The last month has been spent largely on the downlink software development and tuning the Sky Eye. It actually wasn’t as much work as I thought it would be and in the end only took about 5-6 hours. It’s also still far from perfect, but it does like quite pretty. Here is a set of loiter loops recorded this morning under 10-15MPH winds:
The biggest remaining variance left is altitude. When the plane banks sharply on the downwind turn, it loses altitude. This results in a pretty sinewave of altitude errors. I’m tuning this now but I doubt I will be able to get rid of all of it without reducing the possible bank angles. At the weight it is flying at and it’s relatively low speed, the Sky Eye drops precipitously in a 45 degree bank.
The big problem is a lack of thrust I think. It will not accept a bigger prop due to it’s design and just doesn’t turn the small thing enough to generate a ton of thrust. I am actually currently looking at a Sky Hunter for future projects, but for the time being I will finish this project. I am very near the point where I can start running the 30 mile course. I am planning on running a 30 mile set of autonomous circuits this weekend. If that goes well, I will plan on doing a followed 30 mile route next week.