Curt Olson's Blog (11)

Senior Telemaster Autonomous Take Off

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…


Added by Curt Olson on October 3, 2012 at 1:26pm — 2 Comments

UAS Search and Rescue Demo (Simulation)

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…

Added by Curt Olson on September 25, 2011 at 9:59am — 9 Comments

Add an inexpensive oscilloscope to your DIY tool box.

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…


Added by Curt Olson on August 5, 2011 at 9:21am — 4 Comments

Tracking Ocean Debris in the North Pacific

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

Added by Curt Olson on April 14, 2011 at 2:00pm — 4 Comments

Shadow Cam

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

Added by Curt Olson on October 16, 2010 at 5:49am — 5 Comments

Command Augmentation System

I've been doing some more work on my CAS system. CAS stands for "Command Augmentation System" and implies the pilot stick inputs do not directly map to control surface deflections. Instead the pilot stick inputs command a roll/pitch request and the flight computer does it's best to match up. The video (hopefully) can do a much better job of explaining the system than words.
More details and additional "real" video footage of the system in action are…

Added by Curt Olson on September 29, 2010 at 1:17pm — 4 Comments

Stability Augmentation System

I just added a simple stability augmentation system (SAS) to my autopilot code. I am posting a video of the very first test flight. As you can see if you watch it, I had some success, and there were a few things to tweak for the next flight.

I've posted a few more details and explanations here:…


Added by Curt Olson on September 17, 2010 at 3:30pm — 7 Comments

Elevator Gain Tuning

One of the most challenging aspects of autopilot setup is tuning the gains for a particular airframe. When the gains are tuned poorly, the aircraft my oscillate excessively, it may lag way behind the target pitch angle or roll angle or velocity, it may never reach the target values. Poorly tuned gains could destroy an airframe in a worst case scenario, but often people just live with non-optimal gains that aren't great but work well enough to get the aircraft around the… Continue

Added by Curt Olson on September 10, 2010 at 8:01pm — 10 Comments

Senior Telemaster Flight + Glass Cockpit Display

I just thought I'd share a quick video (and picture.) This is a movie I made of a replay of a real flight a couple days ago. I collected the data remotely while the flight was in progress via a maxstream radio modem connection between the aircraft and the ground station. I saved the flight data on the ground station and then can replay it later in FlightGear. The display is a "glass cockpit" style display I'm just…

Added by Curt Olson on June 30, 2010 at 7:55pm — 15 Comments

Ardupilot based 4 channel servo subsystem.

I've mention this project a couple times and finally, here it is.

What: This is an ardupilot…


Added by Curt Olson on March 29, 2010 at 6:14pm — 12 Comments

MicroGear hardware in the loop demonstration with FlightGear

I'm almost embarrassed to post this video. It was done almost entirely with open-source software, so it's obviously way behind what people are doing with commercial software and commercial systems. But I have fun and entertain myself with this stuff, so I thought I'd share a brief snippet.

What you are seeing is FlightGear… Continue

Added by Curt Olson on December 2, 2009 at 2:30pm — 43 Comments

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