NOTE: This is still a work in progress
For my final engineering capstone my friends and I are building a system for deploying and reintegrating a swarm of UAVs. The system consists of a dodecacopter called the "carrier drone" and six custom built and designed quadcopters called "swarm drones". These six swarm drones are held inside a mechanism on the carrier drone and then carried to a mission location and dropped. The drone's will automatically catch themselves and perform the mission. Once done they return to the carrier drones landing location and autonomously precision land back into the vehicle.
This project is being worked on by my friends and I seen below:
Noah Ossanna (Mechanical), John Buczek (Electrical), Michael Tang (Mechanical), Blake McHale (Software), Josh Field (Software), Erik Little (Mechanical)
There are three primary systems to software: flight control, swarm communication,
and mission path planning.
Heavy focus has been placed on flight control as that is the most vital aspect of this system and required at completion of the project. Swarm communication and mission path planning are extra goals added on.
For controlling the drones PX4 and RTPS are used along with ROS2. A basic library
companion_computing is being developed for easily sending commands to the
vehicle, such as positions and velocities. There are also fundamental actions:
takeoff, land, arm, disarm, kill, precision land, and drop.
The last two are in heavy development and testing. They are custom implemented into
companion_computing and the PX4 flight stack itself.
Outside of software a lot of work has been done by my friends who are mechanical and electrical. Slight additions were added by Josh and I, such as a lot of the testing and setup for sensors and the flight controller. I had a heavy hand in connecting the PX4 flight controller to our onboard computer and establishing appropriate parameters.