P06004: Air Surveillance Platform for CIS/public/
Future of this ProjectIf the HobbiStar had not crashed, this project would have continued with test flights iteratively adjusting the PID controller coefficients to achieve autonomous waypoint navigation. After autonomous flight was achieved the imaging payloud would have been integrated into the airplane.
Recommendations for Future ProjectsIn the future an attempt at an autonomous airplane project should incorporate a larger flying field as well as better weather than Rochester, NY can offer- less wind, rain, and snow. The project should consider purchasing a well documented flight computer as the AP50 is an obsolete computer and no documentation is available from the company. The custom airplane also posed an issue in finding replacement parts as everything had to be constructed from scratch. The new HobbiStar MKII has individual components available for purchase.
A project requiring an airplane to fly itself should factor in several crashes and have parts on hand to allow the team to continue progress.