AERPAW Custom Drones

AERPAW Custom Drones

At DroNet’22, the AERPAW team published a paper on hardware and software choices for its multiple custom-designed unmanned vehicles.

Of these vehicles, the team selected the Small AERPAW Multicopter – or SAM4 – for use in a recent 5G demo with industry partner Ericsson. The SAM4 was equipped with a new portable node that included not only a small computer and 5G device, but also a mounted camera for video streaming. In the demo, the drone streamed footage of cattle grazing in a remote field over a 5G connection to illustrate the opportunities for drone-based smart agriculture applications. (Read Ericsson announcement)

The SAM4 was modeled in CAD and is constructed with carbon fiber tubes and plates with 3D printed parts as needed. It includes four 18” propellers and a 6S2P battery pack (14Ah), along with a printed circuit board for integrated control and power distribution. The standard flight time is similar to that of larger AERPAW UAV models at just over 40 minutes, but with a 30Ah battery and a smaller portable node, the SAM4 is capable of hovering for a full 82 minutes. If needed, the SAM4 can also carry a payload of up to 3kg, but for a significantly shorter period of time.

Portable nodes with different radios and compute devices can be easily swapped in and out of different AERPAW vehicle models. In addition to the SAM4, the AERPAW team has developed the Large AERPAW Multicopter (LAM6), and the AERPAW Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), a ground-based automated rover.

AERPAW drone on launch pad

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