Published July 9, 2010 | Issue: Summer 2010
A view of the Alfond Stadium and Seaverns Field taken by the student-built UAV.
Equipped with an autopilot, GPS navigation, and digital camera, the plane flies a predetermined path via GPS coordinates. It requires a human operator for take-off and landing through a remote control, and once it reaches altitude it can be switched to autopilot.
The UAV the students used this spring could fly for about 50 minutes at 70 miles per hour, but Huntington and Opalacz found this to be more than they needed for their purposes—their research “missions” tended to run around two and a half minutes. During that time they took ample photographs that they stitched together using computer software.