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The Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) has become a great asset for the United States Air Force. As its role has expanded in the military, the use of RPVs has been extended into civilian roles. The ability of the RPV to be used in dangerous conditions without fear of harm coming to individuals has brought about many uses. Our project is focused on improving the functionality of an RPV designed to fly over forest fires and record video. Current technology does not enable the video, attitude, and location data to be synchronized. Also, the orientation and location data are not associated with the sensor gathering the video, but instead with the RPV itself.
The goal of our project is to resolve these problems by attaching an enclosure containing sensors and a computer-on-module to the RPV’s camera. The enclosure will contain a GPS unit, an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), and a computer-on-module. The system as a whole will collect and output the location and orientation data of the camera. The location and orientation data will be output in a standard format and synchronized with the video frames. Considering the unit will be mounted to a RPV, the team will also develop the system to be compact, lightweight, and low power.
The GPS, IMU, and data processor will be purchased by the AFRL. The team’s budget will consist of purchasing the required components for the enclosure, power supply, and wiring to connect the individual modules together.