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Development of a Small UAV with Real-Time Video Surveillance

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Advanced Aerospace Student Projects

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.481.1 - 22.481.15



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Paper Authors

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Changho Nam Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus


Scott Danielson Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Dr. Scott Danielson is the Department Chair of the Engineering Technology Department at Arizona State University and has served in this capacity since 1999. He has been active in ASEE in the Mechanics Division and the Engineering Technology Division, currently serving on the Executive Board of the Engineering Technology Council. He has also been active in ASME; being awarded the 2009 Ben C. Sparks Medal for excellence in mechanical engineering technology education, serving as a member of the Vision 2030 Task Force, serving as chair elect of the Committee on Engineering Technology Accreditation, serving on the Board of Directors of the ASME Center for Education, and as a member of the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Head Committee. He has been a program evaluator for both the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and ASME and currently serves on the Technology Accreditation Council (TAC) of ABET, representing ASME. He also serves on the SME’s Manufacturing Education and Research Community steering committee. Before joining ASU, he had been at North Dakota State University where he was a faculty member in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering department. His research interests include machining, effective teaching and engineering mechanics. Before coming to academia, he was a design engineer, maintenance supervisor, and plant engineer. He is a registered professional engineer.

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Development of a Small UAV with Real‐time Video Surveillance This  paper  discusses  a  capstone  project  whose  objective  was  to  design,  build  and  successfully  test  an unmanned  aerial  vehicle  (UAV)  with  real‐time  video  surveillance  capabilities.    The  team  also  had  to adapt a “shareware” autopilot software for use in the project and design and build a launching system.  The  student  team  was  composed  of  seven  students  within  an  aeronautical  concentration  of  their program.    The  paper  briefly  describes  the  analysis,  design,  fabrication  and  flight  testing  of  the  UAV, autopilot and video system.   The  students  designed  a  UAV  capable  of  flying  under  direct  manual  control  and  indirect  automatic control.    Direct  manual  control  was  accomplished  via  a  model  radio‐control  transmitter  while  indirect control  accomplished  via  the  onboard  autopilot  system.    Programmable  autonomous  flight  software, utilizing GPS, controls the autopilot system.  The aircraft, powered by an electric motor, was constructed from a combination of expanded polypropylene foam, carbon fiber, and balsa wood.  A ground control station (GCS), consisting of a laptop computer and a 2.4GHz receiver, sends and receives telemetry from a  2.4GHz  modem  located  in  the  UAV.    The  GCS  utilized  Paparazzi,  an  open‐source  hardware  and software  autopilot  platform,  which  allows  mission  specific  flight  plans  to  be  created,  uploaded,  and executed  and  monitored  during  the  UAV’s  flight.    Real‐time  video  surveillance  is  accomplished  via  a color CCD video camera mounted in a movable turret, allowing the camera to survey sixty degrees left or right from its center position of the UAV.  Real‐time video from the UAV is transmitted to the GCS via a receiver antenna and receiver.  The receiver is connected to a USB video capture device connected to a designated video processing laptop. This  comprehensive  design  and  build  project,  concluding  with  successful  test  flights,  enhanced  the student learning and performance during the course of the project.  Assessment data gathered by the project faculty mentor will be provided in the paper.    

Nam, C., & Danielson, S. (2011, June), Development of a Small UAV with Real-Time Video Surveillance Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17762

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