Custom Construction Mapping UAV

Hi all! I don’t know if this is the right place or not, but I am looking for some info on the Navio/Edge setup and also more technical info about building a custom mapping drone with that if it makes sense to do so.

Is the Navio for positioning only?

Who would be the person to talk to?

My idea would be to build something a little bigger than a Phantom 4 Pro, but small than a Matrice 210. I haven’t decided on quad or hex, but I think I am leaning towards hex in experience with the flight characteristics of the Yuneec H520.

…and of course I want PPK. :smile:

Thanks for any help!

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It makes total sense to build your own! DJI is lame. Building is cool. Don’t get locked into proprietary software and parts. I am in midst of a build currently. Much info can be found for a solid start on this site. I put together a list of parts from this site and DIYDrones. I do not want to get into too much detail yet of my components but my plan is to emulate as much of the components that can be found on my fixed-wing for redundancy in parts.

I am not against the Navio/Edge but I decided to go with a Pixhawk 2 with the Cube for autopilot. It is on my fixed-wing and is solid. Radios will be RFD900/3DRs. Frame will be a Tarot but undecided on an X8 style quadcopter or just a hexcopter. Have some calcs to run based on what I plan to lift into the sky. I will have two GNSS units, one for the autopilot (Here2) and the other for the camera trigger and timemark (Reach M+). The Reach will be a backup navigation aid if the Here2 fails. I might play with RTK but I don’t need it. PPK has been good to me.

Then there is my additional onboard computer to run the sensors I plan to lift but I won’t get into that here…

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Awesome, thank you! I will start looking into some of these components. Overall I would like to get something similar to the Yuneec H520 (520mm) - maybe a little smaller like 450-500mm, but that I can stock spare parts for and repair in-house. I am thinking more of a kit than a totally self-manufactured unit. I would buy 4 kits and one of them would be a total maintenance/fix spare.

I have been the only pilot for over two years and I now have two guys studying for their license so I am in mode to solidify flight management and the drone fleet. In my opinion it makes much more sense to get something going that doesn’t have to be mailed off every time something happens… or even worse, just trashed.

This one looks interesting, but I need to do some review/detail hunting.

I know this one is DJI, but the open nature of it has to be better right.

This is exactly how I arrived at this point: complete control of your operation.

I’ll put together a kit and you can buy it from me! Be like a big LEGO with simple directions :smile:

But in all honesty I was considering going this direction for end to end mapping packages for the more DIY crowd looking to get their hands dirty. Know a few machinists too…

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Nice, sounds familiar! I have seen the tiny Lego drone kits so why not go bigger?! Between modular parts and 3D printing it should be pretty easy to come up with a frame. What do you think about the DJI F450 and F550 kits? Are they worth a test?

I couldn’t tell you yay or nay on using the Flamewheels, just depends on your desired lift requirement based on the payload you plan to carry. I would start with the tried and true platforms of Tarot.

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Aluminium and Titanium Weavers are attempt to go further and be independent from frame/frame manufacturers.

When they will fly, let’s see - maybe you will consider something similar.
Especially Titanium Weaver - X8 with 17.5 inch props, heavy lift and compact, it should neglect its heavy frame.

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Definitely like your rigs. What will the travel package be like? The P4P and 6 batteries fit in a super small case and the Yuneec really isn’t much bigger, but has a huge box mostly because of it’s height. We also need ease of repair (can be done in the field), parts availability and 25 minutes of flight time.

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What are requirements of final product? As in what sensor would you be looking at as a minimum?

At 400’ max altitude anything over 20mp good in terms of final GSD for a rig in US. Then you need a decent shutter speed.

My favorite camera combination is on the Yuneec. The E90 20 megapixel and the E10T 640-pixel thermal. Single-camera, but they are hot-swappable.

… but my favorite camera for mapping is the P4 Pro. It’s not expensive compared to other cameras that have the same specs. It also takes very good pictures that need very little adjustment. I don’t know why more cameras didn’t pick up on the fact today mechanical shutter just works better.

That said, I have some research to do because I don’t know much about cameras that are compatible with drones. I have a lot of photography experience, but have not even looked into it before from a “custom” point of view.