RC Model Plane Instrumentation?

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karoliina.t.salminen

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Oct 7, 2008
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407
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About instrumentation of a RC model if you want to build one to obtain some test data without access to a wind tunnel:

You should be able to add instrumentation to RC model and use for example embedded hardware called Arduino to deal with the data. The cost of these parts is very small compared to what big projects are spending for the instrumentation.

I am going to do that but I am not there yet. Pitot tube, MEMS gyro, etc. can be interfaced with the Arduino. The Arduino board is already booting but it is not yet on a RC plane, just on our living room table. I have been so far practicing flying the RC models to not ever crash them because I don't want to crash the electronics nor bigger models I have spent lots of time building them. I am quite happy with the outcome of this summer, I now no longer seem to crash RC planes, after the summer season the planes are still intact (knock knock..)

I am not that big expert myself on embedded hardware and software (most embeded devices I have been working on have been tablets and smartphones, which are actually computers), but my spouse is a guru, and I am relying on that. I can not estimate when we have something flying with Arduino + instrumentation. Could be next summer if we are lucky. Later if we are less lucky. Winter time is not so good for flying RC models here even if there would be plenty of space where to fly the models - on sea ice. I have had trouble with servo motors losing speed on the cold and that's not good even if there would be some way to keep the RC pilot not getting frozen in the cold wind from the frozen sea. We will mount the system at first to some existing almost-off-the-shelf-model like perhaps my modified-by-myself Multiplex Twin Pusher Cularis (two pusher motors mounted on wings instead of single motor on the nose) or maybe on my modified Multiplex Xeno.
 

delta

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May 26, 2011
Messages
2,419
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Brookside Utah
Re: Does the airfoil shaped fuselage top of the Dyke Delta add lift?

About instrumentation of a RC model if you want to build one to obtain some test data without access to a wind tunnel:

You should be able to add instrumentation to RC model and use for example embedded hardware called Arduino to deal with the data. The cost of these parts is very small compared to what big projects are spending for the instrumentation.

I am going to do that but I am not there yet. Pitot tube, MEMS gyro, etc. can be interfaced with the Arduino. The Arduino board is already booting but it is not yet on a RC plane, just on our living room table. I have been so far practicing flying the RC models to not ever crash them because I don't want to crash the electronics nor bigger models I have spent lots of time building them. I am quite happy with the outcome of this summer, I now no longer seem to crash RC planes, after the summer season the planes are still intact (knock knock..)

I am not that big expert myself on embedded hardware and software (most embeded devices I have been working on have been tablets and smartphones, which are actually computers), but my spouse is a guru, and I am relying on that. I can not estimate when we have something flying with Arduino + instrumentation. Could be next summer if we are lucky. Later if we are less lucky. Winter time is not so good for flying RC models here even if there would be plenty of space where to fly the models - on sea ice. I have had trouble with servo motors losing speed on the cold and that's not good even if there would be some way to keep the RC pilot not getting frozen in the cold wind from the frozen sea. We will mount the system at first to some existing almost-off-the-shelf-model like perhaps my modified-by-myself Multiplex Twin Pusher Cularis (two pusher motors mounted on wings instead of single motor on the nose) or maybe on my modified Multiplex Xeno.
A wireless camera and some tufts might also yield some useful information. Low temp grease or no grease would handle the servo problem. Keeping your fingers and batteries warm may prove more problematic.

Rick
 

Himat

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May 5, 2011
Messages
2,868
Location
Norway
Re: Does the airfoil shaped fuselage top of the Dyke Delta add lift?

About instrumentation of a RC model if you want to build one to obtain some test data without access to a wind tunnel:

You should be able to add instrumentation to RC model and use for example embedded hardware called Arduino to deal with the data. The cost of these parts is very small compared to what big projects are spending for the instrumentation.

I am going to do that but I am not there yet. Pitot tube, MEMS gyro, etc. can be interfaced with the Arduino. The Arduino board is already booting but it is not yet on a RC plane, just on our living room table. I have been so far practicing flying the RC models to not ever crash them because I don't want to crash the electronics nor bigger models I have spent lots of time building them. I am quite happy with the outcome of this summer, I now no longer seem to crash RC planes, after the summer season the planes are still intact (knock knock..)
With the new 2.4GHz RC systems incorporating telemetry there should be possibilities too. Hitec have just announced an USB dongle and PC SW to log the telemtry data straigt on to the PC. Other manufacturer will probably follow with similar systems. Most RC equipment provide GPS, RPM, temp, voltage and other sensors and with some inguinity some of the sensors can probably be hacked and adapted for other uses.
 

Himat

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Joined
May 5, 2011
Messages
2,868
Location
Norway
About instrumentation of a RC model if you want to build one to obtain some test data without access to a wind tunnel:

You should be able to add instrumentation to RC model and use for example embedded hardware called Arduino to deal with the data. The cost of these parts is very small compared to what big projects are spending for the instrumentation.

I am going to do that but I am not there yet.
A question, what kind of information or performance measurement are you trying to get with an instrumented RC model?
 

Dana

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CT, USA
This got split off from another thread, so I imagine it was related to testing the configuration being discussed.

-Dana

Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
 

Jay Kempf

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Karolina,

I am thinking along the same lines. A relatively large scale airplane with some video and telemetry onboard would allow a lot of learning. The problem is more autopilot but Arduino has an autopilot as well. There is a lot of info on Youtube and other websites. I did a bunch of work on a proprietary UAV for a company near where I live. This was a small platform but the autopilot and video link was unique. The components are all avialable and are getting cheaper and cheaper. One of the worst frost bites I ever had in my life was flying model airplanes in the winter on Harris Hill in NY with an old metal transmitter box. The ridge lift was amazing. The hands were numb so fast I didn't notice. Never had trouble with servos locking up.

Wouldn't it be interesting to put a smoke port somewhere in front of something you wanted to look at the aerodynamics in flight and put video looking at the smoke stream? Or tuft a model with thread and point video at that. Little pinhole and fiber optic cameras can be routed to look at anything. As long as the distances aren't too far the video hardware is pretty available.
 

topspeed100

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Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
4,063
Location
Oulu/Finland
Karolina,

I am thinking along the same lines. A relatively large scale airplane with some video and telemetry onboard would allow a lot of learning. The problem is more autopilot but Arduino has an autopilot as well. There is a lot of info on Youtube and other websites. I did a bunch of work on a proprietary UAV for a company near where I live. This was a small platform but the autopilot and video link was unique. The components are all avialable and are getting cheaper and cheaper. One of the worst frost bites I ever had in my life was flying model airplanes in the winter on Harris Hill in NY with an old metal transmitter box. The ridge lift was amazing. The hands were numb so fast I didn't notice. Never had trouble with servos locking up.

Wouldn't it be interesting to put a smoke port somewhere in front of something you wanted to look at the aerodynamics in flight and put video looking at the smoke stream? Or tuft a model with thread and point video at that. Little pinhole and fiber optic cameras can be routed to look at anything. As long as the distances aren't too far the video hardware is pretty available.
Since the aerodynamics of the small models are "lousy" generally...wouldn't it be cheapest to do 2 models first 1/16 ( 1/10 ) and then a 1/3 ( 1/4 ) scale model next ?
 
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