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Make: Getting Started with Drones

Book Description

Want to make something that can fly? How about a flying robot? In this book, you'll learn how drones work, how to solve some of the engineering challenges a drone presents, and how to build your own--an autonomous quadcopter that you can build, customize, and fly. Your drone will be your eyes in the sky and in places where a human could never get to-much less fit!

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
    1. The First Book of Its Kind
    2. The Book’s Goal
    3. Conventions Used in This Book
    4. Safari® Books Online
    5. How to Contact Us
  2. 1. Introduction
    1. Some Definitions
    2. Who Is This Book For?
    3. The Drone User Community
    4. Brief History of Autonomous Flight
      1. RC Model Airplane
      2. The Advent of Microchips
      3. The Technology of Drones
      4. The Launch of GPS
      5. Internet
      6. The Smartphone
      7. Small Autopilot Flight Controller
    5. Principles of Flight
      1. Weight/Gravity
      2. Lift
      3. Drag
      4. Thrust
    6. Flight Maneuvers: Aircraft Movement with Stick Mapping
      1. Throttle
      2. Yaw/Rudder
      3. Pitch
      4. Roll
  3. 2. Airframes
    1. What Is an Airframe?
      1. Thrust Vectoring
      2. Aircraft Designs
      3. Materials
      4. Keeping It Balanced
    2. Building the Little Dipper Airframe
    3. Step-by-Step Build Instructions
      1. Step 1: Install the Standoffs
      2. Step 2: Complete the Dirty Frame Assembly
      3. Step 3: Assemble the Clean Frame
      4. Step 4: Attach the Two Subframes Together
  4. 3. Power Train
    1. Propellers
      1. Direction
      2. Size and Pitch
      3. Balancing Props
    2. Motors
      1. Sizes
      2. kV Rating
      3. Pairing with the Right Props
    3. Total Lift
      1. Electronic Speed Controllers
      2. Flight Battery
    4. Step-by-Step Build Instructions
      1. Step 1: Mount the Power Distribution Board (PDB)
      2. Step 2: Solder on the Bullet Connectors
      3. Step 3: Mount the Speed Controllers
      4. Step 4: Solder up the Power Supply
      5. Step 5: Mount Brushless Motors
      6. Step 6: Connect Brushless Motors
      7. Step 7: Clean Up
    5. Wrapping Up
  5. 4. Flight Controller
    1. What Is a Flight Controller?
      1. Open Source Versus Closed Source
      2. Sensors
      3. Flight Characteristics
      4. Software Assistant
    2. Step-by-Step Build Instructions
      1. Step 1: Mount the Flight Controller
      2. Step 2: Wire up the Flight Controller Outputs
      3. Step 3: Attach the Two Subframes to Each Other
    3. Wrapping Up
  6. 5. GPS, Compass, and Battery Monitor
    1. GPS
      1. Flight Modes
    2. Compass
    3. Battery Monitor
    4. Step-by-Step Build Instructions
      1. Step 1: Mount the GPS Puck
      2. Step 2: Connect GPS and Compass to the APM
      3. Step 3: Install the Battery Monitor
    5. Wrapping Up
  7. 6. Transmitter
    1. What Is a Transmitter?
    2. Most Common Frequency Bands
    3. Different Modes Around the World
    4. PWM Versus PPM
    5. Step-by-Step Build Instructions
      1. Step 1: Identify What You Need
      2. Step 2: Mount the Receiver
      3. Step 3: Plug in the Receiver
  8. 7. Telemetry Radios
    1. Software Monitoring and Control
    2. Step-by-Step Build Instructions
      1. Step 1: Mount the Ground Station Radio
      2. Step 2: Prep the Aircraft Radio for Mounting
      3. Step 3: Plug in the Radio
      4. Step 4: Mount the Aircraft Radio
  9. 8. Camera and FPV Equipment
    1. Popular Drone Cameras
      1. Micro Four Thirds Cameras
      2. The Mobius ActionCam
    2. FPV for a Live Stream
    3. Step-by-Step Build Instructions
      1. Step 1: Fasten the Camera Mount
      2. Step 2: Attach the Vibration Isolation Plate
      3. Step 3: Place the Camera in the Quick-Release Mount
  10. 9. ArduPilot Mega (APM) Setup
    1. Step-by-Step Build Instructions
      1. Step 1: Update Firmware
      2. Step 2: Connect and Complete Mandatory Setup
      3. Step 3: Optional Hardware
    2. Let’s Explore the Rest of Mission Planner
      1. Flight Modes
      2. Geo Fence
      3. Basic Tuning
      4. Extended Tuning
      5. Standard Params
      6. Flight Data
      7. Flight Plan
    3. Preparing for Your Maiden Flight
  11. 10. Safe and Responsible Flight
    1. Above All Is Safety
    2. Training and Education
    3. Resources
    4. Important Links
    5. Key Flight Safety Rules
    6. First-Person View
    7. Where and When to Fly
    8. Preflight Checklist and Flight Log Information
    9. Aircraft Inspection
    10. Flight and Maintenance Logs
    11. Laws and Regulations
  12. 11. Real-World Applications
    1. Beneficial Drones
    2. Aerial Photography
    3. Mapping and Surveying
    4. Precision Agriculture
    5. Search and Rescue
    6. Infrastructure Inspection
    7. Conservation
  13. 12. Expanding Your Drone’s Abilities
    1. Add a Camera and First-Person View
    2. Collect More Data with Other Sensors
    3. Altering Speed: Ready, Set, Race!
    4. Increasing Flight Times
      1. Troubleshooting in the Drone Community
    5. Thank You!
  14. Index