Senior Design Project Proposal

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Senior Design Project Proposal Powered By Docstoc
					           A proposal for

  Kite Camera II

            Marc Bland
           Mark Burchill
     Walter Perry (team leader)
          Rob Popovitch
         Andrew Theriault

           Submitted to:

Department of Mechanical Engineering
        Villanova University

           May 3rd 2005
                            TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction
   Section 1.1 - Summary Statement of the Design Project
   Section 1.2 - Need for the Kite Camera
   Section 1.3 - Kite Camera Important Decisions and Background Information
   Section 1.4 - Approach to be Taken
   Section 1.5 - Contents of the Proposal

Section 2: Background Information
  Section 2.1 – Introduction to Kite Design
  Section 2.2 – Kite Type Information and History
  Section 2.3 – Basic Kite Suspension Introduction
  Section 2.4 – Plan for Camera Design
  Section 2.5 – Kite Line / Video Transmission Attachment

Section 3: Design Requirements
  Section 3.1 - Design Requirements and Specifications
       Section 3.1.1 – Target Customer
  Section 3.2 – Kites
  Section 3.3 – Support System
  Section 3.4 – Optical Fiber
  Section 3.5 – Cameras

Section 4: Preliminary Designs
  Section 4.1 - Introduction
  Section 4.2 - Preliminary Suspension System of Camera Cradle
       Section 4.2.1 - Picavet Suspension System
       Section 4.2.2 - Suspension-Kite Line Attachment
  Section 4.3: - Preliminary Design for Camera Cradle
       Section 4.3.1 - Camera Cradle Design
       Section 4.3.2 - Camera Cradle Construction
       Section 4.3.3 - Gear and Motor System of Camera Cradle
  Section 4.4 - Preliminary Transmission Design
       Section 4.4.1 - Fiber Optic Cable
       Section 4.4.2 - Other Cables: S-Video Cable and Fire Wire Cable
       Section 4.4.3 – RF Transmitter

Section 5: Statement of Work and Design Schedule
  Section 5.1 - Introduction
  Section 5.2 - Configuration Chosen for Design
  Section 5.3 - Decision Matrix (Table 5.1)
  Section 5.4 - Design Tasks and Gantt Chart (Table 5.2)
  Section 5.5 - Cost Analysis (Table 5.3)

Section 6: Conclusion
Section 7 – References

1. Introduction
   Section 1.1 - Summary Statement of the Design Project
   Section 1.2 - Need for the Kite Camera
   Section 1.3 - Kite Camera Important Decisions and Background Information
   Section 1.4 - Approach to be Taken
   Section 1.5 - Contents of the Proposal

1.1 - Summary Statement of the Design Project
        The Kite Camera is a parafoil kite designed to obtain clear video pictures from a
height of a few hundred feet. It will be designed to transmit video through a wireless RF
transmitter. The design will be as light, stable, inexpensive and reliable as possible.

1.2 - Need for the Kite Camera
        If properly designed and proven to be effective, the Kite Camera could be used
for many different purposes. This could be a much less expensive alternative to gaining
aerial shots for sporting events, rather than having a plane, blimp, or helicopter flying
over-head. Also, this design could be used for rapid military surveillance, rather than
flying very expensive unmanned or manned military planes above enemy territory. The
Kite Camera could be carried and lofted into the air very easily and quickly.

1.3 - Kite Camera Important Decisions and Background Information
        The Kite Cam Team had to make many crucial decisions in regarding our Kite
Camera project. The kite itself was a major decision where we had to choose from the
winged box kite, the rokkaku kite, and the parafoil kite. The team eventually settled on
the parafoil kite due to its inexpensive design, ability to launch easily, fly steadily at a
high angle, and stable design.
        The camera was another fundamental decision that had to be made. The team
narrowed the selections down to five distinct cameras from five different manufacturers.
The winner was the most inexpensive and lightweight camera, a Mustek DV 5500. The
only drawback from this decision was that Mustek is a rather unknown camera
manufacturer. However, the team might have to share the camera with other groups due
to financial constraints.
        There are three suspension types the team can choose from. The team can use a
direct connection, a pendulum or a Picavet suspension. The Picavet suspension was the
overall winner since it is the most well-balanced, recommended by other kite aerial
photographers, is cost effective and is relatively easy to assemble.
        The camera cradle can vary widely. The team must make the camera take
pictures at different angles so the cradle must be able to pan, tilt and rotate accurately.
The team is going to use the UU Hover Variation for our cradle because it rotates
horizontally and vertically even though it is more complex than the other types. The
team will move the camera within the cradle using servos and/or stepper motors
controlled by the PIC microcontroller.
        It is desirable to stream clear video, but the team must transmit that live video
down from the camera and display it on a monitor. The video will be transmitted using a
wireless RF transmitter. Another very viable option would be fiber optic cable. The
downsides of this cable is that it can easily break, is expensive and is hard to work with.

1.4 - Approach to be Taken
         The project is composed of various systems that work together and integrate
together to make the overall system. The team will first test the individual systems and
components on the ground before they can come together in the air. Some of the systems
that need testing are the suspension system, the cradle and motor systems and the video
transmission system. It is imperative that testing be done on the ground first so precious
flight time is not wasted. Also, all of the parts will be assembled to make sure they work
and fit together the way they were designed before flight testing.
         The flight tests will test the effectiveness and stability of the kite, the reliability of
the video and batteries, the sharpness of the video, and other vital aspects integral to the
Kite Camera. The team will continually update and improve the design as it is tested
more and more.

1.5 - Contents of the Proposal
        In this report, the team will first introduce the Background Information and State-
of-the-Art where the existing technology and other topics are discussed so the proposed
design approach can be better understood. The team will then move on to the Problem
Statement and Design Objectives. This section clearly defines the project to be
undertaken and some requirements and limitations of the design. The next section is the
Preliminary Designs which explains the challenges of the design. It takes into account
the customer‟s wants and needs and what design is feasible and what is not. The last
section of the proposal is the Statement of Work and Design Schedule. This section
includes a decision matrix in which the team chose the best configuration for the project
based on wants, needs, costs, etc. The team also formulated a timeline in which to follow
in order to complete the task in an efficient manner.

