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An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an aircraft capable of operating autonomously through an autopilot or remotely by an operator on the ground. UAVs significantly reduce operational costs and pilot risk, and when properly configured can be successfully operated by less experienced users compared to full size aircraft. A UAV can fulfill a variety of mission profiles, including aerial imaging. Previously completed projects have produced an airborne imaging system, an aircraft large enough to carry the imaging system as payload, and an autopilot. However, the airborne imaging system is potentially antiquated, the aircraft requires further testing, and the autopilot has only seen implementation on a smaller test aircraft.
The primary objective of this project is to combine the efforts of the past senior design teams by fully integrating the autopilot and imaging system with an existing UAV airframe. Sub-objectives include fine-tuning the autopilot and aircraft designs, modernizing the imaging system, and optimizing the entire suite for aerial imaging. The intended result is a UAV capable of autonomous, waypoint - directed flight and useful aerial photography, controlled in real time by the user through the ground station. The working prototype must adhere to US Federal Government standards, including capability for a human operator to override the autopilot. Furthermore, changes and implementations must work within the constraints of components already created by previous projects due to time and budget constraints.
This project will be completed by May 2014 with a budget of $1000. The ultimate goal is to have a fully functional prototype. We will be guided by our faculty mentor and customer, Dr. Jason Kolodziej.
Customer Requirements (Needs)Customer Requirements
Prepared interview questions can be found here