The Raspberry Pi Camera was tested in flight. The purpose of this was to make sure the camera captured sufficient quality images to allow us to detect the lost hiker, Joe, from the air.
Normally for aerial imagery a high-end camera with a specialised shutter is required to deal with the vibration and the forward speed of the aircraft. The Raspberry Pi camera does not have the specialised shutter, however it is significantly cheaper, and is already integrated into the Raspberry Pi board so it is much easier for us to use this.
Although there was some minor distortion seen, the images were good quality, and were not affected by the vibration of the aircraft. This means that the Raspberry Pi camera can be used for the competition.
The Raspberry Pi was set up to automatically run a script when it started up to capture an image every 10 seconds. The Raspberry Pi can also listen to the telemetry downlink from the Autopilot to get the GPS coordinates and roll, pitch and yaw so the images can be geo-referenced. The next steps are to integrate the Image Scanning Algorithm to scan the images to detect Joe. Then the 3G modem will be installed, and Google Drive will be installed on the Raspberry Pi so that the images are automatically uploaded. We can then view the images that are uploaded to the Google Drive in order to confirm Joe’s location.