Section 2: Background Information
  Section 2.1 – Introduction to Kite Design
  Section 2.2 – Kite Type Information and History
  Section 2.3 – Basic Kite Suspension Introduction
  Section 2.4 – Plan for Camera Design
  Section 2.5 – Kite Line / Video Transmission Attachment

        The Kite Camera is a design which involves attaching either a conventional
camera or a video camera to a kite in order to capture aerial images. The design needs to
be well balanced and stable, in order to attain clear photographs or video. If properly
designed and proven to be effective, the Kite Camera could be used for many different
purposes. This could be a much less expensive alternative to gaining aerial shots for
sporting events, rather than having a plane, blimp, or helicopter flying over-head. Also,
this design could be used for rapid military surveillance, rather than flying very expensive
unmanned or manned military planes above enemy territory. The Kite Camera could be
carried and lofted into the air very easily, for quick images to be taken. This report
includes information on existing technology and how the current project will utilize these

2.1 – Introduction to Kite Design
        When choosing the type of kite to use for the Kite Camera, many different aspects
should play a role in the decision. Wind speed, location, weight of camera apparatus, and
convenience, should all play a role in the selection. Kites have been around for
thousands of years, so there has been a great amount of technology that has gone into kite
design. Some kites have been made to be highly maneuverable, while other kites were
designed to be more stable and controlled. For the desired application, the team is
interested in a stable and controllable device, in order to keep the camera steady for a
good picture. If an object is constrained at some point, called a pivot, the object will
rotate about the pivot due to the torque if force is applied. In equilibrium, there is no net
torque about the pivot and the object does not rotate. All of the forces acting on the kite
must be accounted for in order to properly design a kite that will fly without undesirable
rotation. Forces include lift, drag, and weight [1]. The location of the kite‟s center of
gravity, as well as different angles for aligning the strings or cables will affect the kite‟s
flight. Also, the kite should have a wide wind range, meaning it could be flown in lighter
winds, but still be able to handle higher speed winds. Aside from the technical aspects,
an easy setup and launch should also be important. The following picture (figure 1)
shows many of the different types of kites, which have some of the desired
characteristics. Many different types of kites are available on the market, so each of
these aspects will be carefully viewed before selecting a kite for this design.

                          Figure 1: The kite designs considered.

2.2 – Kite Type Information and History
        The following is a brief description of the kite designs in figure 1 [2]. The Tri-D
is very predictable, and it can be flown in many types of winds. The Cody, is good for

flying in high speed winds, but it takes a long time to assemble and dissemble. Also, the
Cody can be quite expensive. The Delta is very easy to assemble and is good at adjusting
to higher speed winds. Also, if the wind completely dies, it is capable of gliding to the
ground, rather than dropping very suddenly. The ROK, or the Rokkaku, is a very
appropriate design. It has the capability to fly in many types of wind speeds, it‟s easy to
transport, easy to assemble, and adjustments can be made quite easily for more stable and
balanced flying. The Winged Box involves some time for assembly, but can handle light
winds due to the winged design, but can remain stable in heavier winds because of its box
structure. Finally, the parafoil or flowform, flies fairly smooth, and is definitely easy to
transport because it has no internal structure. It can easily collapse though, if the wind
changes direction drastically or dies down [2].
        The first Kite Camera was made by Arthur Batut in the 1880s. Batut's kite had
framing made with small rectangular section bars of hardwood. Between the two bars a
box-shaped structure was attached to hold the camera support system. The camera was
attached by using two supports that could be combined in several ways allowing the
camera to be aimed in different directions (figure 2) [3]. By 1906 George Lawrence
started to suspend the camera from the kite line below the kite. By separating the camera
from the kite, it reduces the camera motion and thus lessens blur in the images. By 1912
Pierre L. Picavet created a cross-shaped suspension now referred to as the Picavet (see
figure 3) [4]. It involved a rigid cross suspended below the kite line with each of the
cross' four ends connected to two attachments on the kite line. The line providing these
connections is a continuous loop. The attachment to the kite line and Picavet cross
sometimes involves pulleys. The result is a nominally self-leveling platform that resists a
turning moment.

       Figure 2 (left) shows the first Kite Camera designed in the 1880s by Arthur Batut.
       Figure 3 (right) shows the Picavet suspension.

2.3 – Basic Kite Suspension Introduction
        The Picavet design allows for smaller and more complicated contraptions to be
hung (Figure 4) for better control of the kite and camera. A component used in the
Picavet design is the mounting hanger (figure 5) which holds the picavet cross to the kite
line [5]. The picavet cross is attached to the rig which is made up of different
components that aid in rotating the camera and taking the picture. The rig is made up of
a plane rotation axis and gears, which allows the rig to rotate continuously. This design
uses a radio receiver with radio antenna in order to control the rig by remote control.
There is also a camera attachment to hold the camera in place in the rig with a shutter
release servo to take the picture. Lastly a power source was mounted on the rig for all of
these processes.

       Figure 4 (left) shows a camera fastened to a pan and tilt electro-mechanism.
       Figure 5 (right) shows the mounting hanger.

        The team will likely use the existing picavet technology to support the camera,
however lighter designs should be researched to make the kite more maneuverable.
Unlike other designs where the rig holds a still photograph camera, the team will
seriously consider supporting a camcorder or camera that can record video. However, the
team will keep a snapshot camera a possibility in case costs or technical complexity with
implementing video becomes an issue during the project.

2.4 – Plan for Camera Design
        At very least a digital camera will be attached to the kite system to take aerial
snapshots. The type of camera needed would be a camera designed to take action photos
as the kite glides around. Also it would be convenient if the camera were durable, in
order to resist possible collisions with the ground during landings. Depending on how
the kite is designed, a very light camera would be helpful to minimize the amount of
weight the kite has to carry. Other options that may prove to be useful are zoom controls,
shutter release or on/off controls for video, wide-angle features, and a night mode.
However, these options are not primary goals. The wide-angle feature may limit the need
for a rotating camera. For certain cameras, a separate wide-angle lens can be attached to
the camera‟s lens. Also it is important to note that the camera needed in this project does
not need an LCD screen. The LCD screen dissipates the most amount of power on a
digital camera [5]. After doing research on the topic, it seems that almost all digital
cameras come with the LCD screen, so the ability to turn off the screen during flight
would be advantageous. If the camera has an automatic idling shut off feature, the
feature should be user activated in this application. According to the research to date,
there are not too many cameras that have all of the characteristics mentioned above.
More research will need to be performed and probably some compromise will be sought
from the ideal in order to produce a practical senior project.
        As an ultimate goal, Kite Cam Team II would like to attach a video camera to the
kite instead of a still digital camera. Ideally live video would be sent from the kite
directly to the ground and displayed on a monitor. For a video camera, the same features
and characteristics would apply as with a digital camera except that the video camera will
generally be heavier due to its additional capabilities.

