My name is Paul Gregory and I read about this site in the Economist article. As I now live on a small wine and olive farm in Italy, the idea of building a UAV to produce high resolution aerial photographs of the surrounding area seems not just great fun but also very useful. I have been researching and reading a lot over the last month and as I am now ready to start my project, it seems time to share my ideas and progress. Hopefully your comments will help me avoid too many mistakes before I make them.
I have always found that a very clear goal is vital to the success of any project. My goal is:-
“To design, build and fly a UAV to produce a composite orthographic photo-map of a 2km square area at a resolution of 12cm per pixel or better”
The area where I live is very hilly with a mixed terrain of forest, arable
land, vineyards, olive trees and scattered farmhouses. To give you some idea of scale, the ridge on the horizon is about 2.5km away. The valley floor drops down by about 100m before rising up again to the ridge. There is really no flat ground around so runway takeoff is out.
There is a patch of rough ground behind the house, but this is perpendicular
to the prevailing wind direction. Given the topology, I think that a hand launched sailplane with some form of air break to given a semi-stall landing is the best option. Electric trainer aircraft with wheels are out. I also think that, within reason, the bigger the better as a larger airframe should be inherently more stable than a smaller one. Since I am learning to fly using a Multiplex EasyStar, it seemed a logical step to use the Multiplex Cularis at the basis for my UAV.
Building a UAV for phot mapping - Previous Posts
- The Goal
- Camera Selection
- Packing it all in