Unmanned Helicopter Programming Essay

957 Words May 11th, 2012 4 Pages
AbstractA thermopile is a horizon sensor that works by detecting thermal infrared radiation, or radiated heat. Several autopilots and FPV (First Person View) -assist systems have been based on this type of sensor, as it is practical for a fixed-wing plane without using GPS or expensive drift-prone IMUs (Inertial Measurement Units). They range from sophisticated surveillance drones that detect threats in an environment, to backyard remote helicopters for recreation and practice. The basic design for any remote vehicle includes the guidance systems, power source, control systems, flight surfaces, and if needed, an autopilot program. I intend to learn more about designing and fabricating remote helicopter so that I may design and fabricate my …show more content…
As I am a novice to remote vehicle technology, I intend to use information I have gathered on them, to design and fabricate my own remote helicopter.Background InformationMost remote helicopters use Lithium Polymer batteries as their power source. Also known as Li-Po batteries, the electrolyte in a Li-Po battery is a polymerized form of lithium. One Li-Po cell has a nominal voltage of 3.7V, which is how much voltage the cell is expected to discharge. Li-Po batteries are ideal for remote helicopters because they provide high output for relatively little weight. Li-Po batteries are relatively expensive, and must be stored in a relatively cool environment (32°F or 0°C) and at 40% charge.A thermopile is a horizon sensor that works by detecting thermal infrared radiation, or radiated heat. Blue/black skies do not emit or reflect much heat, while the ground absorbs most of the Sun's visible-light radiation, and emits that energy as thermal infrared. This difference allows a high-flying sensor that is not pointed directly up or down to detect the horizon, where the "cold" sky changes to the "hot" ground. Several autopilots and FPV-assist systems have been based on this type of sensor, as it is practical for a fixed-wing plane without using GPS or expensive/drift-prone IMU’s (inertial measurement units). A servo is an important part of a remote helicopter that is essentially a small motor that is coupled with

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