Assembling a team to compete in Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge

One of our new members, Christopher Auger-Dominguez has registered to enter a team in an international competition to fight Rhino poaching in Kruger National Park in South Africa. http://www.wcuavc.com/rules---regs.html. Anyone interested in being considered for the team can learn more this Saturday. We will be having a meeting with Christopher who will explain the competition and plans he has for forming the team. We will be meeting one hour before the RC Drone Swap Meet.

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  • Bob O.

    Here's a recent development in FPV, essentially continuous 360 degree scanning during flight. This will allow a UAV to scan considerably greater area during flight. The EPP pusher UAV appears to be off-the-shelf, easy to maintain, launch and land. Anyway I think its kinda cool 'out-of-the-box' idea.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgGsPaCVdjY

    November 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Very cool. Adds a whole new element.

      November 19, 2013

  • Bob O.

    Examples of Ballistic Recovery System (BRS) on RC aircraft.
    Good for landing aircraft if pilot doesn't know how.
    Note: Reminder most lightly wing loaded fixed wing RC aircraft can be hand launched very easily (even my 3 meter motoglider!).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dDxGKxNsfw
    BRS for quadcopter:
    http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDQyOTA3ODYw.html

    November 16, 2013

  • Bob O.

    Here's a thread on what the 'latest greatest' in RC hobbyist endurance FPV aircraft and electronics:
    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1423294&highlight=pusher+fpv

    November 16, 2013

  • Christopher A.

    Forgot to mention an interesting design (not necessarily for this application) Smartbird: http://www.festo.com/cms/en_corp/11369.htm

    November 16, 2013

  • Christopher A.

    Thank you, Mike, for hosting. Thanks everyone for coming. Looking forward to working with you.

    November 16, 2013

  • Daryl C.

    Already committed this Saturday. I am interested in the idea though. I just got the Phantom Vision,.

    November 15, 2013

  • lee

    I am very new here. i looked at the fixed wing glider...cool. I thought I saw adrone last week that resembled a helicopter but with side-by-side rotors. Is this design normal or known to any of you? The span appeared to be 3 meters.

    November 12, 2013

  • Bo

    Bob, great airframe. lots of space. cut a hole down for down facing thermal sensor phone. let the autopilot do the driving up there and use a forward looking camera to investigate if driving manually.. those tall africa trees is not good for auto-pilots. but take-off and RTH is off the shelf these days.

    November 10, 2013

    • Christopher A.

      Definitely some of the solutions we'd be looking at. Much has been done/tested along these same lines for conservation work. And many teams will approach the challenge like this. Thanks for your thoughts!

      November 11, 2013

    • Bob O.

      This kinda reminds me back in the old days (mid 70's) when I worked on B1, B52 and A6E FLIRs....a long long time ago.

      November 11, 2013

  • Bo

    Hoping I can make it down for this. hugely important area and well suited for UAV.
    Reading the contest requirement, seems they put too much emphasis on advanced signal processing in the actual airframe, personally Im thinking go with a off-the-shelf ARF airframe and a couple of android phones. but let a ground-station do the advanced data processing. maybe even do a crowd-sourcing of image interpretation. that would permit much cheaper airframes. easy to replace etc.

    November 10, 2013

    • Bob O.

      I agree with Bo on this, let the ground station do all of the advanced data processing. There's probably some PC open source software, especially from the robotics community that can be adapted. Besides, its much easier and flexible to update hardware or software 'on the fly' on a ground station.

      November 11, 2013

    • Bob O.

      For better reliability, keep the airframe as simple as possible.

      November 11, 2013

  • Nancy

    Hi, I am new to the ground as well as new to ever witnessing drones live. Have only seen them on TV. I look forward to it!

    November 11, 2013

  • Bob O.

    Some suggestions:
    -Here's an inexpensive hack that integrates a far infrared detector and an iphone http://hackaday.com/2012/11/12/building-a-thermal-imaging-sensor-from-scratch/
    -Note: far infrared detector is needed for passive infrared detection of living bodies.
    -The software boys can figure out an algorithm to initially decide if the infrared 'spot-lighted' video image is a friend (animal) or foe (human poacher). The human operator makes the final decision.
    -Maybe consider a large off-the shelf hand launch EPP motoglider for flight efficiency, payload capability, durability and repair abilty. I personally prefer at least 6 ft wing span for soaring ability and land ability. Here's a suggestion:
    http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__41322__Hobbyking_Sky_Eye_EPO_FPV_Glider_w_Flaps_2000mm_PNF_.html
    -I have a large (3 meter) FPV motoglider that I will bring in as an example for everyone to look at.

    2 · November 10, 2013

    • Christopher A.

      That Sky Eye is a beautiful design. Fixed wing glider is definitely a solution to look at for distance and endurance... two huge factors in this challenge. Looking forward to see your motoglider and discussing.

      November 11, 2013

  • Bob O.

    Yep, seems like there's a new auto pilot coming out every month. Eagle Tree is coming out with one very shortly. They're an American based company, so tech support should be good.
    Chris, you need to post on Socal FPV: https://www.facebook.com/groups/socalfpv/
    These guys have a lot of experience on FPV flight. I think most of them are located around Sylmar, CA

    November 10, 2013

    • Christopher A.

      Great idea, Bob. Thanks! Just sent a message to their group.

      November 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to it - important effort

    November 10, 2013

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