Our Embedded Systems team is responsible for electronic hardware in the plane such as the power distribution system, the flight computer, gimbal controls, sensors, and actuators.
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The autopilot handles the plane's guidance, navigation, and control. It uses a suite of onboard sensors to determine its current attitude, altitude, position, and speed to fly the plane autonomously, freeing up the team to monitor the mission.
The plane's primary payload are its imaging, processing, and communication systems used to conplete the mission tasks. A full sized DSLR is used to capture images which are then processed by a onboard x86 computer before being sent to the ground with a high-bandwidth Wi-Fi connection.
The ground tracking station actively tracks and directs its antennas towards the plane. This allows us to use directional antennas for better range and recpetion.
The PCB handles the plane's power distribution, camera functionality, and sensor data using the onboard Arduino microcontroller.