Curt Olson
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Curt Olson's Discussions

Animating a flight track in google earth

Started this discussion. Last reply by Chris Apr 29, 2012. 4 Replies

Autonomous Senior Telemaster

Started this discussion. Last reply by Curt Olson Sep 6, 2010. 14 Replies

SCP1000 I2C interface to ardupilot or ardupilot-mega?

Started this discussion. Last reply by xincheng Feb 15, 2014. 4 Replies


Curt Olson's Page

Latest Activity

Curt Olson commented on Matthew Silic's blog post Sensors for Attitude Estimation
"Matthew, if this is at all interesting to you I would offer to run one of your flight data sets through my hud rendering system to see what happens.  Essentially what I do is mount an action cam somewhere on the airplane with as much of a clear…"
Mar 24
Curt Olson commented on Matthew Silic's blog post Sensors for Attitude Estimation
"The UMN 15-state EKF requires changes in velocity (from the perspective of the gps) in order to for the heading to converge without mags.  It really works well for fixed wing flight (higher dynamic motion.)  For quads that spend much of…"
Mar 23
Curt Olson commented on Matthew Silic's blog post Sensors for Attitude Estimation
"Hi Matthew, Nice explanation of the important issues with our UAV sensors. I work for Prof. Gebre (listed in your references) at the U of MN UAV lab.  For attitude determination we primarily fly a 15-state ekf he published a few years…"
Mar 23
"Impressive work.  Making something like this entirely water proof is very challenging!"
Mar 15
Curt Olson commented on Chris Anderson's blog post How do modern open source autopilots compare to aerospace-grade IMUs?
"Assuming apm/px4 is running their ekf with a 10hz gps, those systems only have to coast on IMU for about 1/10 of a second between corrections.  I know vibration can cause weird things to happen, but outside of that, the big driver of attitude…"
Feb 16
Curt Olson commented on Mauricio's blog post Pioneering steps into fixed wing - water landing drones in marine ecology
"We had a similar experience with the pitot tube as well.  A bit surprising maybe, but the water has trouble forcing it's way very far in.  Our experience with flipping upside down was in about 25kt winds and fairly heavy swells was…"
Feb 16
Curt Olson commented on Chris Anderson's blog post How do modern open source autopilots compare to aerospace-grade IMUs?
"I remember a georgia tech paper from years before the DIY drone movement started where someone built an autonomous self navigating aircraft around a 1hz gps.  It doesn't take much to get an airplane self navigating around the sky.  So…"
Feb 13
Curt Olson commented on Chris Anderson's blog post How do modern open source autopilots compare to aerospace-grade IMUs?
"Haha, that's awesome!  It turns out you don't need much to get an drone around the sky, but I don't think most people realize how inaccurate their hobby grade systems can be."
Feb 8

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Curt Olson's Blog

Senior Telemaster Autonomous Take Off

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:26pm 2 Comments

This is probably basic/simple stuff, but here's a quick (raw) video of a fully autonomous wheeled take off in a Senior Telemaster.  The basic strategy used so far is to steer with the rudder to hold heading error to zero.  Then when airborne, use a small amount…


UAS Search and Rescue Demo (Simulation)

Posted on September 25, 2011 at 9:59am 9 Comments

Simulators can be powerful tools for developing and testing UAS flight control systems as well as prototyping new ideas.  Here is an interactive FlightGear based demonstration showing:

  • Auto-launch from a carrier.
  • Circle holds.
  • Route following.
  • Gyro stabilized camera.
  • Simulated search and rescue mission
  • Auto-approach and…

Add an inexpensive oscilloscope to your DIY tool box.

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 9:21am 4 Comments

Recently I purchased an inexpensive usb based oscilloscope to help me do some low level electronics debugging.  Owning an oscilloscope is so cool I just had to tell everyone about it!  And the price of these USB-based oscilloscopes are in range of many hobbiests.  Now I'm kicking myself for…


Tracking Ocean Debris in the North Pacific

Posted on April 14, 2011 at 2:00pm 4 Comments

This is a movie showing the drift pattern of some ocean debris (a large houser line.) We were out 1000nm north of Hawaii on a NOAA research ship. This cruise was part of a project that has also provided a small amount of funding to develop a "marinized" small UAV that could be deployed from a variety of ship sizes with minimal infrastructure requirements.

We found… Continue

Shadow Cam

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 5:49am 5 Comments

Shadow Cam.

This is a little proof of concept video I just put together. The goal is to always keep my aircraft's shadow in the field of view.

Equipment: Senior Telemaster. Fly-Cam-One-3 with built in pan/tilt. Sparkfun 6DOFv4 IMU (it was laying around so I used it.) Gumstix flight computer. Ardupilot used for controlling pan/tilt servos on the camera.

The flight is 100% manually piloted. Camera is 100% automatically… Continue

Comment Wall (15 comments)

At 1:08pm on November 23, 2008, lightweight said…
thank you curt ... this was the first useful feedback that i received so i decided i must be in the wrong discussion group and closed it.

i'll work my side and see what we might be able to do. ...
note: we will seek out a few to test the prototypes once we are ready.

At 10:40pm on December 1, 2008, Jason Robert said…
Thats awesome. I will find time to sit down with you if your coming out here. I would love to learn more about some of this stuff. Let me know when your going to be here.

At 8:25pm on December 5, 2008, corey said…
do you teach at the u of m?
At 9:42pm on December 6, 2008, corey said…
oh okay, i thought i saw something about the u on your website and i guess i misinterpreted it.

thats interesting though, are you involved with the uav research group there? i'm going to be transferring to a university next fall and am curious how the u of m's aerospace engineering program compares with other public universities. have any thoughts on that one?
At 7:37pm on December 9, 2008, corey said…
yeah that would be great, the malolo looks impressive especially with water landing capability!
At 7:41am on December 28, 2008, Paul Marsh said…
Hi Curt,

I'd love to see your set up. When you're ready, just give me a shout. My home number is (952)445-0498.

At 2:49pm on January 22, 2009, corey said…
how did the ocean demos go?
At 10:31pm on January 22, 2009, corey said…
its too bad about the receiver. i work for tsa and can tell you that it's not likely that someone deliberately took it, but there may be a chance they had to search your property and they mistakenly didn't replace it. was there an inspection notice anywhere inside when you got to hawaii? generally luggage rolls through xray machines without any human interaction, unless it detects something suspect, at which point a person would put their hands on it.

i can provide you with the number to call where they maintain lost property. the guy has been there forever and logs everything that comes and goes, so if they have it he'd know. you wouldn't believe all weird crap they have have down there. but they do only retain it for a period of time before it's given to charity, so let me know soon if you want the number!

i guess on the lighter side, you got 1 successful flight and maybe even a tan!
At 12:03am on December 23, 2009, automatik said…
Hi Curt,
due to your familiarity with FlightGear I figured to ask you: what is GPS resolution as reported by FlightGear? I think that for x-plane sim it's about 165 meters ( 0.1 miles) for longitude and 107m ( 0.07 miles) for lat - can FlightGear's GPS provide GPS data with better resolution?
At 1:53am on December 23, 2009, automatik said…
Hi Curt,
I had an 'oops' moment with my earlier comment to you - x-planes GPS resolution is much better then what I mentioned - I had a bug in the code where I am decoding the data....I would still be interested in FlightGear's GPS data resolution..

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