Gisela & Joe Noci's Blog (23)

Tail Boom Co-axial Brushless motor Prop Drives - A different Angle.

We are designing a new Fixed Wing plane, all composite again, but this time with no landing gear, using a single peg bungy launch, with a parachute recovery. As w are fitting this Gimbal to this plane, we want the nose clear of motors and props. I wish to use a tail boom mounted co-axial prop, but do not approve of the possible options around - noisy and short…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on March 23, 2016 at 1:16pm — 19 Comments

Namibian UAV Draft Regulations presented last week by Department of Civil Aviation.

The Namibian Department of Civil Aviation Presented the first pass of the Unmanned Aircraft operations and requirements Draft Regulation on the 17th March 2016. 

The presentation was held at the Ministry in Windhoek, during most of the morning, and was to a full audience, invited by the DCA, as representative of the UAV manufacturing industry and commercial users in Namibia.

This presentation was the first of a group of meetings to take place over the next few months, massaging…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on March 23, 2016 at 11:03am — 9 Comments

Etosha National Park, Namibia, adds more to its Anti-Poaching UAV Arsonal.

After after almost 9 months of application of the SurVoyeur MKII UAV system in the Etosha National Park here in Namibia, The Park and Ministry have added further to their capabilities. Two more Pilots have also completed there training this week, each on both the SurVoyeur MKI and MKII systems. This will enable the Park to fly…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on September 11, 2014 at 7:00am — 17 Comments

Laser Rangfinder for Auto takeoff and Landing - 25kg Composite Pusher UAV Project

Pictured above is a twin tail boom Pusher Composite UAV made by Paramount Advanced Technologies. It was fitted with our autopilot and flight control software and we spent a few weeks flight tuning the system and implementing full auto takeoff and auto landing modes.

About 4m wingspan, pusher prop, 4 flaps, split elevator, flies like a dream!



Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on August 3, 2014 at 10:00am — 18 Comments

More Laser Rangefinder based landings - from the NamPilot

Seeing Andrew Tridgell's post on the SF02 LRF used for landings on APM, I thought I would post some flight logs of our landings using the same rangefinder.

NOTE - Log sample rates are…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on June 26, 2014 at 6:59am — 5 Comments

More 433 MHz antenna - the 1/2wave Ring Radiator

This is a reasonably compact, linearly polarised and well behaved antenna, with a gain , when well made, of around 1dBD    ( 1dB more than a dipole). It is smaller than the Big wheel and the Skew Planar wheel, and I have used it very successfully on 868MHz on our SurVoyeur UAV.

It is derived from a 1/2wave ring, located some distance above a large conducting ground plane. The ring is at a point on its circumference shorted to…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on May 30, 2014 at 9:15am — 47 Comments

Dipole style antenna for 433MHz

Hugues and a few other folk have been looking at using dipoles on 433MHz, I presume this to be the telemetry or RCS radio frequencies used by them. 

I have been playing with some concepts here to try come up with a repeatable implementation with reasonable performance. The main aim is to obtain a good match to the feedline and…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on May 29, 2014 at 3:06pm — 49 Comments

Some more Antennae, and when is a BALUN not a BALUN

Jeff asked about adding a 'Balun' to a simple dipole, so I thought to disertate a little once more on the subject...

The purpose of a Balun is to allow the connection of a coaxial feed line ( unbalanced feedline) to a balanced antenna , such as a dipole.

Picture at left is a Circularly polarised turnstile antenna. Although this is for 75ohm coax, similar…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on May 23, 2014 at 1:28pm — 37 Comments

Antenna, Feedpoint matching, Baluns, Turnstiles and why Complex homegrown antenna mostly do not work...

The Science of Successful antenna design



Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on April 3, 2014 at 11:21am — 78 Comments

EO-IR camera gimbal fitted to SurVoyeur mk-IIc - a new generation in Anti-poaching measures in Namibia.

We have developed a version of the SurVoyeur mk-II, the 'c' version, which has a new nose housing a gimballed, stablized EO and IR camera combination.

