Saturday, January 23, 2010

Quadcopter taking shape

Thanks to some excellent drilling and sawing from Fabrice we are on our way toward making the quadcopter airframe. To keep my end up I need to make either a timer based or software extended PWM on the AVR Butterfly. May be it will be worth getting another more modern microcotroller board like the Teensy which has more PWM channels.

The X-frame of the copter has taken shape, we stuffed a PVC centre piece with some toxic fluffy packing foam to hold the carbon fibre in place. Some flat struts form the outer edge. Aluminium end plates will be used to mount the motors and account for my short sightedness in getting cheap inrunner motors instead of outrunners. All looking good so far except my 300 words per day PhD budget.

In one of the Cape Town IGARSS a presenter making a remote sensing UAV wanted ideas for mounting a mini radar on it. Andreas Reigber suggested a FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Waveform) Radar scanner. I have seen Laser range finders mounted on quadcopters but not a radar yet. It is time to put one on and find the needles in the haystack, because with radar you can if the haystack is dry enough and the needle is not made of bone.
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