P13231: UAV Ground Station

Systems Design

Table of Contents


Concept Development (generation, improvement, selection)

Top Level System Concepts: Meeting Needs & Design Process

Concept 1 in Fig. SYS.2.1 is a single concept iteration using Matlab as the main program for the ground station.

public/SystemLevel/Overall concepts/concept1_matlab.png
Figure SYS.2.1 (Click to enlarge)

Concept 4 in Fig. SYS.2.2 is a single concept iteration using LabVIEW as the main program for the ground station.

public/SystemLevel/Overall concepts/concept4_labVIEW.png
Figure SYS.2.2 (Click to enlarge)

Concept 7 in Fig. SYS.2.3 is a single concept iteration using the open source ArduPilot software for the ground station.

public/SystemLevel/Overall concepts/concept7_ardupilot.png
Figure SYS.2.3 (Click to enlarge)

Figure SYS.2.4 shows a Pugh diagram comparing the above concept's ability to meet the overall goals of the project and feasibility. It is clear that the solution utilizing ArduPilot will be the approach with the best chance for successfully meeting the customer's needs. Note: Criteria is on a scale of 1, 3, 5 and 7. With 7 being the best and 1 being the worst.

Figure SYS.2.4 (Click to enlarge)

To Download the original Excel spreadsheet comparing these three concepts and 8 other variations, click the following link: Top Level System Concepts

Top Level System Concepts: Technical Capabilities

The Pugh diagram in Fig. SYS.2.5 compares the ArduPilot solution versus a LabView solution, a MATLAB solution, a solution comprised of technology developed by previous Senior Design teams, and an earlier version of ArduPilot. This Pugh Diagram compares specific capabilities desired in the final design. The current version of ArduPilot meets the customer needs more effectively than any other concept.

Figure SYS.2.5 (Click to enlarge)

Video System Concepts

Several concepts for a live, on board video system are compared by the Pugh diagram in Fig. SS.2.6. The analysis shows that both the ArduPilot recommended CMOS video and the Keychain #16 video are better suited to meet the customer's needs than the Eagle Tree video system.

Figure SYS.2.6 (Click to enlarge)

Seeded Fault Concepts

The Pugh diagram in Fig. SYS.2.7 compares potential seeded fault types. The seeded faults should not put the aircraft in danger of crashing, yet should represent real world dangers to UAVs. Three of the concepts are viable options to pursue.

Figure SYS.2.7 (Click to enlarge)

Potential RC Aircraft

In Fig. SYS.2.8 a Pugh diagram shows the selection process of the RC aircraft to be used as the platform for the UAV in this project. The Nexstar Mini EP by Hobbico scores best out of the 4 potential RC Aircraft investigated.

Figure SYS.2.8 (Click to enlarge)

System Decomposition

Functional Decomposition

A functional decomposition maps top level system inputs to outputs through verb/noun pair functions. This is a useful visual tool used to identify the necessary system functions required to achieve the end goal of the system. The functions can then be used to brainstorm concepts to perform these functions. Each function does not need a unique component dedicated to performing that function only. In fact, implementing components that can perform multiple functions is an efficient, and thus ideal, solution.


Figure SYS.3.1 (Click to enlarge)

Function Tree

Another useful diagram for identifying system functions and how they address the overall needs of the system is the function tree. It differs from the diagram in Fig. SYS.3.1 in that the various functions are not set up as a linear process flow.


Figure SYS.3.2 (Click to enlarge)

Systems Architecture

The following flowchart describes the interconnection of all sub-systems. Three radio systems are present for communications, a 2.4 GHz RC radio, a 915 MHz bi-directional radio for ground station communication, and a 5.8 GHz radio for broadcast of analog video to the ground station. The fault seeding and detection system communicates through the ground station radio, highlighted by the dotted red line.


Figure SYS.4.1 (Click to enlarge)

Risk Assessment

The following chart identifies and ranks risks that have the potential to negatively impact our project. By identifying these risks, our team will be better equipped to avoid them through careful planning. To ensure that the risks are mitigated effectively, individuals within the team have taken up the responsibility to follow a particular risk and ensure that the team works to reduce the risk potential.


Figure SYS.5.1 (Click to enlarge)

Systems Design Review

Systems Design Review Presentation

The MSD I systems design review was held on Friday, January 11, 2013 on the RIT campus. To view a copy of the presentation, click on the link below.

SDR Action Items

The following items were discussed during the SDR and require further action.

1. Update Needs/Specs

2. ArduPilot Investigation

3. Fault Sensor Investigation

4. Video System Investigation

5. RC Aircraft Investigation

6. Update Schedule

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