I'm a techy scientist looking to hit the air with cutting edge (+ open source ) technology to study earth's dynamic behavior such as volcanic activity, fires and landslides. My heroes are Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla , both crucial characters in the advancement of science and mathematics during this last century. A trained earth scientist and self taught engineer, I'm hoping to join the two disciplines by building an open source flying scientific laboratoy.
A main goal of mine is to promote the routine collection of scientific data by young researchers through hands-on technical workshops.
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
I want to build ontop of and extend previous autopilots to develop an airborne scientific observatory, aptly named SciFly. Included on this open source platform will be a host of atmospheric and imaging sensors in addition to navigation and communication equipment.
I started flying RC helicopters two years ago. My first was the AXE CP which was pretty much garbage but taught me the basics, then for 3D i moved onto the BLADE 400- wow what a dream. I aptly upgrade to CF through, dropped the battery size and with the lessened weight, it sure did come alive. I got into 3D pretty heavily and to this day have never crashed the BLADE 400. Planes however are different story. My first was, appropriately so, the Easy Star w/ brushless hop up package and a CC 45A ESC and 6200 Spektrum RX. One day while testing the Ardupilot, I crashed into a tree and the plane was lost, less the electonics- they were promptly recovered- Thanks SAC FD. The parts were reborn into the FUNJET, which I have upgraded to a 4S, to make up for the low 2000 RPV motor rating. My hope is to swap the 45A for a 100A ICE controller as soon as they are available. Once that is done, I can increase my prop size (7 x 5) to make up for added components and a larger battery pack (3600 mAh). I also plan to use this ESC to power my Ardupilot driven Electristar Trainer, which is equipped with a CANON powershot 8 MP camera, pan tilt video (driven by remote nunchuk)
I have recently purchased a ParkZone stinson as a genearl uav testbed with plans o extend to a larger 25% scale stinson.
Working with good buddy Nicky to develop a web browser driven location project that will act much like Google latitude, except it will be used to link UAVs via onboard, GPS equipped cell phones. These platforms could be used for location, mapping and communication between each other and groundstation and remote servers for track playback and planning.
Im also looking into the feasibility of downscaling geophysical sensors (magnetometers, ground penetration radar,LIDAR) for attachment to large but low cost UAvs made of recycle R/C materials for low budget earth science research.