About a month ago, we began to have issues with our video transmission and reception system, which, if not solved, would have crippled the Image Processing team’s efforts.
After weeks of grueling trouble shooting and part replacement, we have finally gotten the system working again. The 5.8ghz transmitter had an issue in which the video feed was replaced with a purple fuzz, and once we were finally able to narrow down the issue to the transmitter, we ordered a new part and the transmission is now completely clear. As mentioned in previous blog updates, we are still using the dual receiver, which allows us to receive signals from two antennas, increasing the reliability of the system.
Autonomous Flight Testing
After mounting the camera, we took the drone outside for autonomous mode testing. In this test, the UI team sent the drone pre-scripted commands through the Mission Planner software. We were able to control the drone’s height, speed, direction, and movement. In the video, the drone is taken to a high altitude using joystick control and then the autonomous mode is activated. It then descends to its programmed altitude and flies to its given waypoints in a very stable manner. The entire process from take off to landing can now be fully automated. Be sure to check out our gallery for more pictures. Next milestone?: Control drone flight based on image processing.
Spray Boom + Tank Update
In the past few days, our team received one of the most important components of our hardware system: the tank. We decided to opt for a prefabricated backpack sprayer and we’re currently working on a mounting apparatus to attach the entire spray system to the frame of the drone. We have the general design planned and now we need to begin working with our aluminum stock to construct a mount that will be secure and stable while keeping it as light as possible. We are also using a push-in tapered rubber plug as an easily removable cap for the tank. The plug expands and contracts via a wing nut which will create a secure and easily adjustable fitting for our tank.
We are creating the mount for the tank before assembling the system itself so that the navigation and control team can observe the behavior of the drone in fight with the tank and a fluid inside. Pictures to come!