UVU Computer Engineering Capstone Project

UAV R&D with Pixhawk’s PX4 FMUv5

Team Members: Caleb Probst and Alex Huff

Faulty Advisor: Dr. Afsaneh Minaie

Drone in flight

Since the first machine flew,the sky has provided an immense field for growth and change. Those first years saw growth in the speed of flight, then the size of flight, to becoming able to transport hundreds around the world in hours, rather than months or days. Flight then took us outside of our own atmosphere and into the solar system. Incurrent times,flight has become accessible to almost anyone in the world, through the use of UAVs. Today most people would be able to find a friend, family member, or colleague that has and flies aUAV.

A UAV is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and the science behind them has grown considerably in the last 40 years. They have proven to be useful in a myriad of different situations, from military applications in both large and small settings, to oil field maintenance, commercial photography, and firefighting, to name onlya few. What makes UAVs truly uniqueis that the application is only limited by the sensors available and the ingenuity of the programmer.

To better understand UAV and drone technology, this project built a drone with automated flight capability. Using the open source softwareand controller of the PX4 drone system, we addeda series of ultrasonic sensors that can be used to determine distance using the same principles as echolocation. This setup is crucial for automated flight as the ultrasonic sensors can provide the drone with the ability to avoid collisions with objects that could damage and incapacitate the UAV.

Students' Presentation