Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!! Hopefully we have the luck of the Irish as we get moving on our competition plane. The Aerial Vista Challenge Team has been moving full steam ahead. We have been working with sponsors and assembling the pieces to make our design concept a reality. Joshua has started the drawings and schematics as we can get him the info. kayla has been helping with online research and helping us get the test beds in the air. Kenny has also been helping on the ground and with our linux and other programming based issues. Jono has been helping with sponsors and getting our vision systems in order so we can begin testing them. I have been working with sponsors and getting the test plane in the air.
The sponsors have been amazing. RVJET provided us with planes and one of their RVOSD 6 platforms. Simon Hedstrom, one of the designers of the RVJET, has been instrumental in advising us with the airframe. We have our MyFlyDream Antenna Tracker in and working with it. Our first test we forgot to put the tracker back online after programming it so we have not been able to see it in action just yet but it has been an amazing product for many users and we are eager to get it integrated properly. Xenics Infrared Solutions out of Belgium are providing integration of one of their high resolution thermal imaging systems. ReadyMadeRC is providing some customer proven AV downlink solutions. We have many other sponsors coming on line in the coming weeks and we are excited to be representing some amazing companies in our attempt at this challenge.
I want to mention one more sponsor before get into some more about the challenge itself and our progress so far. XtremeCopters is coming out with a new product line of multirotors and their XtremeOSD that they have been developing for a while. We will be some of the first to use their system outside of their development group. The XtremeOSD is a very capable pass through OSD that is fully integrated with the Pixhawk PX4 platform. It is full color!!! I can not wait to get some DVR images and video to show all of you how amazing this OSD looks. It will be capable of displaying all typical flight data and can be integrated to display various payload sensor information as well.
We were able to maiden our plane and it performed admirably. I had a dumb thumb because I was too focused on what didn't work on the ground to see what was working beautifully in the air. I will have to tell myself one system at a time. It will be an adventure trying to integrate so much in such a short time. Getting our portable catapult launcher up and running will help with getting more flight testing in. I hope to be working on that this week. The launcher will be based on an improving design of a user, brettbb, from RCGroups. It provides a safe and repeatable short launch platform. Brandon Moon has improved significantly on this platform. We are working with Asia Tech Drones on their launcher and cradle design. It will make for a nice launcher for us that will pack down to a single case and be able to launch our double fuselage design with ease.
I want to close with a little bit about the competition itself. It is a design build competition with a lot of creative freedom. It is a competition to be creative with technologies for anti-poaching. Poaching has increased to an alarming rate over the last decade. One of many species, the Black Rhino, is being driven to extinction. The resources and manpower required to combat such an atrocity are limited and overworked. The idea of unmanned aerial systems as a force multiplier have been proven many times over the last several decades. All of us in the competition hope to give the rangers the tools they need to safely and effectively stop poaching before it happens. The percentage of poaching arrests to actual animals slaughtered is atrocious. There are videos out there of animals that have to be put down because they were subdued just enough to remove their horn. The animal is left to suffer and die a slow death from bleeding out or infection. It is cruel and driven solely by greed and ignorance. We are glad that we can try to be part of a solution while advancing technologies in a field still in its infancy.
Thank you to all the users in this forum for supporting our teams and our cause. If it were not for those that have worked tirelessly on the development of these technologies, we would not be able to do what we are doing now. All credit in the end goes to the entire community. We just want you to know that we are grateful for you laying the foundation for us to all to prosper.