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Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

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alexrider
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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby alexrider » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:20 am

iKite123 wrote:
alexrider wrote:
iKite123 wrote:It looks like the wind is very light.
What is the max wind you can fly in ?

I've flow my Phantom and my F550 in GPS mode in 18 knots (laminar wind).
Both have NAZA controllers. In "attitude" mode should handle more. And manual even more, but does require extra skills ;-)
Tip for strong winds: I get someone to grab it on landing, else it's likely to tip.

PS: there is a thread in KF on the max wind topic:
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2380978
Multicopters forums also start to cover kitesurfing aspects...


:thumb:

Have you considered a fixed-wing for strong winds ?

No. First, I believe they are harder to fly, secondly (more importantly) you can orient a quadcopter the way you want, irrespective of the direction it's going. With DJI NAZA, there is a mode allowing that.
"INTELLIGENT ORIENTATION CONTROL (IOC)
Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction. By using Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC), wherever the nose points,the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction:
In course lock flying, the forward direction (by the stick) is the same as a recorded nose direction.
In home lock flying, the forward direction (by the stick) is the same as the direction from home point to multi-rotor."
I fly a fixed wings aircraft when I can get in it, or under, when it's a flex wing (hang-glider). ;-)

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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby lander » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:22 pm

Does anybody knows if is possible to make a "solo shot" with a drone ? So the drone is following you like the soloshot camera ?

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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby bob10 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:21 pm

mine is a custom built heli lifting a NEX5n.

its 25kts during the shoot (verified using seabreaze.com.au graphs) and the black kite is an 8m.

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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby alexrider » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:10 pm

lander wrote:Does anybody knows if is possible to make a "solo shot" with a drone ? So the drone is following you like the soloshot camera ?

See jimovo's post in page one of http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2380978.
"I am currently working on a system that will allow me to fly the quad and have the camera automatically track a moving target (using a GPS transmitter on the target)."
Wonder where he's at with this neat project.

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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby Toby » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:34 pm

lander wrote:Does anybody knows if is possible to make a "solo shot" with a drone ? So the drone is following you like the soloshot camera ?


yup, had this in mind too...not an engineer though, otherwise I would work on it ;-)

You should be able to set a distance between sender and receiver signal, so the drone keeps its distance...or you fly it to a certain point, mark it, back to base, go out, and press the key to fly to the point and film you...

One day we will have that...gonna be awesome!!!!

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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:51 pm

Really amazing what is possible now with the medium cost drones :thumb:

Can handle 10-12m/s wind, although you have to be able to tilt the cam remotely as the drone will fly very tilted to stay upwind :wink:

The other difficult trick is how to stay REALLY close to the riders so you get awesome footage, without being hit by the kite nor lines - but there has to be some challenge so it is not boring ha haa (but EXPENSIVE if it fails....)

Have seen some great shots from our (my friends) drones, when we were in Capetown in january :naughty:

8) Peter

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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby dyyylan » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:10 pm

lander wrote:Does anybody knows if is possible to make a "solo shot" with a drone ? So the drone is following you like the soloshot camera ?


Maybe in the future, or with something gas powered... phantom's battery lasts about 5 minutes with a gopro attached to it. you can get a rig so you can attach 2-4 batteries at once but even that increases the weight and further reduces the battery life

so the idea of setting it up to follow you around isn't really feasible imo

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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby jimovo » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:27 am

dyyylan wrote:Maybe in the future, or with something gas powered... phantom's battery lasts about 5 minutes with a gopro attached to it. you can get a rig so you can attach 2-4 batteries at once but even that increases the weight and further reduces the battery life so the idea of setting it up to follow you around isn't really feasible imo

I agree that 5 minutes air time is pretty limiting but the Phantom is not the 'be all and end all' of multicopters. I can get over 20 minutes air time with my set up and it weighs in at over 5 times that of the Phantom including camera and gimbal. If the wind is up over 20knots then I am down to around 15min air time. This includes a 20% safety margin on the battery capacity. A number of 'autopilot' controllers have a battery failsafe feature where you can configure the copter to automatically return to its home position and land when the battery is depleted to a pre-determined level - with no input from the pilot. Having said that, I'm not so sure that a fully autonomous 'follow me' feature is ever going to be a good idea in anything other than a fully controlled space. As smart as they seem to be, these copters have no awareness of anybody or anything in the space they are operating in (except in a limited sense in this case where they will be aware of the target they are tracking). My copter has 4 x 850w motors, each swinging 17" blades. That is close on 5hp - frighteningly similar to a rotary lawnmower with fully exposed blades... I have been flying my copter for about 18 months now and in that time, for various reasons, it has been out of my control on four occasions ending in a catastrophic crash (less often these days as I have learnt to become vary cautious...). On top of this reliability issue, pretty much anywhere we kite, we are sharing the water with other kiters who know nothing about these copters and the potential dangers. Jumping 20m+ is possible, add to that 20m+ lines + any bridle and the kite itself and even a minimum height of 50m high would not be leaving much margin for safety. At 50m high your GoPro on wide angle looking straight down would have a field of view covering well over 1100m so tracking is hardly an issue (though resolution may be...)