This gimbal houses the FLIR QUARK 640 X 512 pixel Thermal camera, fitted with a shutter to enable flat field correction,  and also houses the Sony EX11 Colour Block Camera.



Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on January 18, 2014 at 1:36pm — 30 Comments

Etosha Natiola Park, Namibia, receives first UAS and Pilot completes training.

Gabriel Shatumbu, A qualified Pilot, receives his competency certification for the SurVoyeur mk-II UAS .

Etosha National Park in Northen Namiba received their first Wide Horizons SurVoyeur mk-II UAS yesterday. The Pilot completed his training on Friday. The system consists of the 2.6meter wingspan SurVoyeur mk-II aircraft , stabilized steerable Infra-Red gimballed camera ( FLIR TAU-2) and an 18mpixel stills camera also with video…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on December 21, 2013 at 1:30pm — 8 Comments

Mission Planner Legal use of Google Maps/Earth content

How have the Mission Planner Developers managed to get around the Restrictions laid down by Google Earth regarding the use of Google Earth/Maps imagery and geo data for the Mission Planner software?


It appears that the use of any bulk…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on November 22, 2013 at 10:30pm — 38 Comments

Pre Flight check List of system Integrity

How we do pre-flight safety and validity checks prior to beginning autonomous flight:

I must admit I was a little flabbergasted at the realization that most of the 'autonomous' flights reported here are in fact relatively 'blind' - I was really under the impression that the 'check-list' concept that now appears as a forum of bright Ideas was a fundamental…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on October 6, 2013 at 12:06pm — 15 Comments

Laser Rangefinder Flights tests in Namibia

                                                          SF02 Laser Rangefinder Flight tests:

I recently purchased three of the SP02 Laser Rangefinders from Laserman, and have fitted one to one of our SurVoyeur mk-II planes. I had intended to fly earlier this week, but was beset with PC hard disc failures so spent…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on September 28, 2013 at 2:51pm — 15 Comments

Pitot Tubes and Air Data measurements.

I was asked on the 'Advances in Airspeed Handling' forum to give more info on this, so here is some practical info on Pitot tubes and sense piping for Airdata measurement systems.

In general, strategically located air inlet ports are required to sense both static and dynamic air systems, feeding said pressures to the relevant…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on September 23, 2013 at 2:02pm — 14 Comments

SurVoyeur mk-II - From the Nampilot..

        Here is the latest addition to our Namibian stable

                            - SurVoyeur mk-II.

2.7m wing span, Tapered Clark Z

Fitted with IR gimballed camera ( FLIR TAU-2 in own gimbal, around 700grams)

4 Cell Lipo, 10,000m…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on August 12, 2013 at 12:35pm — 19 Comments

Video and Datalink Antenna for airborne and ground tracking systems

Some developments on 2.4GHz video link and 868MHz datalink antenna systems:

          Measuring the 2.4GHz Antenna SWR

                         The Ground Tracking Antenna…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on May 21, 2013 at 8:52am — 17 Comments

Ball Turret Gimbal for small Cameras

Here are some photos and a short video of a 80mm diameter fully articulated turret Ball, currently fitted with the FLIR TAU-2 IR video camera. 

Camera and lens is approx 100grams. Complete assembly is 220grams.  Camera line of sight view is from 15deg below horizontal, full 360deg coverage. The Ball can be fitted with the smaller Sony Block cameras as well. Ball…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on February 5, 2013 at 12:30pm — 19 Comments

Optimizing Wing Aerofoil for UAV long range flight

Around 10 days ago I started a debate on wing Aerofoil choices to improve flight range rather than endurance. A number of folk joined in with ideas and suggestions, and the choice was eventually made - The Selig S7075 at 9% thickness.

Many Aerofoils were simulated and the S7075 choice seemed a good one,  so I proceeded to make a prototype set of wings to begin some trials.

The 'original' wing is a Clark Z Aerofoil, 316mm Chord and 1.8meter span. Fitted to our…


Added by Gisela & Joe Noci on December 17, 2012 at 12:30pm — 85 Comments

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