Paul Konz (Needing R&D Partner)
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About Me:
I need a medium-small payload drone for gold mine security:
I am living in Ecuador, South America and I am starting up a small artisanal gold mine (with three others in line). Having a drone that can carry a payload of our super-concentrates or gold ingots from the rural and often dangerous mine region to a secure location to be refined and brought to the market would be a great security option. I do not want any of my workers to assaulted because they are transporting gold though long dirt roads in the Andes Mountains. We are a small start up company -so a DIY option is of great interest to me, plus it seems like fun! I am ignorant to electronics and programing. I have access to an amazing machine shop for prototype development, though my budget is tight until production begins. If any one is interested in developing a payload plane with me, I know how to market such a product into the major small mining sectors (SouthAmerica, Africa, Asia) were laws for drone ownership are not so prohibitive and security is of high demand.
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Venice & Orlando Florida

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Looking for Help!

Posted on July 10, 2009 at 6:00pm 13 Comments

I am looking for help to build a plane similar similar capabilities found in the BAT 4 UAV (http://www.spyplanes.com/pages_new/products.htm) but on a shoe-string budget.



Payload 30 lbs + fuel

GPS Guided for route and altitude

Rugged and Smart Design for Craft

Manual or Automatic Takeoff and Landing

2-stroke engine

11k Foot Ceiling

Fixed Landing Tundra Gear

100 Mtr Run Way



I have a small gold mine that I am starting up in Ecuador, South… Continue

Comment Wall (5 comments)

At 4:50pm on July 10, 2009, Paul Konz (Needing R&D Partner) said…
I need an R&D Partner for a small payload drone and a good market!

A need a small payload drone for gold mine security:
I am living in Ecuador, South America and I am starting up a small artisanal gold mine. Having a drone that can carry a payload of our super-concentrates or gold ingots from the rural and often dangerous mine region to a secure location to be refined and brought to the market would be a great security option. I do not want any of my workers to assaulted because they are transporting gold though long dirt roads in the Andes Mountains. We are a small start up company -so a DIY option is of great interest to me, plus it seems like fun! I am ignorant to electronics and programing. I have access to an amazing machine shop for prototype development, though my budget is tight until production begins. If any one is interested in developing a payload plane with me, I know how to market such a product into the major small mining sectors (SouthAmerica, Africa, Asia) were laws for drone ownership are not so prohibitive and security is of high demand.
At 7:47pm on July 10, 2009, Greg Fletcher said…
Helo, Paul
I am remotely interested I guess as I found this a very interesting idea. I know it could be done be someone. Most people on this site are hobbyists. I think more into computers and electronics than rugged aircraft design. You didn't give the required range. Some things to consider. With such a valuable payload you would want to track it if possible. Sooner or later your going to loose one and want to find it. Depends on the range and if there is line of sight. You could track it half way from the launch point and half from destination. There are some good off the shelf autopilots available. The problem is you cannot export them from the US without a licence. They are considered weapons and can land you in prison. It has happened.

Technically it can be done a lot cheaper than that ugly Bat4. Like a piper cub kind of plane. Any how, tell me the range and I will give some ideas. I have been researching this kind of stuff for years and could tell you what is possible and what the equipment costs. I've got a good job now and can't go to Ecuador right now,but would be happy to advise you of what I know. I am a pilot of both real plane (inactive) and RC planes. I guess I am remotely interested.
At 2:26am on July 11, 2009, Miles said…
Hi Paul,

30lbs payload UAV is no major issue we have several that would handle that payload, however the biggest problem you face is range and endurance particularly with the mountains in your area. The data links are going to be expensive, as you certainly don't want to be trusting poor quality data links with such a expensive cargo.

If you are interested drop me an email.

Regards

Myles
At 9:03am on July 11, 2009, Joseph Glanville said…
I find your project to be very interesting.
Unfortunately I will be unable to help you, (currently studying at university in Australia) in different circumstances I would have loved to work on something like this.
However I few things you might want to consider:
1) You are working with expensive cargo in unpredictable terrain, communications is going to be your biggest challenge.
Though expensive you should look into using a satellite link for control and tracking of the aircraft. Irridium is probably the best choice, cheapest and highly reliable, they often do links for mission critical stuff.

2) Range - with 30lbs of payload endurance isn't really an issue but something you might want to give people an idea about how much would be required. Same goes for actual range, how far does the aircraft need to fly?
Due to the mountainous area the further you need to go is going to have an exponential effect on your ability to use RF communications unless you are much higher than the surrounding area. Thus my suggestion to use sat comms.

3) Autopilot - Commercial autopilots aren't cheap and they will take you a mininum of 2 months to get from the US if you want one from there. So you might want to look into something from somewhere else.. I don't know of many outside of the US.. most of them will only supply autopilots in quantities of 10 or greater. Your other option would be use a robust open source solution. The Paparazzi autopilot represents an ideal such solution. It is highly developed and mature but will require a decent amount of experience to integrate. You could also take a look at SLUGS, it will be released shortly and will be a very capable autopilot.

There are many other issues you and eventually whoever you partner with to develop the system will have to consider. Hope that highlights some of it though.
Goodluck, feel free to ask further questions.
At 12:55pm on July 15, 2009, Nick Spurgeon said…
Hello,
I was looking at your requirements and none seem to be out of reach, the only problem is putting everything into a proper design that will be suitible to the situation, and as well to your tastes and budget. I could help with some, if not most or all of it, the only problem is knowing a little more about what you demand, and where you could tailor your demands to make it more cost effective or plausible. Most of the UAVs that I am currently designing are for tactical use and not payload/cargo, but payload/cargo aircraft are much more simple to design anyway. If you could email me at n-spurgeon@hotmail.com, with any more ideas and thoughts that you've had since you posted this, then I can put together a better design for you. As of right now I have a pretty good Idea of what one could do, but if you are serious, just email me and we can go from there.

Good Luck,
Nick

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