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Re: [Paparazzi-devel] StratoBlimp, a challenging UAV project

From: Anish Mohammed
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] StratoBlimp, a challenging UAV project
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 16:29:50 +0000

wow this is ambitious by any measure :)

On Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 4:26 PM, P.J.S. Danneels <address@hidden> wrote:
Dear Paparazzi community,

Allow me to introduce our project to you.

We are a group from the Delft University of Technology faculty of Aerospace Engineering.
Our goal is to design and later build a UAV which is launched from a weather balloon in the stratosphere (say about 35km altitude).
It should then return to the landing site without using direct propulsion.

What is interesting for this mailing list:
- we will use paparazzi as the autopilot
- we must have 2 way communication with the vehicle to retrieve weather data and manipulate it's flight.
- loads of other UAV-stuff

Some initial calculations, thoughts and requirements:
- Balloon might drift allot during ascent. A drift of up to 300km might well be possible according to some simulations.
- To stay within weather balloon regulations the weather balloon payload (return vehicle + release mechanism) may not exceed 3kg
- The configuration at launch cannot have a diameter exceeding 2m
- We cannot use propulsion to gain or keep altitude but we can accumulate energy on the descent and then use it in some way to decelerate the craft on it's final approach.
- We need to film the mission in HD
- We need to be able to take a scientific payload with us. Currently not yet defined but will most probably be meteorologic sensors.

An initial question:
- 2 way communication over a range of 300km is almost not possible using a direct link to a single ground station, so we are tempted to use satellite communication modules like the Iridium 9603 is there any experience in this community regarding these modules and interfacing them to paparazzi?

I believe lots of you might find this an interesting problem.
As none of us has much experience with UAV's and paparazzi any idea's or advice is welcome.
Our team consists of 10 highly motivated students, some with expertise in aero, some in embedded electronics, other in aircraft structures, ...etc.

If you guys like this we could post an update on our project from time to time. And share our finding with you.

We hope to hear from you guys with any thoughts, questions, idea's.

Kind regards,

Pieter Danneels
StratoBlimp project
(don't let the name fool you, it's not going to be a blimp... we think)

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Anish Mohammed

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