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Project Description

Our system is a dual system design, comprised of a transmitter a fixed to an aircraft, and a system that controls a pan and tilt camera mount at a base station.

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1. UAV Transmitter Sub System

The primary functionality of the UAV transmitter system is to collect telemetry data of the UAV in as close to real time as possible. This is done through a variety of sensors; including; a global positioning system module, barometric pressure sensors, and accelerometers. This information is collected and processed via a microcontroller on the UAV subsystem which pre-processes the data for the population of a custom defined packet structure. This packet is transmitted via radio module to the basestation. This packet contains the telemetry information, such as the latitude, longitude, and altitude in addition to acceleration, heading, and orientation of the UAV.


2. Basestation Sub System

The basestation subsystem is responsible for collecting its own telemetry information from a collection of various sensors identical to the UAV. Additionally, this subsystem receives the custom packet structure transmitted from the radio on the UAV subsystem. Thus the camera mount has two sets of three dimensional coordinates. From these two sets of coordinates, the basestation uses trigonometric functions to derive the relative position and angle of the camera mount in relation to the UAV in motion. Furthermore, from these two sets of coordinates with supplemental data retrieved from the accelerometer on the UAV, the basestation subsystem also has the ability to derive speed, acceleration, direction, and orientation of the UAV. The basestation system will also use this information to predict where the UAV will be upon receipt of the next data packet, improving system response.

3. System Output

Upon calculating the relative angles for the pan and tilt axis, the camera mount microcontroller drives two independent servo motors to orient the camera in the direction of the UAV. Additional information is available to the user via a character liquid crystal display, which provides the telemery data of the UAV. From this output, the system provides an autonomous platform which adjusts its orientation at near real-time, allowing for the recording or video-streaming of the UAV.