2.5 – Kite Line / Video Transmission Attachment
         An important part of the kite is its tethering or line. Simple kites use string or a
lightweight fishing line used only to guide the kite. Many of the existing kite cams use
plain string. If practical, the team would like to be more creative and improve upon the
existing design. For example, if the line was made out of a fiber optic cable, two
problems would be solved at once. The fiber optic cable would hold onto the kite and at
the same time transmit the video signal to the ground. Today fiber optic cables are used
in sporting event broadcasting like the Sky Cam. The different types of optic cables
include single and multi mode fibers. Different types can also transmit different
wavelengths of light from infrared to visible red light [6]. There are varying cores,
coatings, and prices that range from $5 to $15 per meter from different manufacturers [7].
Plastic fibers can be found for as little as $0.05 a foot [8]. Two converters will need to be
purchased with the use of fiber optic cables, one converter at each end to process the
optic signal. Another major concern when using fiber optics is bend radius. If the line is
bent too much, the fiber will snap and will no longer pass light. Optic fibers are light
weight and have less signal loss than copper wire. However, copper wire may prove to
offer a simpler solution than fiber optics.
         In doing research on previous aerial kite photography, one of the most commonly
overlooked aspects in the kite design is the power source for the camera and remote
controls. At first glance it does not seem there should be a major issue, but failing to
choose a proper power source can have negative effects on a design. When choosing the
proper battery it is important to check for three main characteristics. The first being the
total amount of current that will be used by the entire electrical system, measured in
amperes. Clearly, the designer should make sure that the power source chosen will be
able to match the necessary current. Second would be the ampere hour rating, which is
basically the amount of energy stored in the battery. The final characteristic is the
battery‟s energy density. The battery with the greatest energy density will be relatively
light in weight compared to its energy storage, which is crucial to aerial kite design. Of
the four rechargeable batteries noted, the lead acid is the heaviest (or least dense). Next
is nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydroxide, and finally lithium-ion. Lithium-ion batteries
are the most energy dense batteries per unit volume and are thus the lightest for a given
volume. However, due to their cost they have not commonly been used in kite design
[5]. After considering weight, price, and power output it appears that the nickel metal
hydroxide and nickel cadmium batteries will most likely be the two battery types most
suitable for the design project.

        In this preliminary stage of the project the team broke down these sections and did
research to determine what would best suite our design to achieve the project goals. It
was important to consider all of the options so the team could develop the best
combination of parts as possible. In the ensuing stages the team will discuss and test
each of our design possibilities. It will be through more extensive research and actual test
data that the team will hopefully construct the best kite design for the proposed goals.

Section 3: Design Requirements
  Section 3.1 - Design Requirements and Specifications
       Section 3.1.1 – Target Customer
  Section 3.2 – Kites
  Section 3.3 – Support System
  Section 3.4 – Optical Fiber
  Section 3.5 – Cameras

3.1 - Design Requirements and Specifications
        The development of our Kite Camera Design Project is starting to take more
definitive shape. While the team is still in the design process they are moving from a
broader sense of design to a more specific one. Ideas are still being bounced around but
are starting to formulate design characteristics. After handing in our State of the Art
(SOA) Report last week, the team has been able to analyze the information they found
from our research, to develop some specifications for our kite design. The SOA Report
was basically a brief summation of what our overall goal for the project is and then a
brief discussion of the main aspects of our ideas. The project was broken down into the
main components and gathered information about each, but will now further analyze
those sections.
        The team has taken what they had previously found in our research and have
applied it to fit the purpose in a more specific way. They have taken into account more
of the customer‟s perspective and what type of applications this could be used for. By
narrowing our target audience and application down, it is capable to clearly define the
design problem that will be undertaken and describe the requirements and limitations of
the proposed design.

3.1.1 – Target Customers
        Before the team could determine what characteristics and specifications that were
needed for the design of the kite camera, its top priority was to determine who the

   customers would be and for what purpose they would use the design. Currently, the main
   use of kite aerial photography (KAP) is strictly for recreational purposes. Avid kite
   flyers looking for a new aspect or a fun twist have developed different variations of kite
   cameras through costly trial and error stages. They are intrigued with the idea of
   developing a cradle system to support a cameras weight and be able to experiment with
   aerial photography. The team felt that through the design experiments it will be able to
   determine a more cost effective design for recreational purposes but also try and add
   other aspects that could be used for other reasons. While the goal is to develop a system
   that has the maximum range of motion and zoom capabilities. The team is also going to
   try to design something that has never been done before. In the past, there have been
   many aerial photographs taken, and there has even been a couple videos recorded from
   kites, but never has there been live streaming video before. One aspect in kite
   photography that will pay specific attention to is being able to display the digital images
   and/or videos from the camera down to an output on the ground.
            Being able to take aerial photographs, or even videos, can be very useful in a
   variety of less-recreational situations. Some of the most obvious uses could be for
   recording sporting events or ceremonies, in the news, movies, or television for a unique
   camera angle, and could be quite helpful in surveying. Right now it is very costly to take
   an aerial shot and is typically only possible through the use of helicopters or airplanes.
   With a kite camera, you could very easily hoist it in the air and position it steadily above
   the desired location and take as many pictures as necessary. It would be entirely in your
   control and would be very beneficial when higher altitude shots are not easily accessible.
            Having a better understanding of the target customers gives better understanding
   of the requirements and limitations that must meet in their design. For example, if
   someone is looking to take more detailed pictures of an area, it would be most beneficial
   for him to use either a kite that is not flown so high or a camera that has an increased
   zoom capability. On the other hand, if someone is looking to try and cover a much larger
   area, it would be important that the kite be able to fly high enough and still be able to take
   clear pictures or video. With varying necessities for different possible uses of the system,
   it will now be determined what the best specifications of the kite, cradle design, camera,
   battery, etc. that should be used.

   3.2 - Kites
           In choosing a kite for the design, the team wants to look at various characteristics
   that will help determine what is best for the project. The following chart displays many
   different types of kites, and some of their specifications.

