Technical details:The platform is designed to be flown beneath a kite (usually either a Sutton FlowForm 30 or a Dopero). The platform has a full PC (Nano-ITX) on board with a 1600x1200 global shutter camera mounted on a pan-tilt platform. Standard 802.11 wifi is used to communicate with a ground station. The entire platform weighs either 1.1kg or 900g depending on the size of battery used (~50 mins endurance at 1.1kg or 20 mins at 900g). The main chassis is a carbon-fibre sandwich, but most other components (other than the camera) are low cost off-the-shelf components.
Research / Projects:
We are currently working on deploying the platform in some real world applications flying either beneath the kite or beneath a helium filled envelope. Use as part of a robot team with Idris as the ground-based rover platform is a key aim for the near future.