UAlberta UASGroup

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University of Alberta Unmanned Aircraft Systems Group

Group Logo

The University of Alberta UAS Group is a fledgling team composed of a number of research groups, students and professors at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The group is based out of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, with members welcome from a variety of other departments, including Earth and Atmospheric Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering. We are currently preparing a small demonstration platform. This UAV platform will be the beginning of an attempt to foster UAS research at our university, and provide an initial starting point for researchers from a variety of disciplines and departments to begin research on unmanned aircraft systems directly (like controls), or, more likely, to investigate payloads and applications (like industrial monitoring).

Current Work

The first platform is Unmanned Aircraft Platform 1, or UAP1. It is also discussed as a vibration isolation case study here.

UAP1

Airframe:

Telemaster Maiden Flight
  • Type of aircraft: Hobby Lobby Senior Telemaster almost-ready-to-fly model aircraft
    • Modified for bolt-on wing and tail-mounted servos
  • Type of engine: 2-stroke 26cc Evolution 26GX with electronic ignition (2S 2500mAh Lipo)
  • Dimensions: wing span 2.4 m (94 inches); fuselage 1.6m (64 inches)
  • Actuators: Hitec programmable digital servos used throughout

Autopilot Systems:

  • Spektrum DX8 system with AR8000 receiver and TM1000 telemetry module for safety pilot situational awareness
  • 2S 4000mAh Lipo for servos and autopilot system
  • Paparazzi autopilot
    • TWOG v1.0
    • Ublox LEA5H and Sarantel helical antenna
    • Aspirin IMU via I2C
    • Eagle Tree airspeed sensor
    • ATMega168 based PPM encoder
    • SmartFly optical ignition cut-off
  • Digi XTend 900MHz radio modems
  • Ground Segment:
    • Macbook Pro with OS X 10.6 (running Paparazzi in OS X)

Payload Systems:

  • Currently not determined, though initially a GoPro will be mounted onboard

Flight Progress

Currently, we have successfully flown UAP1 in manual and auto1. It took a long time to modify the model, install the autopilot systems and deal with vibration issues from the gas engine.

Our first flight with the autopilot is on Youtube here.

Our second flight with the autopilot is on Youtube here.