Mark Williams's Blog (11)

Drones in Environmental Research conference at Liverpool JMU

Liverpool John Moores University are holding their second conference on the use of drones in environmental research on July the 7th and 8th. There are some great pieces of research being presented and it should be a very interesting couple of days.

I'm…

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Added by Mark Williams on June 30, 2015 at 2:00am — 7 Comments

Automated land cover classification for conservation and habitat monitoring

I posted the results of my research into using a small UAV for land cover classification for habitat monitoring a couple of months ago.

I've created a short video as part of my research presentation that details the workflow used to…

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Added by Mark Williams on May 8, 2015 at 4:25am — 10 Comments

Using UAVs and NIR photography in conservation land cover classification

I've recently finished a research project using UAVs to classify land cover types on British upland heath. I'm using an APM controlled hexacopter (H550) carrying a Canon Powershot S95 modified for NIR photography. I've successfully surveyed and classified around 15 hectares in 10 minutes. Using image analysis software I've been able to classify the major land cover…

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Added by Mark Williams on March 19, 2015 at 8:53am — 15 Comments

Banggood LEDs for multicopter orientation

I bought a few of these banggood LEDs in order to help avoid me constantly losing orientation of my hexacopter. They were very cheap and very easy to fit. The video doesn't do them justice but flying at about 2pm on a clear day…

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Added by Mark Williams on December 31, 2014 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

Replacing the voltage regulator on an APM board

I blew the voltage regulator on my APM board :( Not wanting to have to splash out on a complete new board I took a stab at replacing it myself. It required a tricky bit of soldering that anyone with reasonable soldering skills could pull off. It did the job and now the board is back in service.…

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Added by Mark Williams on December 30, 2014 at 6:23am — 4 Comments

NDVI flight results

Following on from my last post on modifying the PowerShot S95 for NIR photography. I have ran a couple of test flights to collect some heathland data. The last flight produced 134 photos which were stitched with Agisoft Photoscan and then processed with the Fiji Photo monitoring plugin to produce the NDVI image shown. Original output files can be found …

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Added by Mark Williams on November 29, 2014 at 10:15am — 18 Comments

Modifying a Powershot S95 for vegetation monitoring





As part of an ongoing project to monitor natural habitats with a UAV I've modified a Powershot S95 to allow near infrared photography to capture some NDVI data. I've created a short how to video for anyone embarking on a similar task.







The filters are supplied by publiclab.org as part of their infragram kit. The first test photos I have… Continue

Added by Mark Williams on November 18, 2014 at 1:03pm — 4 Comments

Arducopter problems in flight modes using GPS

I'm having some strange problems with my hexacopter. The aircraft flies well in stabilise and alt hold but as soon as I switch to loiter or auto it flies off in a random direction whilst increasing pitch. It will eventually be almost vertical before I recover in stabilise mode.

Everything is well padded with foam and I have good GPS lock according…

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Added by Mark Williams on October 27, 2014 at 10:30am — 12 Comments

First APM controlled aerial photography flight

I finally getting the APM installed in my Bixler 2 this week. After a bit of tuning and configuration I ran my first aerial photography mission.

The image below shows the composite image overlaid in satellite imagery in Google Earth.

This image shows the difference in quality between Google Earth's satelite imagery and my render…

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Added by Mark Williams on April 18, 2014 at 11:00am — 15 Comments

First flight with APM complete

I finally got around to testing out Ardupilot on a real flight. It was far too windy for a test flight and so was short and untidy. I'm now waiting for a calm day to get it tuned. I have an APM 2.5 installed in a HobbyKing Bixler 2.

There was some bad "porpoising" when I switched to auto. The pitch P value needs to be reduced though this is going…

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Added by Mark Williams on April 17, 2014 at 6:11am — 1 Comment

Getting there

I made three test flights today with my Bixler 2 UAV. I have an IXUS 220 HS installed in the fuselage which is operated remotely using the gear switch on the transmitter.

 A 3D model of the field I was testing over can be seen below. The model is far from perfect as I was piloting the aircraft manually. I am waiting on an APM board at the moment and this should…

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Added by Mark Williams on January 22, 2014 at 7:00am — 11 Comments

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