It's been a bit overdue but I've posted a number of updates on the Project Andromeda blog detailing our recent progresses with the manufacturing of the airframe, autopilot development and some software tips. The articles are as follows:
The Perseus Autopilot:
This article details the Perseus Autopilot and the recent developments. It also details the hardware and some of the software on board.
Interrupt Based Programming for Microcontrollers
A small article which I hope will be useful to people looking to write programs for microcontrollers using interrupts.
A picture-heavy update on how we are developing the airframe of the Andromeda vehicle.
All of these are available on the Project Andromeda blog:
I hope you find them useful and I'd love to hear your feedback.
I've been a bit careless about updating the blog regularly but here it is finally! I've posted some videos and pics of our CNC cutting some wing molds as well as the antenna gimbals. There are also pictures of the mold layup process, gimbal mechanics and new CNC setup. Please find the full article here:
I've also finished the first revision of the IMU, and written a simple simulator in the GS to figure out any bugs on the Autopilot. I will post some shots and videos of these tomorrow. Also, we are officially an entrant in the 2010 UAV Outback Challenge!
Edit: Forgot to put in links:
I've been busy writing the communication protocols between the Ground Station and Autopilot. I thought some people might be interested and possibly make use of the approach I've taken. It's all done in binary with discrete packets and makes use of DMA and Interrupts to use as little processor time as possible.
Asynchronous operation is achieved by the use of two FIFO queues and double buffered DMA channels for each radio. There is a lot of detail that will make the diagram above make a bit more sense.
Full article at: http://www.projectandromeda.com.au/blog
The above picture shows the Project Andromeda ground station circuitry. You can also see the DNT900 from RFM. I believe there has been some interest on this radio in the DIY Drones community and once I finish the construction of the autopilot I will be able to give a recount of my experiences with it. So far, however the radio seems to be extremely capable (especially compared to the Aerocomm AC4790 radios that we previously used).
You can find more information related to the ground station and the DNT900 in the full article available at: http://www.projectandromeda.com.au/blog.
We have been working very hard on the CNC machine and it's almost finished. The machine will form a vital part of our arsenal leading up to the competition. We will use it to create our launch/arrestor systems and also the molds for the airframe.It is in working condition at the moment but we just need to clean it up. The spindle needs liquid cooling so we've been busy trying to sort out an adequate pump and reservoir to facilitate that.Another urgent matter is end switches. We had a close call the other day where due to various unforeseen reasons the Y axis slammed itself into the X axis. This was during testing so we weren't actually machining anything but it was very scary nevertheless. I didn't realize how quickly the axes could move if uncontrolled. Owing to this incident, I also ordered a nice perspex shield to place in the gap below the X axis in case we break some milling bits. We are definitely not turning it on until we've got all these precautions in place.In other news. Project Andromeda has its first sponsor! Advanced Circuits from Colorado, USA have generously sponsored us and are going to make the PCBs for our autopilot. We have been with those guys from the beginning and the experience has been great.There is a full article on the CNC machine on the Project Andromeda Blog if anyone is interested in further reading. There are also some more pictures in the gallery.
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