Not-so-final Plans

With the Outback UAV Challenge only 10 weekends away, we are starting to finalise our plans for the rest of this time. It is important that we are able to test all our our equipment and procedures prior to this time. The main items to test are the bottle drop, camera/imagery system, radio links and […]

Flying again

After a couple of weeks of repair of the damaged airframe, we have finished the rebuild!

Rebuild Progress

We’ve almost got the new Bushmaster airframe up and running. The wings and fuselage are mostly done and we are now fitting the electronics systems.

Build Update

Since the untimely demise of our Bushmaster airframe several weeks ago, we’ve been busy building up a second copy of it. The wings are mostly done, the engine has been re-conditioned and the fuselage is coming along nicely. If all goes according to plan we should have the maiden flight next weekend. This has forced […]

When Things Go Wrong

It is in the nature of R&D that sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Sometimes they fail pretty spectacular. Last weekend was one of those times, when we lost control of our main airframe (the Bushmaster) during a normal flight and it subsequently crashed into the ground nearby.

Long Duration Flights

Now that we’re on the road to Deliverable 3, our major task is to ensure our airframe can cope with repeated long-duration flights. Up until now, we flown our Bushmaster airframe for 15-20 minutes at a time. For the Outback Challenge we need to ensure the airframe can reliably fly for 60-90 minutes. The major […]

Deliverable 2 Submitted

After much hard work writing and filming our Deliverable 2 report. We have submitted our report to the Outback Challenge organisers. We should have our go/no-go response from them in the next couple of week. In the meantime here is the final report in all it’s glory:

Antenna Tracking

Over the last couple of months we have been working on a tracking antenna for our Ground Station. The objective of this projects is to have high-gain (and thus small beamwidth) antennas for a more stable link up to the UAV whilst it is in flight. This particular model has a Pixhawk autopilot system on […]

Deliverable 2 Preparation

With the Deliverable 2 report and video due in 6 weeks, we’ve started our videoing efforts with our new Pilatus Porter airframe. This weekend’s objectives were to practice takeoff, bottle drop and landing video capture – we had a couple of cameras going a different angles. The major learning curve for us was tracking the […]

New Airframe Build

Much of the past week has been busily spent building up our backup airframe – the Pilatus Porter. In the event of our primary airframe (the Bushmaster) being damaged or destroyed, we will be the Pilatus Porter. The initial flights were very successful. However, some work is still needed with tuning the controls and reducing […]