Batteries 1, Drones 0

Everyone is researching new battery chemistries that will push drones into the next category of flight endurance. There is an expectation that this new chemistry is just around the corner. While this may be true, it's not guaranteed. The problem is that the industries driving the development of next-generation batteries are very different than the …

Spoiled by Moore’s Law

Our lives have been defined - no transformed, by the availability of cheap, powerful, and ubiquitous computing power. Whether it is the multicore gigahertz processors that power my phone and laptop; or the scores of micro controllers that make just about everything in my car work - everywhere you look there's a computer doing something …

Farnborough 2018

The bi-annual Farnborough International Airshow wrapped up a couple weeks ago. I've lost track of how many MicroPilot has attended. It’s certainly more than 15 years since we attended Farnborough for the first time. The highlight of the flight demonstration portion of this year's show was a loop by a C-130 Hercules. This certainly upstaged …

Top 10 Hints for Designing Drones #4:

RF is your enemy. Both your GPS receiver and your datalink are sensitive to RF interference. RF interference will increase the time it takes for your GPS receiver to lock, and increase the likelihood that you lose lock and reduce your GPS receiver's position accuracy. Note that RTK (or carrier phase) GPS receivers are especially …

Transitioning Vehicles – Looks Can be Deceiving

It seems that everyone is working on some sort of transitioning UAV these days. Combining a fixed wing aircraft and some sort of multirotor seems to be the thing to do. The resulting vehicle combines the multirotor's ease of takeoff and landing with the endurance of a fixed wing UAV. There are two main types …

Top 10 Hints for Designing Drones #5

Understand your failure modes and corner cases. We often see drones designed with too little attention paid to failure modes and corner cases. It's hard to cover all the ‘what ifs’ but once your system is in the market, how well you cover all the exception cases will play a large role in determining your …