Date of Award
Union College Only
Bachelor of Science
autopilot, remote control, telemetry, SAE Aero, FPV, radio, airplane design
The design and implementation of a data acquisition system for a remote controlled (RC) mothership airplane and an autopilot control system for an unpowered glider aircraft is presented. These telemetry and autopilot systems have been applied to Union College’s SAE Aero team,which designed and built an RC plane for the advanced class of the 2019 SAE Aero Design competition. The mothership telemetry system uses sensors to gather altitude, air speed and 3-axis force data,stores this data on an SD card,and sends this ﬂight information to a ground receiver station via wireless radio communication. The capture of altitude data is a competition requirement and the other data has been used to verify design conﬁgurations,prove calculations and to help with design improvements. Currently, the autopilot system incorporates a commercially available drone ﬂight controller that was adapted to work with a ﬁxed wing aircraft. After testing, the telemetry system has been shown to take accurate data readings, and operates consistently at a range of 1500ft, which is more than the safe operating distance the team follows. Experimental ﬂights with the autopilot system controlling a powered RC test plane have shown the system is capable of successfully completing autonomous ﬂights and landings. In two tests, the autopilot has successfully landed the test plane within 30ft of a speciﬁed GPS coordinate.
Morley, David, "Design of Telemetry and Autopilot Systems" (2019). Honors Theses. 2331.