Need help with DIY high alt glider

Hello againI'm trying to make a UAV that will go to about 30Km high with the aid of a weather/sounding balloon. After the balloon pops/ gets relised I want the UAV to parachute down taking pictures as it goes then at around 20,000 feet for ether a glider to open out on top, or a ram parachute to open up to help fly the UAV back. The only problem is that I have found very little help on the net on which is better or how to make them for a UAV that weights about 1.5kgAny help with ether how to make a powered parachute or powered glider would be very much appreciated.Thanks for all the help with the tracking of it by the way.I've decided to chance to a fixed wing aircraft (powered glider maybe?) due to the high speed at which it will be traveling. Dose anyone have any ideas on what materials are a good choice for the wings as during the descent they will experience high g-force. I was thinking about foam maybe but not to sure as I don’t have any experience at designing and building foam models. I am planning on doing a lot of testing between now and Christmas with different airframes if I can build a strong yet light enough model. (Less then 1.5kg.)Dose anyone know if it would be possible to get ardupilot to relies itself from the balloon at between 60,000 to 80,000 feet and follow waypoints back to base camp. And is it possible to use an xbee-pro with ardupilot to control the UAV whiles in flight? Or can you update ardupilots waypoints using xbee while the UAV is in flight?
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  • Sorry I was only on for a few mins earlier and didn’t get to look at the second site.
    When I first started I thought that I could get away with using the XYZ Horizon Sensor but they don't work very well at high altitude for leveling out a UAV as far as I can tell.
    IMU is better for leveling out and more stable flight from a UAV at high alts. I might be wrong but myself and some friends have been doing some work on this, as we would like to have a working high alt UAV for next summer. Will be able to ans more questions in better detail tomorrow.
    Hope I can help. 
  • Conner,
    the link above describes the materials and speeds associated with a ballon release. the second site shows how far a plane will drop vertically before there is enough "air" to make controlled flight possible.

    I need an IMU? please explain....
  • If you’re using the ardupilot it'll have to be the IMU. I bought the older one for testing a few months ago and hoping to start fling it next weekend. The biggest problem that I am having at the moment is long distance 2-way communication between my laptop and the arduino.I am hoping to buy an arduino mega next month as I can connect more sensors to it, and it will also be easier to expanded I think.
  • O.k.I should have read gary's post first! That is a great project and I've thought about the possibility f doing something similar over the years. With the ardupilot, it just might be doable for me.
  • Found it!

    or you could just buy one here.

    just did a google search and they are many projects out there.....
    Shaw Communications
  • Do any of you guys have links to anyone else who is actively pursuing or recently pursued the goal of a high altitude balloon launched glider? I have in mind a similar goal. I think one of the biggest attractions to this project for me is that it is a combination of all the technical stuff I like, and it is a gigantic "systems" sort of nut to crack.
  • Thats a really good site. The chutes are fairly cheep to.
  • UFO-MAN: Try Aerocon Systems in the US. They've a nice range or surplus stuff.

    Maybe elaborate a bit on your requirements for the parachute too, as that affects the design - drag vs stability, deployment speed and peak opening force, and so on. As a rule of thumb, Cross-form parachutes are almost as stable as 'stable' parachutes like ring-slots, but also an order of magnitude easier to manufacture. Constructing, by hand, a ~3m diameter ring-slot parachute is a bit of a tedious, thankless job.

    There are some good books on the subject of parachute design - Knacke being generally the bible (Available from Aerocon), although the state of play has changed a little since it was written, and there are some incorrect parts. It should still be on your shelf though :)
  • If that is so, make sure to look at the Leonardo design, I haven´t tried, but it certainly looks good. The ufly seems to be a lot more maneuverable. Getting the string lengths right is obscenely tedious, to say the least, I tried and gave up.
  • I'm plaining on making my own parachute. Been looking at some designs and i think its just easyer to make one rather then try to find the right one online. Hoping to test my first chute by next weekend i'll let you know how it goes.
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