Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

As part of the 2017 AMTSI Summer Institute, five tribal colleges each constructed a quadcopter capable of autonomous flight. The applications for this aircraft include remote sensing, surveying of tribal land, and 3D terrain mapping. While all of the quadcopters were able to takeoff when controlled from an RC transmitter, only two of the UAVs were able to successfully navigate a GPS mission autonomously. It will now fall to each respective college to improve and implement all the autopilot features within their own institutions using the skill and troubleshooting methods learned during the summer institute.

The frame was designed by MikeyB on Thingiverse.com and was tweaked a little by SIPI students to suit our needs.

The STL files along with our customized parts are available for download at this link: UAV 3D printable files

Above from left to right: Students Travis Chavez and Chamisa Edmo, and SIPI Alumni Brandon Ray

The UAV project team developed a quadcopter with a 3D printed frame. The vehicle carries a camera to take images of terrain to create 3D maps of the area. It is also intended for remote sensing for rural areas such as tribal reservations.

The UAV uses off the shelf components and open source software to perform its autonomous missions.

Dr. Stephen Buerger from Sandia National Labs provides feedback about assembling a UAV

Cankdeska Cikana Community College students install the flight controller

Anthony Horning from Turtle Mountain Community College shows Dr. Anirban Mazumdar from Sandia National Laboratories the landing gear he designed.

Mars Yard Drone

SIPI students built a small quadcopter to eventually act as an autonomous UAV in the Mars Yard. The craft is based on a small racing drone frame. When finished, there will be an onboard Arduino-based controller to communicate with a second Arduino connected to a control station to receive navigational input coordinates. The VICON system will relay the position of the UAV to the control station.