Thursday, February 23, 2006

GPS and RC Planes

Most recent Popular Science published two articles about remote controlled planes equipped with GPS devices. Tango sells for a small fortune and the other Raven, is used by the military in Iraq. In its automonomous model, Tango like Raven can be programmed to fly to specific waypoints to take pictures or videos.

If you are up to the task this site will give you directions and tips about putting your own model together, by combining the Garmin ForeRunner 201, G7toWin and a nice Linux-based OpenSource track plotter called GPLIGC in a sailplane.

Or check this pretty serious model equipped with a Garmin Etrex and the flights made by Wingo. Eagle Tree Systems even sells a miniature Flight Data Recorder that you can monitor from the ground.

GPSWorld published an article on its February issue of a RC plane put together by USGS with telemetry featuring a Garmin receiver.

[Update Feb/24/2006: On a bigger scale, the USDA is using systems developed by Red Hen that combines a "Digital-8 video camera that produces video, audio, and images along with a GPS signal on a differentially corrected background map" to monitor vegetation of state parks.]

[Update Oct/16/2006: Red Hen now also sells Nikon cameras equipped with Garmin GPS and provides a companion software, IsWhere that you can use to see geotagged photos (those with location data on its EXIF headers) on Google Earth.]

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