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Video Course: Mavlink, Qground, Dronekit…

I interviewed Caleb Bergquist, a developer like us who posted a complete video course online about:

 - Setting up the developer environment

 - Mavproxy and Qground Control

 - Developing with dronekit in Python

 - more is coming...

I found it very helpful and I am glad I inspired Caleb with my Youtube channel.

For checking out the course and enrolling, use my discount below:

>> Click here to SAVE with my DISCOUNT

>> Whatch the video on my Youtube channel

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vertical works new mega drone company

Interested in Mega Drones? So, join our webpage on www.megadrones.de

We are a German based startup called Vertical Works.

We are building drones up to 7 meters. We manage to fly  with 6 to 12 motors. Our drones are scalable which means any weight between 300 kg and 1 ton can be handled. We make  autonomous, reliable and self controlling drones. We fabricate all types of preprogrammed, intelligent heavy lift drones. Our drones are modified to all types of application such as  agriculture, nautical, luxury, commercial and working platforms, emergency and rescue , firefighting and last but not least surveillance services and military usage. For more information please check out our website.

And you can contact us with email and please check our Linkedin page .


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Changing Direction

Well, the day finally has come when I am ready to give up on this endeavor. My goal was to build a manned, internal combustion quad copter.  I will not say the project was a failure because I learned so much on my journey, but I just see other avenues which seem more promising.

Of note, from the project I did successfully build a variable pitch, bearingless rotor blade, and if that is of interest to anyone, watch my YouTube channel for build info, or contact me.  I would be glad to share what I learned.  

During the project I also came up with a redundant servo design which I believe will have applications in any high value vehicle. 

The last test I performed on my rotor system failed because of a fracture in my test fixture frame.  The belt also fell off.  I don't know which was cause and which was effect, but I just got to the point where the attraction of other ideas seemed to outweigh the benefit of this pursuit.  And I realize with my limited amount of time I'm spending on the project, and the number of obstacles ahead, it would be unlikely I would see a full scale vehicle in the air.

The "other" idea I saw which sealed the deal was Blackfly.

When I saw it, I instantly knew this was a really great idea.  So much better than many of the other manned multirotor vehicles.  So now, I'm following this development and it has gotten me shifted into looking at the primary obstacles of electric flight.  

Thanks to those of you who offered support, and useful comments through this process.


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"See" more of your RF environment in the field

One of the most difficult risks to manage with all sUAS flight operations, and in fact with most remote-controlled vehicle systems is radio interference. Detecting the threat and evading it is almost impossible without proper RF instrumentation, namely a decent spectrum analyser. It's not something even developers are taking to the field too frequently, not unless RF measurements are the specific tasks for the day.
Operators are even less aware of the possible RF issues facing them out there, even though they are potentially flying in way more diverse areas than UAV builders. Of course, we can teach pilots to watch out for the signs like mobile phone towers and large dishes, but RFI doesn't always have such visible sources out there. As the ISM frequencies mostly used by our birds are shared resources by definition, we must be able to check for potential interference in the target area.
We've developed a rugged docking field spectrum analyser module for our mission control stations (shown here: RHH link) that helps operators detect potential RFI issues early before take-off. It snaps right into the same RHH docking connector as our wedge RF boxes, and it has the same shape, but it houses a fast SA hardware, which can give you a full RF view up to 6GHz.
You can sweep your entire target spectrum on the embedded 10" tablet of the RHH controller using both omni and highly directional antennas. Because it works as a standard USB peripheral device, we've also retained its functionality outside of our own rugged GCS system, so you can still connect it to a PC, tablet or even your smartphone.
Teaching most operators to use this tool may involve a bit of RF background information, too, but having them tune the SA to their work frequencies and watch for spikes around there is not rocket science. Reading the real-time, peak signal and waterfall displays is also slam dunk after less than 30 minutes of training. The better risk awareness and the early detection of RFI is worth the extra effort especially for critical UAV missions and in difficult environments.
Of course, there are many cheap RTL-SDR devices available that are capable of SA applications with the right software. Unfortunately, most of them aren't fast enough, and they don't go much above 1.7GHz, either, whereas we are especially interested in the 2.4GHz, 3.5GHz and 5.8GHz bands, as well. RTL-SDR dongles can still help you see your way around 430MHz, 868MHz and 900MHz, but they are also great tools for picking up ADS-B traffic, which is getting more and more important for UAV operations.

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Vertical Technologies DeltaQuad maps uninhabited island

At the end of this new DeltaQuad compilation video, you can see the 3D rendering that was created from a survey mission of a dutch peninsula. The mission was flown using a DeltaQuad Pro #MAP carrying a Sony A7R3 with a 35mm lens. Using Pix4D the data was processed and a 3D map of the island was rendered.

The company responsible for monitoring the island had previously used a DJI Inspire which required 18 batteries and 2 days of non-stop mapping. After switching to the DeltaQuad they were able to map the entire island in a single flight with no more then 60% battery consumption. The increased stability and high resolution camera payload produced significantly better quality images.

Make sure you watch the video to high resolution and skip to 3:16 to see the results.

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