Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Plan

The aim of this project is to create a plane that can be lifted up to an altitude of 10 to 20 km by a helium filed balloon and fly back to the start place autonomously.

At the point the plane reaches the target altitude or the balloon bursts the plane cuts the line to the balloon. From that point the plane cruses back to the lunch site guided by GPS. To handle the landing at the lunch side a parachute opens 100 m above the ground and brings down the plane safely.

This project is essentially inspired by Art Vanden Berg who conducted a similar project successfully 10 years ago. Today where components like electronic gyros, compasses and accelerometers are standard parts in consumer electronics things changed compared to the year 2001. Such components are easily and cheap available. This project aim to realize a very lightweight plane with low energy consumption and low components costs.


Main components are:
  • Onboard CPU
  • IMU (consists of gyros, accelerometers and compass)
  • GPS-Receiver that works above 10 km altitude
  • Barometer for altitude indication
  • Temperature sensors
  • Pilot tube for air speed indication
  • Long range transceiver for telemetry
  • Servos for elevons
  • VGA-camera
  • Line cutter
  • Parachute ejection system 

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