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 …

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 #6

Flex is your enemy. It's important that your drone's airframe is rigid. The motors on a drone are very powerful with very fast response times. An airframe that isn't stiff enough will allow its arms to flex, which in turn changes the orientation of the motors. This makes control more difficult and it will increase …

Top 10 Hints For Designing Drones #7

Too often, we see UAV and Drone manufacturers that, when the time comes to test their product, assume that because they’ve done a bunch of flying everything is fine. Unfortunately, there are many assumptions built into how a drone manufacturer operates their drones that their customers may not share. Their customers often won’t operate their …

DGPS vs GPS

The term DGPS is misused quite a bit in the UAV industry. DGPS, which stands for differential GPS, refers to any system that provides corrections to a GPS receiver based on a second GPS receiver at a known location. The GPS receiver providing the corrections is called the “reference station” and the GPS receiver using …

Top 10 Hints for Designing Drones #10

Design to Requirements: Starting your design by developing a set of requirements will help keep your team on the same page. If you don't have a written description of your drone then you run the risk that each member of your design team is working on a slightly different drone. Another benefit of requirements is …

AUVSI 2017

At AUVSI's annual trade show this year, the number of exhibitors increased slightly in comparison to last year, from 668 to 687. I'm not sure if AUVSI releases official attendance numbers. Of course, everyone on the show floor had an opinion about the relative size of this year's show versus 2016. The opinion of the …