Thanks to the good ideas of Gary Mortimer and others, we're now launching a Trust Time Trial contest. The idea is simple: you set up four waywaypoints, spaced 200m apart, on your own field and time your UAV completing the course. Upload the data in the comments here. Best time on Sept 1 wins (I've got a prize this month--a new FunJet kit).
In the future, we'll add complexity and stricter standards to the trial, but this first one is easy:
1) Must complete the pattern as shown above, totally autonomously (go into auto mode before waypoint 1 and exit after you hit waypoint 1 again). The four points are arranged in a square, with 200m on a side (obviously the two diagonal paths are longer). Any aircraft/autopilot allowed. It doesn't matter how close to the waypoints you get, as long as you pass on the outside of them.
2) For this first one, altitude is not graded.
3) Fastest time to hit all points and return to 1 wins (one lap). Must provide GPS track with timestamps and on-board video. (If you don't have/can't afford a small onboard videocamera like the FlyCamOne 2, we'll let it go this time. But in the future: video or it didn't happen!)
4) Must also demonstrate that fun was had. Kids, picnics, silly hats, marching bands, something.
GPS tracks are best achieved with an onboard GPS datalogger, like the i-Blue 747 or smaller Sanav ML-7. But if you don't have one or don't want to add the weight, you can just capture the GPS track from your telemetry stream, although you'll have to figure out how to convert it to KML format to export to Google Earth (see below). If your Ground Control System has a built-in map+track function, a screen shot of that is fine, but it should be possible for people to check to confirm that your leg lengths are at least 200m.
Evidence data should include these four things:1) Total time, along with aircraft and autopilot used. A photo of the aircraft would be nice.
2) Screen capture of path exported to Google Earth or an equivalent, annotated with waypoints and where autonomy began and ended. Here's a sample from Dean Goedde (waypoints and autonomy not marked):3) GPS datalog file, any format
4) Onboard video, embedded from YouTube or Vimeo. [Not absolutely required but requested]
What a great first contest--the range of autopilots and platforms, the international reach and learning we all got from the different strategies exceeded my (high) hopes for the competition. Many thanks to Gary for suggesting the idea and such fair (and entertaining) judging. This is what communities like this are all about.
Look for the T3 V2 announcement in a day or two!
Just to avoid having flights to spiral up at full throttle. BTW this is one of the scenarios I have imagined: since my estar was lacking full down eleveator, I was considering climbing at full throttle. The result improved a few s but the plane was at 600m AGL... So I resigned from posting this.
For me the main challenge was the development of the flight plan, I quickly found that following specific waypoints did not yield the best time, getting the model to fly circles around the waypoints (like a figure eight) was much faster especially at full throttle.
I do like the altitude band idea, my only concern the way it is measured (i.e. GPS altitude accuracy).
I think I learned more about how the whole system performs in actual conditions, which is probably more what it's like in a real-world UAV setting. I can imagine that things don't always go exactly as hoped or planned.
And you guys who flew your self-designed units are amazing!
Vassilis hats off to you, a very fine time indeed, and I really loved the fun bit.
Sami should receive a special mention for being the first person to enter the competition with a very fine time as well.
Krzysztof did well to find music from T3
Time to define some rules, but a really great start.
I think we have to define several things like in real contests. Submission time at given timezone, maybe add requirement to post altitude plot just for curiosity, entry/exit gate width, maybe add some altitude band precision (say 10 or 20m). Otherwise we can see a fountain of platforms and teams doing crazy things to windthat poor funjet.
Another idea would be that we are here to learn, therefore I would like a rule: for the first 3 weeks anybody can post, in the last week only ppl that submitted SUCESSFULLY in the previous 3 weeks can post - excluding the worst 3 results. Therefore the last week will be hot, but not random. You would have to be not among the last in order to 'qualify' for afterburner stage.
This is DIYDRONES but in fact by putting in bought/commercial (yet amateur) autopilots in we have already extended the idea to commercial autopilots. So difficult to ask ppl to provide a proof they are able to modify their HW (unimaginable for picopilot, flexipilot, attopilot), but maybe bonus points for that (the problem is I am a maker so in fact very biased idea, there should be better ones).