autopilot: Do it yourself UAV
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Here it is without the canopy. If you zoom in, you can see Aaron Kahn
flying it under manual control.
Aaron and I hack on the onboard software while at the flying field.
Somedays we spend most of our time doing this rather than flying;
otherdays it just all comes together and things work great.
Here is an image from the first flight with the 802.11 onboard and
using the Rev 2.1 board "in the loop" for servo control. Even though
the flights were completely manual under Dennis' control, it was a
resounding success and helped validate the selection of the iPAQ + 802.11
and the design of the realtime board.
This is a very early test flight, with the IMU still on a tether
to the laptop on the ground. We nearly ate the tether cable several
times and spent far too long dealing with the tangle that developed
in the 20 m tether. This flight also used the digital outputs on
the accelerometer, which produced massive errors once the engine
Joe Easley filmed the second day of autonomous flight tests and has made QuickTime movies of a few of them. They will work with the latest version of mplayer under Linux, or you can try the massive mpegs.