all of us.

Another thank you to all who took the time out of thier saturday to prep, re-prep, test, spot, and drive for me.

Closing thoughts....

The flight was flawless, never missed a beat,flight was direct and precise. There was no reason for fear or worry.

We had done our prep (many, many times before flight), the developers, designers adn contributors had done a magnificent job!

And in a no small was i feel very smug, that after hundreds of hours of personal work on tuning, testing, tuning, changing, tuning, testing.......its nice to NOT be wrong for once! :~)

A Sincere thanks to everyone from all of us.

Thoughts anyone?




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Ardupilot Ground Station 2.6.4 A&B New Look

Hi All,Been hanging around here for quite a while now and gleaning as much information as i can, maybe its time to give something back.One of the biggest problems we found was that when in the field, its hard to get all the information where you need it, re-sizing all the windows, if you touch the pad, you can lose the window you want, always the GS, hard to find the pointer to bring it back, when you have one eye on the aircraft one eye on this...So this is my attempt..I hope its usefull to you.Please give feedback as to you thoughts and any improvements.GROUND STATION 2.6.4 UPDATE::1024x768 GCS for smaller LaptopsTrue speed indicator updated for greater accuracyYou can set True speed to MPH/KMH (defaults to KMH) & Altitude to Meters/feet (default Meters)Tme Left estimator, a better accuracy with a new gauge. (you need to set Amps FT to what your aircraft draw flat out)Amps / Watts added (again needs to be set up bottom left with your cell count and Mah)Complete colour re-design for ease of view outside, on a sunned out dull laptop.THINGS TO DO:Fix the irritation, when you click the FIND UAV button so that it auto pops to the position, at the mo you have to double click the position in GE then the GS rotates to where it needs to be. STILL NOT FIXEDFlight trackin. STILL NOT FIXEDSorting some innacuracies with Time estimator. BETTERAP Mode being added on 265Enjoy.Try MY Version GE and DONT update it!!!!! this might solve the GE window fro a couple of you guys....I know that GE changes the Callin API about as often as they change underware........so has been a problem fro all integrators...however as i said before in NOT a programmer, 30 years as an aerodynamcist aircraft designer, and 4 years as a military field asset, so please forgive my crude programming.Thanks to the 'Crashing Dutchman' for updating the look and feel.GCS264a Source.zipGCS264a.zip 1024/768 resolutionGCS264b not uploaded yetGoogleEarthWin.exeLV 8.5 or 8.5.1 works available by google search or just in the last line of top of this page : Runtime or8.5 is Here (thanks Morli)Doc.
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