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Summary of Project Idea

This is a continuation of the MEHA (Micro Electric Helicopter with Autopilot) autopilot that enables the autopilot to be tested on a different type of aircraft. This project later will lead onto a bigger plane being developed for the UAV Outback Challenge which has more complex design and task to complete.

The project will allow the plane to be controlled via the onboard systems by either a RC Controller (which will involve the onboard system assisting to fly the aircraft) or by telling the plane fly to coordinates via a serial link to a computer.

Other projects required for this project

Micro Electric Helicopter with Autopilot

Project Plan

Stage 1:

Assemble plane and test control surfaces before doing a test flight to ensure plane is operating. Weigh aircraft and test if a 100g weight can be added within the aircraft body without affecting the ability to fly. Start designing control system for Stage 2. The first stage will take an estimated 2 weeks to complete and requires the majority of components listed in the bill of materials. Some of the materials are shared with the MEHA project and therefore Stage 2 is dependent on Stage 3 of MEHA occurring, although interfacing with the control surfaces can be implemented in the mean time.

Stage 2:

Stage 2 takes a control board from MEHA Stage 3 that will fit into the aircraft body and implementing the automation of the aircraft, including the implementation of a flight path calculation system and implementing emergency procedures in the event of a power system failure. This stage will take up to 6 weeks to complete but cannot start until the control board from MEHA Stage 3 has been developed.

Resources needed for project

This is a rough list of the resources needed for developing this autopilot system, as the project develops, more resources may be needed.

Bill of Materials for Stage 1:

Item Name
Qty
Unit Price
Sub-Total
1
$ 69.99
$ 69.99
2
$ 6.64
$ 13.28
4
$ 3.49
$ 13.96
1
$ 17.99
$ 17.99
1
$ 24.99
$ 24.99
1
$ 11.19
$ 11.19
1
$ 0.99
$ 0.99
AusPost eParcel Basic 2kg (NSW Warehouse)
1
$ 8.99
$ 8.99
Total in USD
$ 161.38

Notes and design changes

Because of the nature of the project, several resources are shared with MEHA, this means that the cost for Stage 1 of SEPA is only $106.22. While the HobbyKing YAK 54, which the project is based around, does include servos for the aircraft, there are reports that the servos are not of good quality, so replacement servos as well as a spare servo has been included.