                      Pull    Pull                       Wind        Flying Surface Retail
         Kite       @ 2Bft.* @ 3Bft.*         Line    Range (Bft)*   Angle   Area Price $US
Sutton Flow Form 30    6#      23#            250#        2-4        40-45° 30sqft   $200
Sutton Flow Form 16   3.5#     10#            150#        2-4        40-45° 16sqft   $100
Delta Conyne 13.5'   ~10# ¹   34# ¹           250#        2-3         <58°  40sqft   $200
Delta Conyne 9.5'      4#      11#            150#        2-3          60° 29.4sqft  $100
Delta 9'                ?       ?              80#        2-3          70°  21sqft    $85
Rokkaku 7'              ?       ?             200#        2-3           ?   30sqft   $200

Pilot 50                          ?            ?               2-3          +45°   50sqft     $250
    - Bft stands for Beaufort.
    - Source –

                                 The following chart describes the Beaufort:
                                 mph kph Beaufort            Description*
                                 0-1     0-2        0            Calm
                                 1-4     2-7        1           Light air
                                 4-8    7-13        2         Light breeze
                                 8-13   13-20       3        Gentle breeze
                                 13-19 20-30        4       Moderate breeze
                                 19-25 30-40        5         Fresh breeze

    After researching each of these kites, the team has narrowed our selection down to either
    a winged box kite or the Rokkaku. The winged box kite is an extremely stable design,
    and its box shape allows for excellent lift. It flies well in winds varying from 8-25 miles
    per hour. A common size for the winged box kite is 4 x 3 feet. This kite type would
    allow the camera to remain stable and take focused pictures or video. The Rokkaku
    described in the chart above has a seven foot wing span and has great stability. It can fly
    simply by letting it go in strong winds or releasing enough line for it to lift off in lighter
    winds. It has a 30 square foot surface area and will definitely be able to support the
    weight of a cradle and a light weight video camera.
            Both of these designs range in price from fifty to two-hundred dollars. In
    purchasing or building one of these designs, precautions need to be taken to conserve on
    expenses. These designs will allow for stable flight and will be able to support the
    weight of our camera apparatus. They are both user friendly and fulfill each of our
    design needs.
            The team has investigated safety issues pertaining to the design. They have come
    up with some preliminary safety factors, which include flying the kite in a clear area,
    avoiding power lines, and being sure to fly only when the weather is agreeable. This
    design is going to be extremely dangerous to fly if there is any possibility of a lightning

    3.3 – Support System
            In order for the camera to rest in a stable and vibration free position, there must be
    some type of support system attached to the kite that will permit clear video from being
    captured. To solve this problem, a mount will be attached to the kite line with a series of
    strings so that it forms a self-leveling platform and absorbs shock relatively well. One
    suspension system that can be use is called the Picavet suspension system. It consists of
    a cross shaped suspension that is above the camera. Separating the camera from the kite
    reduces camera motion and thus lessens blur in the image.

                                      Picavet Assembly

        The first thing that must be determined before constructing a platform for our
camera is the camera‟s center of gravity. Once this is determined, the camera mount can
be decided upon. To be able point the camera in the direction that we want, each camera
mount will have to have a rotating bracket, a pan bracket, and a tilt bracket. There are
three main brackets, which are the UU Design, the UU Hover Variation, and the LL
Design. The UU design (figure 1) is the most simple and is composed of two supporting
„U‟ members of which the top is the panning member and the bottom ‟U‟ is the tilting
member. The UU Hover Variation (figure 2) is a variation of the UU Design that rotates
the camera horizontally and vertically. The LL Design (figure 3) is another variation of
the UU Design. As you can see below it is half of the UU Design. This design is not as
stable but is lighter.

         Figure 1                            Figure 2                            Figure3
        UU design                     UU Hover Variation                       LL Design
It is decided that the UU Hover Variation would be used in order to obtain optimum
results. This is the best choice because the camera can be easily maneuverable and
controlled externally. The camera would be moved by two stepper motors. The stepper
motors have 360° of rotation without being modified. Even though the UU Hover
Variation is the ideal bracket for the kite camera, it still depends on the type, size and
weight of the camera that is decided to use to be certain of the choice of brackets.

3.4 – Optical Fiber
        In order to display live streaming video from the camera back to the ground, the
most practical way is to use fiber optic cable. In order to choose the right type of fiber
optic cable, it has to be understood what kind of characteristics is needed in the cable.
Cost, flexibility, and strength are the most important specifications needed to look for in
fiber optic cable.
        Optic fibers are more flexible, light weight and have less signal loss than old-
fashioned copper wire. There are many kinds of fiber optics varying wavelengths, cores,

coatings, and prices. They seem to range from $5 to $15 a meter from different
manufacturers. Plastic fibers can be found for as little as .5c a foot. The standard plastic
fiber cable core is 1000μm. There are 3 different types of fiber optics, they are single
mode, multimode and plastic optical fiber (POF). While the single mode and multimode
fibers have better performance, they have a glass casing which may break if the fiber is
bent too much, so the POF is probably a better choice for its durability and also it costs
less. The fiber will have to have certain requirements that will be able to hold at least
100 pounds for safety reasons, so the camera does not come cashing down. Also the
bend radius should be as small as possible so that there will be able to reel up the cable to
change the distance the kite is flown. The best cable for our project would be plastic
optical fiber because of its strength and low cost.

3.5 - Cameras
       The last requirement needed to look for in the kite cam is the camera itself. There
are two different types of cameras that can be used, a point and shot camera or a digital
video camera. While the point in shot camera in smaller and cheaper, digital video
camera will be able allow live video transmission.

