[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”350”] arducopter, old config.. updated pictures will follow[/caption]
I got my arducopter up and running the past week. I updated to the latest firmware (3.0.1). Previously I had to fight wires to calibrate the multicopter during the compass calibration dance. But I found out that you can do most of the setup of the arducopter over the XBee telemetry, so I don’t get tangled anymore. Having calibrated my compass properly and compensating for compass drift due to motor and ESC interference (compassmot values down to 5%!) I get really good GPS hold / loiter performance. During rather windy conditions my multicopter wouldn’t drift outside a 2x2m box. During calm wind conditions this was a square meter box at most. Rather impressive performance for a budget quadcopter. Next up, flying some way point missions.
The Nature Communications paper that was recently accepted and on which I contributed can be downloaded from the Nature website! (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/130805/ncomms3269/full/ncomms3269.html). Congrats to all co-authors on pushing this along.
Another paper with Simon Lewis as lead author was also recently published. They used some of the our data to quantify above ground biomass for 260 plots across tropical africa (http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/368/1625/20120295.short).
I recently started to plan a new field campaign in both Yangambi as well as Yoko. The aim is to collect more wood (core) samples for stable isotope analysis as well as some leaf samples for a diachronic analysis of leaf morphology.
However, talking to people at the Royal Museum for Central Africa I might reconsider and make due with my current samples. It seems that tensions have run high between ‘white’ people and the local population both in Kisangani and Yangambi due to a clash of cultures and expectations. Although I never felt threatened during the last field campaign it only shows how vulnerable interpersonal relations are in DR Congo and how the colonial past still plays a big role in day to day interactions. Although we make it clear that we, as scientists, are not there for diamonds, sometimes it is still perceived to be so.
So I’m still on the fence on this one… more later…
I’m finally migrating my old google sites blog to a more pleasing wordpress layout. Most of the data (downloads) will be migrated to the new site, old post on my google sites blog will be partially copied to populate my otherwise rather empty (at first) new blog. Older posts will remain on the old blog. I plan to rewrite some of my short tutorials (bash / GRASS / R scripts) in pages on this blog or blogposts. As such I will not copy these either.