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Summer Flight Log

                                                                                                                                                                                                

7/26/2010     

Location: Herbert Run (UMBC)

Conditions: Wind gusts (5-7 mph)

Model: Slowstick with 400 speed brushed motor

  • Flight Time: 7 minutes
  • Purpose: Test the new camera mount.
  • Issues: Motor was not providing full power (brushes may have been worn). 
  • Comments: Photos were clear but not taken quickly enough to produce adequate overlap.

First Ecosynth Flight  (Video Recorded June 9, 2010)                                  

Model: Quadrocopter

  •   Flight Time: 9 minutes
  •   Purpose: Gather photos and test the Quadrocopters ability to fly with digital camera mounted underneath.
  •   Issues: Even with the yellow ball designating the front of the quadrocopter it was still very difficult to judge the model’s orientation while flying.
  •   Comments: Most successful flight yet with the Quadrocopter. Quickly transitioning from forward flight to a hover causes the Quadrocopter to become unstable. Was able to take pictures of a small group of trees.

8/9/2010

Location: Herbert Run (UMBC)

Conditions: 7-10 mph winds

Model: Slowstick with Brushless motor and Garmen GPS

  •   Flight Time: 12 minutes
  •   Purpose: Continue to gather photographs and test the Garmen GPS unit.
  •   Issues: None
  •   Comments: The 400 speed Rimfire brushless motor was a significant improvement over the brushed motors. Brushless motors will now be the new standard for the slowsticks. GPS successfully logged the height and geographic position of the plane which was later uploaded to a computer and plotted on Google Earth. 

8/11/2010

Location: Herbert Run (UMBC)

Conditions: 2-4 mph winds

Model: Slowstick (Brushless)

  •   Flight Time: 13 minutes
  •   Purpose: Continue to gather photographs and capture specific GPS points marked with orange buckets.
  •   Issues: While flying both the landing gear and main battery had fallen off. The plane landed itself in the field with no damage. The landing gear was never found.
  •   Comments: Evan and Noam were both able to fly without any problems. The new Easystar was delivered and Evan began carving out the planes fuselage to make room for the digital camera and FPV battery.

8/23/2010

Location: Herbert Run (UMBC)

Conditions: No wind, overcast

Model: Easystar (Brushless)

  •   Flight Time: 2 minutes
  •   Purpose: Test the Easystar with FPV equipment and camera onboard. Test FPV system.
  •   Issues: First two launches resulted in a crash. The camera was taken off to reduce the weight and the plane was able to fly well afterwards.
  •   Comments: The center of gravity needed to be moved forward and the rudder’s surface area increased. FPV system was not working.

Nisarg continued to work on the Hexacopter. The main frame is now built and work began on assembling the computer chips. A majority of the time was spent trying to get all of the LEDs working.

8/24/2010

Location: Herbert Run

Conditions: No wind

Model: Easystar

  •   Flight Time: 4 minutes
  •   Purpose: Find the airplanes center of gravity.
  •   Issues: The elevator gets stuck at times. More foam needed to be carved from the sides of the horizontal stabilizer.
  •   Comments: Flew well with both the FPV and camera. The center of gravity was found to be 1.5 in. from the wings leading edge.

Nisarg and I continued to work on the Hexacopter and were able to get all of the LEDs working. Pins were soldered on the control board and will soon be able to start programming.

8/25/2010

Evan and I installed plastic landing skids on the Easystar to help protect the camera lens while landing. Nisarg, Evan and I continued work on the Hexacopter and were able to get the computer and Hexacopter to “communicate” with each other.

8/26/2010

Location: Herbert Run (UMBC)

Conditions: 7-10 mph winds

Model: Easystar with camera and FPV equipment

  •   Flight Time: 6 minutes
  •   Purpose: Test the FPV camera
  •   Issues: The FPV would not work due to a dead battery. A micro switch on the FPV transmitter broke off so the switch was hard wired in the on position with solder. 
  •   Comments: Flight was successful and the landing skids worked as designed. Evan and I had purchased and installed a toggle switch which enabled us to easily turn the FPV transmitter on and off without having to take the Easystar apart. The switch becomes illuminated when switched to the "on" position. In order to keep the video transmitter from overheating a heatsink was attached to help distribute the heat away from the electronics.

 

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