                       Olympus Stylus 300   Kyocera Finecam M410R      Nikon D2H         Canon ELPH
Weight (oz.)                    5.8                  10.9                    2.4              7.8
Dimensions (in.)           3.9x1.3x2.2            4.2x3.4x2.9          6.2x3.4x5.9        3x1.9x4.3
Sensor Resolution        3.2 megapixels          4 megapixels        4.1 megapixels            -
Digital Zoom                    4x                    6x                      -                -
Optical Zoom                    3x                    10x                     -                -
Modes                   Landscape, night         Night, sports                -             night
Batteries (quantity)        Li ion (1)              AA (4)               Li ion (1)       Li ion (1)
Price ($)                      200                    350               1800-2000            129
Misc.                     weatherproof                 -            fast shutter speed         -
       For the point and shoot cameras, the Olympus Stylus 300 is the best digital
camera at this stage in the project. It is small, lightweight, capable of high quality photos
with 3.2 megapixels, and has an optical zoom of 3 times. Also the Olympus uses a
superior battery, a rechargeable lithium ion battery. The battery industry refers to the
power per unit mass of a battery as its power density. Alkaline batteries are the heaviest
or lowest power density, and Li-ion batteries have the largest power density. The weight
savings can be significant. A prime consideration in choosing a camera is the cost. The
Olympus is reasonably priced at $200.

                          JVC GR-D70U        Canon MV690/MV700 Mini DV            Mustek DV 5500
Weight (oz.)                   18.5                    lightweight                  lightweight
Dimensions (in.)                 -                          -                             -
Digital Zoom                   700x                         -                             -
Optical Zoom                    16x                        18x                            -
Modes                     Sports, twilight                Night                           -
Batteries (quantity)        Li ion (1)                      -                        Li ion (1)
Price ($)                       266                        200                          100
Misc.                     Remote control       Digital image stabilization       Good & bad reviews

                       RCA CC9373 Mini DV      Panasonic SV-AV10 Mini DV           Aiptek Pocket DV2
 Weight (oz.)              lightweight                      3.46                       lightweight
Dimensions (in.)         3.17x7.38x3.75               1.97x1.1x3.43                   3.3x2.7x1.6
 Digital Zoom                 400x                            -                             -
 Optical Zoom                  10x                            -                             -
     Modes                       -                            -                             -
    Batteries               Li ion (1)                   Li ion (1)                         -
    Price ($)                    -                          280                           -
     Misc.                Optical image        Digital image stabilization, 64    Webcam capabilities
                           stabilization           MB SD memory card

        There are three camcorders that seem to be best suited for the project at this time.
The JVC camcorder is a little heavier than the rest of the camcorders but it has a very
good optical zoom. It is designed for action video with the sports mode and uses the
lithium ion battery, all for a seemingly reasonable price. Another possible camcorder is
the one made by Canon. It has an excellent optical zoom, image stabilization, and is
lightweight all for approximately $200. The third camcorder is the RCA camcorder. It is
also lightweight with a good optical zoom. It has the image stabilization with the lithium
ion battery.

Section 4: Preliminary Designs
  Section 4.1 - Introduction
  Section 4.2 - Preliminary Suspension System of Camera Cradle
       Section 4.2.1 - Picavet Suspension System
       Section 4.2.2 - Suspension-Kite Line Attachment
  Section 4.3: - Preliminary Design for Camera Cradle
       Section 4.3.1 - Camera Cradle Design
       Section 4.3.2 - Camera Cradle Construction
       Section 4.3.3 - Gear and Motor System of Camera Cradle
  Section 4.4 - Preliminary Transmission Design
       Section 4.4.1 - Fiber Optic Cable
       Section 4.4.2 - Other Cables: S-Video Cable and Fire Wire Cable
       Section 4.4.3 – RF Transmitter

4.1 - Introduction
        This preliminary design report addresses more specific details of team II‟s Kite
Cam project. The previous preliminary design reports discussed topics such as the style
or type of kite and camera/camcorder to use. This report discusses possible suspension
designs, cradle configurations, pan and tilt mechanisms (both electrical and mechanical),
and video transmission.

4.2 - Preliminary Suspension System of Camera Cradle
        Suspension of the camera is one of the most crucial aspects of the design.
Without a stable camera, pictures will be blurred and the Kite Cam will not be able to
take clear photographs or videos. There are various types of suspensions that could be
employed. Attaching the camera directly to the kite would be a bad idea since the kite is
subject to changes in angle and direction due to changing winds. A camera directly
attached to the kite would provide blurry pictures which are unacceptable.

        Some types of suspensions are a simple pendulum suspension or a more complex
variation of the Picavet suspension. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
        The pendulum suspension is made up of two rigid tubes. One tube is fixed to the
kite line to prevent turning and the other is suspended down from the first and attached to
the camera. The second tube always hangs vertically creating different angles to the kite
string. Some disadvantages of this system are that is makes it almost impossible to
control the camera‟s movements like rotating or panning and tilting. Also, the pendulum
will swing due to the kite‟s movements in the wind. This can lead to very inaccurate
pictures and control over the camera‟s movements.

                                   Pendulum Suspension

4.2.1 - Picavet Suspension System
         The Picavet suspension is a much more involved suspension system that will
weigh more but its advantages greatly outweigh its disadvantages. The advantages of the
Picavet suspension are that it contains a self leveling platform that resists rotation. The
load supports in Suspension Figure 1 can vary from 3 inches wide to 20 inches wide
depending on the application. The suspension line can be threaded through eye holes or
pulleys to attach it to the kite line. Ball bearing pulleys are better since they will allow
faster and more accurate balancing movement of the cross due to changes in pitch of the
kite. Since the pulleys will create almost no friction in the line; a poorly balanced camera
and rig will be unstable and not in line with the horizon as desired. A smaller cross will
resist rotation better than a larger one, so the team will attempt to use the smallest cross
         Ball bearings also may make the Picavet suspension system slide too much in the
wind. Once the cradle is initially balanced it can also be held using loops and cord locks.
This may prove to be a better solution than pulleys.

                                     Suspension Figure 1
         The line that connects all of the points is a single continuous line that can reach 50
feet in length. A suggested threading sequence of the Picavet suspension system is A1 -
1 - B1 - R - 4 - A2 - R - 2 - B2 - 3 - A1 as shown below in Suspension Figure 2.

                                  Suspension Figure 2

        There will also be a small ring or washer in the middle of the lines as shown by
point „R‟ above. This ring will control the rotation of the cross. Without this ring, your
system will rotate undesirably.
        The team will have to experiment with different kinds of line for the suspension.
Fishing line or other types may have to be used. The team will base its decision on how
heavy the camera system is and how strong the winds are.

4.2.2 - Suspension-Kite Line Attachment
        Attaching the suspension to the kite line is another crucial aspect. The string
could be tied to the kite line in a Prussik knot. Another proposal is a Brooxes Hangup,
but this is more expensive and heavy.

