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SciFly's Discussions

Does ACM support the configurator?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Chris Anderson Apr 27, 2011. 5 Replies

Arducopter NG 1.0 testing results....

Started this discussion. Last reply by SciFly Apr 29, 2011. 4 Replies


SciFly's Page

Profile Information

About Me:
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.
Software Projects
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.

Airframe collection site

Id like to start a airframe thread where everyone can post the tweeks that they have made to integrate ardupilot into their specific airframe. Given the diversity of applications on this site, I expect this to be a living and growing thread.

SciFly's Blog

ACV 2011 Coverage: Dramatic Aerial Runs

Posted on April 23, 2011 at 11:00am 5 Comments


Heres a summary of Aerial Round 1:


The aerial heats started off with a blast as Team Lawn Dart one crashed into turn one's (familiar) tree shortly after an amazing auto-takeoff.

Team DIY- Drones equiped with Ardupilot  Mega auto had a great run with an auto-take off but unfortunately did not finish the run (hawk sky pic below).

Team Arducopter was the first entry and had a smooth and dramatic run, making  the first three corners well. Almost…


AVC 2011 : Team Autocrusher (ground) competes the course!

Posted on April 23, 2011 at 9:03am 2 Comments

The team completed the course in 2:04 with a 30 sec time reduction for driving through the hoop!

Way to go team Autocrusher!



2011 Sparkfun AVC kickoff coverage

Posted on April 23, 2011 at 8:55am 1 Comment

Boulder, CO

Cold weather and light snow hasnt deterred dedicated competitors and spectators from showing up at the 2011 Sparkfun AVC.Attached is the morning schedule. The first heat had several large ground vehicles, including a wheel chair equipped Dinosaur of the sorts, which almost immediately headed for the trees. Stay tuned for blow by blow updates.Go…


Great article on the benefits of ADC oversampling.

Posted on April 20, 2011 at 3:33pm 15 Comments



As you all probably know, the Ardupilot/ArduIMU uses ADC  oversampling to achieve greater than 10 bit resolution of the internal ADC. I beleive they achieved alomost 12 bit resolution- not bad, I'd say.When I discovered this, I started using that approach to increase the resolution of cheap ADC's at my work, saving but loads of $ in the…


FIRST Robotics Competition

Posted on March 16, 2011 at 6:00pm 7 Comments

If you are familiar with the FIRST organization, you know that its filled with great students, mentors and of course robots. I have infact read rumors of DIY drones working with FIRST to develop a quad competition (awesome!). Lots of events around the country are happening…


Comment Wall (3 comments)

At 9:45am on June 26, 2009, SciFly said…
OK, so the ardupilot works great on the easystar and is for many reasons, designed around the attainable and flyable Easy star. That stability comes with a price though (namely acting like a sail in high winds), and I'd like to move on to the funjet for many reasons, speed, power to weight ratio and quite frankly, it looks awesome fitted with copilot and telemetry, and gps. Is elevon mixing programming on the ardupilot easier than I envison or is is a programming nightmare?. Has anyone accomplished this and willing to point me in the right direction? THanks in advance,
At 11:18pm on July 9, 2009, SciFly said…
OK, simple as it seems now, I think I have figured out how to incorporate ardupilot into this elevon jet. First, set up the TX with elevon mixing (AIL -> left, ELEV-right). Then set up ardupilot to use vtail mixing. Then take the RX AILE into the Ardupilot Rudder channel and the RX elev to the Ardupilot ELEV channel, then hook up the left servo to the ardupilot rudder o/p. Now take the ELEV servo to the Ardupilot ELEV o/p. Now when the mux is off you should have proper ELEVON mixing, but when the ardupilot is enabled, it will use vtail mixing, but will manifest it self as ELEVon mixing due to the swapped channels. Once proper servo movement is verified, then walah, you have a elevon mixing UAV. Testing is still required.
At 9:09pm on July 27, 2009, SciFly said…
We all know Draganfly for their compact quad roto design equipped with multi band communications and paired with slick controllers. Well their UAV line seems to be expanding into fixed wing aircraft-albeit wih a unique spin. The Draganfly Tango is a multi channel video equipped bi-plane UAV with IR stabilization and gps navigation. Check it out here. It even appears to use elevon and 1/2 vtail rudder control Delete

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