UAV Forge Winter Week 5: Dummy Weights and Test Flights

kdspauld 2017-2018 UAV Forge

This past week at UAV Forge saw some significant progress in the use of the Sig-T test plane. At Black Star Canyon, the team tested the Sig-T with a 33W battery and a dummy payload. This was to test the safety and viability of mounting the avionics components on the Sig-T. It was discovered that while the plane could take off with the battery and one additional pound of payload but beyond that it was unsafe. Therefore it was decided that for now, the PixHawk 2 and a few other components would be mounted to test telemetry and the fly-by-wire mode of the PixHawk. The data from these tests will be vital in properly optimizing the autonomous flight on the competition plane.

The decision process for deciding whether to design a plane or purchase and modify a kit has begun. This comes as the project was awarded $2300 from the SDP Fund, which is money given to UCI by Boeing to be distributed to Senior Design Projects. As a result of the expansion of our budget, more kits are able to be considered as the required specifications of the kit are hefty. The decision to whether the project buys or designs largely comes down to budget, be it in time or capital. With half the academic year over, time is running out and Kristen, the Chief Engineer of the MAE teams, is working with her team leads to decide which of the two possible avenues would be the most likely to succeed.

In other news, the Avionics team has replaced the ODriod that died last week with a Raspberry Pi 3. It has all the necessary functionality of the ODriod (though it is a little larger), but is cheaper and more accessible. Preliminary testing has proved successful and a larger scale test (which is what killed the ODriod) is being prepared.

Lastly, UAV Forge is having a fundraising event with Cha! For Tea, this Valentines Day from 7 – 9pm. Please come by and support the team by purchasing a drink (with cash) and showing them our flyer (get it by emailing!

UAV Forge Documentary Manager,

Kenzo Spaulding