                                       Brooxes Hangup
        A third idea is a “line tree” which is a simple coat hanger and a key ring. The
“line tree” is a coat hanger wrapped around the kite line which holds a key ring. The tree
will not slip and is light and inexpensive.

                                        Line Tree

        Therefore, there are many aspects when considering what kind of suspension to
use. Generally the Picavet suspension is considered the best, but there are many
variations of the design that must be taken into consideration. Some considerations are
whether or not to use pulleys, what kind of line, the size and dimension of cross and
whether or not the cross is actually in the shape of a cross. Price and weight is also a
consideration, i.e. the Brooxes Hangup.

4.3 - Preliminary Design for Camera Cradle
        The camera cradle is a very crucial aspect of the design. Ideally, the team is
hoping it can design a cradle that will incorporate both a pan and tilt feature. In order to
do this, the team must create a mount which will allow a wide range of motion. First, a
center of gravity must be determined. This must constantly be monitored as parts and
attachments are added to the video camera. This is important, because if the cradle is not
perfectly attached at the center of gravity, there will be very little control over the
movement of the camera and the camera will always be slightly off from where the user
wants it to be. The center of gravity will be determined by balancing the camera along
with its batteries, on a cylindrical object until it can remain stable. It should be tested
along all three of its axes. The point which each of these three balance points intersect,
will be its center of gravity.

4.3.1 - Camera Cradle Design
        The camera will sit on an L-shaped bracket that will connect to the camera from
the bottom. There will be room behind the camera, so that it can be attached to a U-
shaped bracket, which it will allow the camera to tilt. Next, another U-shaped bracket
will be attached to the outside of the first U, which allow for the camera to pan ninety
degrees. This will allow the camera to be able to face forward, while also having the
capability to face directly towards the ground.

                                     Diagram of Camera-Cradle

         The horizontal length of this bracket will depend on the size of the camera
chosen, as well as the other devices that are going to be attached to the bracket. The
design needs to take into account the batteries, hardware, switches, and receivers that will
be mounted to the bracket. These dimensions are going to be taken precisely once a
camera is selected. As a rough estimate, the bracket will have to be at least eight inches
to fit around the camera and any bolts and screws that will be needed to attach them

together. Also, any motor or battery pack used, can be mounted to the outside of the
panning bracket.

4.3.2 - Camera Cradle Construction
        The parts required for this design are very simple, and can most likely be found at
any hardware store. Aluminum or brasswood will most likely be the best material for the
cradle. These are durable, yet light weight. Using a carbon-fiber material for the cradle
would be ideal, although it‟s more expensive. Carbon-fiber would be very light and
extremely durable. It is expected that the weight of the cradle will be at least two pounds.
The cradle will require drilling small holes in order to attach the separate brackets to each
other. Any bolts or screws that are needed, will be very inexpensive. Approximately, the
cradle itself should cost no more than twenty-five dollars to construct. This does not
include any of the gearing mechanisms, but rather the cradle to hold the camera only.

        One of the more challenging problems the team will be facing deals with the
range of motion that the camera device will be able to display. From the first ever
designs of kite aerial photography the ranges of movement were zero to none. As the
camera support systems have further developed some support systems now have a much
greater range of motion. So in the design of the support system the goal is to construct
the system with a full range of motion, capable of moving in all directions to take every
possible shot of the landscape from the air. But if the team can not meet this goal there
are several ways to obtain good camera mobility anyway.

4.3.3 - Gear and Motor System of Camera Cradle
         The two desired ranges of motion are basically a 360 degree pan and being able to
tilt up and down at least 90 degrees. With the ability to rotate in these directions it would
be relatively easy to take the picture of virtually any desired angle. Knowing this, the
difficulty is to build a support system that has the ability to move with freedom and
remain evenly balanced and stable to ensure clear photographs. The basic way to
accomplish this is to build the device with the use of two motors. One motor will be used
to power the structure to pan in 360 degrees and the second motor would be used to tilt
the system up and down. The second motor and gears will be used at the base of the
support on the plate that the camera actually sits on. The plan would be to purchase a
small, light-weight motor connected to a series of spur gears. The motor the team will

most likely be using is a servo motor. A common servo motor rotates 180 degrees and
can be easily purchased for about $20 each. At the bottom of the suspension cable the
team would attach the gear and camera support systems. The degree of rotation of the
gears is controlled by the servo, upon command of the user. The pulses to drive the servo
position could be generated by a 555 timer circuit with a wire connection going up and
down the kite string. Also through a wire connection the pulse widths could be generated
using the PIC microcontroller. A third option is to purchase a remote control (as used for
a remote control car) to control the pulse widths. If the remote control option is used, an
antenna will most likely be attached to the support system in order to receive a strong
enough signal. With the kite flying several feet in the air the signal will need to be strong
enough to reach.

        Servo Motor                                     Internal Make up of Servo Motor

                                       Stepper Motor

        As mentioned above, the motor that will most likely be used for this project is the
servo motor. It is a very small and light weight motor that has an output shaft. These are
the motors used in most all radio controlled cars, airplanes, and robots. They can position
the shaft in specific angular positions depending upon the signal of code that is received.
For such a small size, they are very powerful and very straightforward to use. A typical
servo has up to 42 oz/inches of torque. A servo is basically made up of control circuitry,
the motor, and a set of gears. The other option may be the stepper motor and these
motors work in the same fashion as a servo motor except the gears of a stepper motor will
rotate in 7 degree intervals. This could cause a jerking motion, but they are much easier
to program and use in our situation.

Basic Diagram of a completed Kite-Camera Cradle System

                      Photograph of a completed Camera Cradle System
4.4 - Preliminary Transmission Design
        For the project, one of the goals is too be able to stream live video and data from
the kite to the ground or vice versa. Concentrating only on the video aspect of this and
the following description explains the different ways this is possible. It basically comes
down to a few types of wire transmission, fiber optic transmission and possible RF (radio
frequency) transmission. First of which is what the team has talked about using all along
and that is fiber optics. To make this happen, the team is looking at having to buy a fiber
optic video system that transmits and receives real time video signals over one multi or
single mode fiber. Using this system, the design will have the coax cable come directly
from the camcorder to the fiber optic transmitter. From there, the video will run through
the fiber optic cable about 100 feet down to the receiver side and then be connected to a
computer or video monitor on the ground. This whole system will cost between 50 and
200 dollars depend on the type of model. Two models that have the basic video
transmission are the 100E-TM1 and the LM100T transmitters.