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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby dyyylan » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:01 am

jimovo wrote:
dyyylan wrote:Maybe in the future, or with something gas powered... phantom's battery lasts about 5 minutes with a gopro attached to it. you can get a rig so you can attach 2-4 batteries at once but even that increases the weight and further reduces the battery life so the idea of setting it up to follow you around isn't really feasible imo

I agree that 5 minutes air time is pretty limiting but the Phantom is not the 'be all and end all' of multicopters. I can get over 20 minutes air time with my set up and it weighs in at over 5 times that of the Phantom including camera and gimbal. If the wind is up over 20knots then I am down to around 15min air time. This includes a 20% safety margin on the battery capacity. A number of 'autopilot' controllers have a battery failsafe feature where you can configure the copter to automatically return to its home position and land when the battery is depleted to a pre-determined level - with no input from the pilot. Having said that, I'm not so sure that a fully autonomous 'follow me' feature is ever going to be a good idea in anything other than a fully controlled space. As smart as they seem to be, these copters have no awareness of anybody or anything in the space they are operating in (except in a limited sense in this case where they will be aware of the target they are tracking). My copter has 4 x 850w motors, each swinging 17" blades. That is close on 5hp - frighteningly similar to a rotary lawnmower with fully exposed blades... I have been flying my copter for about 18 months now and in that time, for various reasons, it has been out of my control on four occasions ending in a catastrophic crash (less often these days as I have learnt to become vary cautious...). On top of this reliability issue, pretty much anywhere we kite, we are sharing the water with other kiters who know nothing about these copters and the potential dangers. Jumping 20m+ is possible, add to that 20m+ lines + any bridle and the kite itself and even a minimum height of 50m high would not be leaving much margin for safety. At 50m high your GoPro on wide angle looking straight down would have a field of view covering well over 1100m so tracking is hardly an issue (though resolution may be...)


willing to share your setup? i'm getting more serious with aerial photography for work and will be upgrading from a phantom soon. doing very large commercial work (30-40+ story buildings) and we're outgrowing our current equipment

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Re: Kitesurfing Footage from a Drone

Postby jimovo » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:20 am

dyyylan wrote:willing to share your setup? i'm getting more serious with aerial photography for work and will be upgrading from a phantom soon. doing very large commercial work (30-40+ story buildings) and we're outgrowing our current equipment

When I set out to build my quad it was more as a hobby/proof of concept but with potential work application. I was on a budget (who isn't?!) and was looking for the best possible performance in high wind along with reasonable flight time.

Before I decided to try multicopters, I played with your typical single rotor helicopters. I still have a pile of them right here in my office... After my experience with single rotor helis, simplicity was also high on my priority list. As far as performance in high wind goes, I decided bigger was better. As for flight time, large lightly loaded props are far more efficient than small highly loaded props. Also, keeping props away from each other helps efficiency.

Tri copters have the complexity of a sero driven articulated prop mount so I settled on a quad rotor. Quads also have the advantage of keeping the props fairly well out of the video frame. More props could give a degree of redundancy but this is dependant on your controller/setup and is at the expense of efficiency and cost. Redundancy may be a bigger factor for you given that you are obviously working in a built up area.

Frame: Custom built from 22mm carbon fiber tube and 2mm carbon fiber plate. It is 1.055m diagonally between motor centres. It really is not hard to make a decent frame for a lot less that it costs to purchase ready made.
Motors Turnigy SK3 4240 620kv.
ESCs are Hobbywing Pentium 60A modified with external heatsinks and running SimonK firmware.
Props 16x8 APC
Controller APM2.5 running the latest Arducopter 3.1.2 software. Arducopter has come a long way since I began using it and I believe it is a serious contender in the autopilot stakes. Since version 3, setup is a breeze and you should have no trouble flying right out of the box. Being open source, you have complete access to the code (I have modified parts of it myself) I use an external magnetometer (compass) along side the Ublox LEA-6H GPS on a raised mount.
Telemetry I use the 3DR 433mhz radios or telemetry back to my android phone running Droidplanner. Range 1km+ My transmitter also receives telemetry data via the FrSky transmitter/receiver
Batteries I fly with 2x8000mah 4S Zippy LiPo batteries. I use the Turnigy Mega 400W x2 charger and connected to the truck, can charge both batteries in 30min.
Transmitter Turnigy 9x transmitter which runs the ER9x firmware and has been converted to use the FrSky 2.4GHz transmitter module (which also has telemetry). Range 2km+
Gimbal Custom made carbon fiber gimbal using 2 x Gimbal Brushless Motor 4114 from RCTimer driven by the Martinez controller.
FPV Fat Shark Attitude V2 5.8Ghz - Range approx 500m

Take off weight with GoPro: 5.85Kg
Max static thrust: 13.6Kg (188A @ 15.5v)- measured in a custom made testing rig)
Flight Time: Stable Hover in no wind down to 14V (3.5v/cell) = 26min

I have just today set up a dual operator system where a second operator can take control of the camera tilt/pan. I have done this using one of my old ESky 4 channel transmitters connected to my 9x using the trainer port. At the flick of a switch I can hand over control or take it back from the camera operator who is in charge of framing the shot using the FPV goggles. My gimbal is only two axis (tilt and roll) but the camera pan is achieved by yawing the entire copter. Even with the yaw operated by the cameraman, controlling the copter is still relatively straight forward for the pilot using the Arducopter 'Super Simple' mode which operates independent of the copters orientation.

Having built and setup the system myself, I have an intimate knowledge of all the systems involved. With a few spares on hand, I can be up and running within a few hours of even a serious crash. It is amazing what you can do with some carbon fibre sheet/tube/mat and some 5 minute epoxy :)


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