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Fixed-Wing Survey Drone (FWSD)

Welcome to our senior project webpage! The design and construction of our low-cost, fixed-wing survery drone is underway. See the Documents page for complete project information.

Product Description

This project will develop an unmanned aerial system, commonly referred to as a “drone”. The drone will start as a commercially­available radio­controlled airplane. The addition of microcontrollers, cameras, and other sensors will allow the aircraft to operate autonomously. The purpose of the drone is to perform aerial imaging surveys of user­specified regions, such as crop fields, for use in precision farming applications. An important feature of our drone is its autonomous nature. The operator first defines the boundaries of the survey area via GPS coordinates in Google Earth. Next, the drone is hand­launched somewhere near the field. The drone determines its location (via GPS) and calculates a navigational route allowing it to image the entire area. The drone lands in the location from which it was launched, or some other user­specified location, with manual RC control. The images are assembled into a single large image and filtered with image processing software to obtain the NDVI image.