                         Basic Schematic for Streaming Video Set Up

4.4.1 - Fiber Optic Cable
        The only other component is the fiber optic cable since the coax cable will come
with the camcorder itself. The application will need around 50 to 100 feet of fiber optics
to cover the transmission. There are many types of fiber optic cable the team can use,
such as multimode and single mode with either simplex or duplex fiber and there is also
plastic optical fiber (POF). While the single mode and multimode fibers have better
performance, they have a glass casing which may break if the fiber is bent too much, so
the POF is probably a better choice for its durability. The plastic fiber cable will cost
around 75 to 125 dollars for about 50 to 100 feet. Surprisingly research has shown less
expensive prices for the single mode simplex fiber at around 25-50 dollars for 50 to 100
feet. While the single mode fiber may be less durable, the team may still be able to use
them for this project if the team does not have to bend them at too tightly. For fiber optic
cable to work, it will be costly at around 200 dollars for the whole system, and the team
may be better off going a different route.

4.4.2 - Other Cables: S-Video Cable and Fire Wire Cable
        That‟s where the other few wire transmission solutions come into play. The
difference between these transmission links and the fiber optic ones is that it is direct.
We will be connecting a cable directly from the camcorder to the laptop so the team will
not have to deal with transmitters and receivers. One solution is to use an S-video cable
directly from the camera. For about 20 to 40 dollars the team can get 50 to 100 feet of
basic S-video cable or around a dollar a foot for more advanced S-video cable. Another
way is to use Fire Wire but it has a limited distance. The maximum length of a FireWire
cable is 4.5 meters (14.5 feet). As a result, you cannot extend the distance of your
FireWire device more than 14.5 feet without using an "active" extension cable. The 14.5
foot FireWire Active Extension cable can be chained together to extend the distance of
your FireWire device. The maximum length that can be achieved using the FireWire
extension cables reliably is 60 ft. To have Fire Wire to work it would cost around 100
dollars which about the cost of a high quality S-video cable and less distance coverage.
The last direct connection from the camcorder to the laptop would be through USB cable.
Like Fire Wire, USB cable can not extend for a long distance, so the team would have to
get a USB-C5-LC extender, which allows connection to USB port and uses CAT5 cable
that can be up to 150 feet. This whole unit is around 100 dollars which is about the same
cost as the other connection solutions.

4.4.3 – RF Transmitter
        It was mentioned before that it might be possible to transmit the video from the
camcorder wirelessly using some type of RF transmitter. After doing extensive research
a few different products were found that would allow this. One product is the Wavecom
RF-link CAM-PRO which provides a wireless link between the camcorder and TV. Cam-
Pro offers a complete solution for a way to watch camcorder images without entangling
in wires. Cam Pro consists of a transmitter, which easily connects to the camcorder with
RCA cables, and a receiver that connects to the TV in the same fashion. Images are sent
from the transmitter to the receiver using wireless RF 2.4 GHz technology. RF
transmission also eliminates the need for direct line-of-site, as required with IR (infrared).
There are several different types of RF transmitters that range from 2.4 GHz to 5.8 GHz.

A typical 2.4GHz RF transmitter is capable of sending video from up to 300 feet away
which more then suits our needs. The cost of one of these is anywhere between 45 and
120 dollars. These systems are a little older and we may have to sacrifice a little bit of
video quality for price due to the expense of the newer systems.

                                 Example of RF Transmitters

        After thoroughly comparing each type of connection from the camcorder to the
laptop it seems that S-Video or Fiber Optics would be the best and most practical solution
for wire transmission. On the other hand wireless transmission has its major advantages
and it costs about the same as S-Video and even less than Fiber Optics. Fiber Optics will
cost around 200 dollars while S-Video could cost between $20 to $100 depending on
quality and length of the cable, while an RF transmitter and receiver will cost between
$45 and $120. Due to cost constraints the team may not be able to use all of the design
components that have been discussed, but this will be further detailed in a cost analysis

These our Kite Camera Team II‟s main preliminary ideas, but the team fully expects that
during the actual building processes our design ideas and specifications will change as
the project further starts to take shape.

Section 5: Statement of Work and Design Schedule
  Section 5.1 - Introduction
  Section 5.2 - Configuration Chosen for Design
  Section 5.3 - Decision Matrix (Table 5.1)
  Section 5.4 - Design Tasks and Gantt Chart (Table 5.2)
  Section 5.5 - Cost Analysis (Table 5.3)

5.1 - Introduction
        The following section contains a statement of work and the anticipated schedule
of project work outlined in a Gantt chart, including deadlines and the work that will be
performed by each team member. Also enclosed, is the decision matrix which is a table
listing possible solutions and materials needed and considered for the project. For each
aspect of the project outlined in the decision matrix, a decision has been made as to what
design and/or material is expected to be used. Lastly, a cost analysis table has been
created to estimate the cost of the Kite Cam project.

5.2 - Configuration Chosen for Design
        Based on the research performed by the design team, decisions have been made
on each of the design components. These decisions have allowed the team to lay out a
configuration for the design. A parafoil kite will be used. From the kite‟s line, a Mustek
DV 5500 digital camcorder will be suspended, using a picavet suspension system. The
camcorder will be mounted to a “UU” Hover Variation cradle. The video will be
transmitted to the ground by using a wireless RF transmitter. The camcorder will be able
to pan and tilt by means of servo motors controlled through the use of a PIC-micro
controller. These decisions are based on research completed by the design team
according to the available products on the market. By comparing each of the products
with one-another, the team was able to make decisions according to the Kite Cam‟s

specific needs. These comparisons are laid out in a clear manner in the decision matrix
(Table 5.1).

5.3 - (Table 5.1) Decision Matrix

                                     Decision Matrix
           Product                         Pros                           Cons

Winged Box                     extremely stable design        expensive
                               excellent lift                 cannot support much weight
                               flies well in winds 8-25 mph

Rokkaku                        stable design                  expensive
                               flies well in varying winds    difficult assembly
                               can support a lot of weight

Parafoil                       launch easily                  none known
                               fly steadily at a high angle
                               nothing to assemble
 Kite Selected                 Parafoil
JVC GR-D70U                    good optical zoom 16x          heavy
                               sports mode                    expensive
                               Li ion battery
                               remote comtrol included

Canon Mini DV                  lightweight                    expensive
                               good optical zoom 18x
                               image stabilization

RCA CC973 Mini DV              lightweight                    awkward shape
                               good optical zoom 10x          expensive
                               Li ion battery
                               Image stabilization

Panasonic SV-AV10 Mini DV      Li ion battery                 expensive

Mustek DV 5500                 lightweight                    unknown company
                               Li ion Battery
                               cost effective ($100)

Camera Selected:               Mustek DV 5500
                                   Suspension Type

Picavet                     well-balanced
                            highly recommended
                            cost effective
                            easy to assemble

Direct Connection           Simple                              rigid movement
                                                                unprotected suspension
Suspension Selected:        Picavet

                                  Transmission Type
Wireless RF Transmitter     no wires                            video quality is not great
                            fairly inexpensive

S-Video                     direct connection                   more weight
                            inexpensive                         video quality is not great

Fiber Optics                lightweight                         expensive
                            supportive                          more complicated
                            best video quality

Transmission Selected:      Wireless RF Transmitter

                                      Motor Control
PIC Micro-Controller        flexible                            complicated system
                            a lot of movement control           more research

555 Timing Circuit          easier to use                       less flexibility
                                                                only periodic signals

RF Frequencies              wireless                            more hardware required
                                                                more research

Motor Control Selected:     PIC Micro-Controller

                                    Cradle Type
"UU" Design                 most simple                         only tilting capability

"UU" Hover Variation        rotates horizontal and vertically   more complex

"LL" Design                 lighter                             stable

Cradle Selected:            "UU" Hover Variation

5.4 - Design Tasks and Gantt Chart (Table 5.2)

1. By September 1, 2005 the final design of the system will be completed.
  -This will include the decisions on:
    -Type of Kite (Marc)
    -Camera Type (Walter)
    -Suspension System (Rob)
    -Transmission (Andrew)
       -Line Type
       -Power Source
    -Cradle Type (Mark)
    -Motor Control (Walter)
  Following this phase, the team will be able to begin gathering materials.

2. During these two weeks, the necessary parts and materials will be tracked down and
found for the cheapest available price. For the most part, the gathering of these materials
will be done simultaneously.

Materials and Parts:
   -Kite (Marc)
   -Camera (Mark)
   -Construction Materials for Camera Cradle (Mark)
   -Motors (Walter)
   -PIC software/chips (Walter)
   -Transmission Wire (Andrew)
   -Power Source Equipment (Andrew)
   -Construction Materials for Suspension System (Rob)

By the end of this time slot the team will have all of the components necessary to begin
the construction of the individual components of the Kite Camera system

3. In this step of the project the team will begin and complete the construction of the
camera cradle system. The construction will be based on the specifications of the camera
to be used.

4. By September 1st the team will have chosen the specific suspension style for the
camera cradle system and from September 15th until October 14th the team will be
putting this system together and ensuring that it will support the necessary weight.

5. After collecting the kite and the line of choice, the team will put the kite together.

6. From the time that the necessary programs and programming equipment (chips, etc.)
the code will be written to allow the complete ranges of motion.

7. The team will test all of the components on the ground to make sure they work well
individually before the team assembles the entire Kite Cam. Testing must be done on the
ground first so the team won't waste precious flight time.

8. All of the parts will be assembled to make sure they work and fit together the way they
were designed. Everyone will take their part and adjust and modify it so everything
works and meshes well together.

9. The flight tests will test the effectiveness and stability of the kite, the reliability of the
video and batteries, the sharpness of the video, and other vital aspects integral to the Kite
Cam. During this stage the team will also start the transmission tests.
(Flight tests mostly Marc, Mark, and Rob)

10. Transmission tests will test the effectiveness of the video transmission. It will also
test the servo functionality and the battery life.
(Transmission tests mainly Walter and Andrew)

11. The team will fix any problems that the team encountered during the flight and
transmission tests and present the final Kite Cam to the instructors.

(Table 5.2) Gantt Chart:

        Throughout the design process, different aspects of the Kite Camera will need to
be tested. Before the team assembles the Kite Camera, each component must be tested
separately, to make sure it is functioning properly. The camera cradle will be tested to
make sure it has appropriate movement capabilities and the camera will be fitted into its
position on the cradle. In order to test the suspension system, the team will suspend

weights in the appropriate position, before attaching the camera cradle system. This will
ensure that the suspension system can support the proper amount of weight prior to
risking any vital equipment. The kite will be flown independently before assembling any
camera equipment, so the team can test the kite‟s flying abilities and maneuvering
capabilities. Also, the movement of the motors will be tested on the ground, prior to
attaching them to the kite assembly. Each of these testing processes can be carried out
throughout the design process, to make sure unnecessary work is not being done.
        Once each of the design components has been tested independently, the Kite
Camera can be fully assembled. There will still be some ground testing left to do in order
to make sure the electrical components are functioning properly. Following these
electrical tests, flight tests can begin. The team will run many tests with different wind
conditions and different camera angles in order to determine the optimal conditions. The
testing of the fully assembled Kite Camera is estimated to commence on November 8,
2005 and will conclude mid-December 2005.

5.5 - (Table 5.3) Cost Analysis

                         Cost Analysis

                           Materials                       Quantity      Cost ($)
        Kite                                                        1          200
        Camera                                                      1          250
        Camera Cradle                                               1           30
        Cradle Suspension                                           1           30
        Servo (one 180deg, one 360deg rotation)                     2          100
        #12 THHN Cu wire (stranded)                            100 ft.          20
        Wireless RF Video Transmitter/Receiver                      1          150
        Power Supply                                                1           50

                                                               Total:         830

Section 6: Conclusion

        The team came to the conclusion that more research is needed concerning motors
to move the camera and transmission of the video. These involved topics may need more
research and discussion to come to a definitive final conclusion. The Kite Camera is
becoming much more involved than initially thought. The integrated systems must all
work together flawlessly so the camera obtains clear and accurate pictures. In order to
get this result, multiple tests must be performed and the parts must be reconfigured
continuously to mesh these different systems together. Another possible problem could
be funding. Cameras might have to be shared and fiber optic line could be ruled out due
to cost as well. Overall, the testing phase of this project is paramount and vital to the
success of the Kite Camera.

Section 7 – References




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