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Curtis Olson
Works at University of Minnesota
Attended Globe High School
Lives in Minneapolis, MN
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Curtis Olson

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I managed to stay off camera <whew!> but here is a local news story about the project I'm involved with and the research-grade autopilot we are developing.
You've heard of self-driving cars, but how about self-flying drones? Not only do they exist, the technology is being developed in Minnesota.
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Would this be called a FLIR-ie? IR camera says I'm starting to get a thin spot back there ... hmmm.
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Nah - it's just a hot spot on your head caused by an active brain and some serious thoughts, nothing to worry about. 
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University of Minnesota wind tunnel. 
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I just look at others in awe, but it would be fun to learn how to actually
use the thing some day.
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Curtis Olson

Building  - 
 
Playing with MAdesigner and a laser cutter. This is a naca0018 root airfoil blended to clarky at the tip. Includes washout, top-side build tabs, hole cutouts and control surface cutouts. I'm excited!!! I started developing MAdesigner several Christmas's ago (as a vacation from other projects) and this is the first time I've been able to physically cut out a design. Next task is to clean up some things in the designer code to help make the result be a bit more build-able. http://madesigner.flightgear.org/
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I love airplanes, and it would be great to be able to come up with design ideas and knock them out quickly ... that's what I'm hoping I can do with this software tool and a laser cutter.  Plus because shapes and cutouts are all parameterized and autogenerated, you can do quite a bit of complex blending and curving which would be difficult or at least tedious to do by other means.  This first cutout definitely was instructive for me and I have a whole list of improvements I want to make before I put real balsa wood in the laser cutter and build something for real.
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This is a short early morning flight. There is still frost on the ground in the shadows of trees. This was flown 100% fpv at a remote hay field.
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I took a picture of a Christmas tree.
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Have him in circles
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Curtis Olson

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(Picture of Hamid, not me.) :-)
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Excitement for the evening: I'm getting SBUS out of my X6R receiver connected to my Taranis radio. I'm seeing the SBUS bytes on my UAV sensor board. Now I just need to decode the bytes and I'm down to one signal wire between the RC receiver and my autopilot. (Yes, ardupilot has had this for years, but I can't let them have all the fun.)
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Thanks Tridge! That's always been an example of really cool/clever code! I have been running down the path of what I like to call "big processor/little processor" architecture. Little processor does all (or most) of the sensor I/O and RC/actuator handling. Big processor (probably linux) suddenly has no hard real time/threading needs because all that low level stuff that is difficult to do in linux space gets taken care of by the 'little' processor. The little processor isn't trying to run an EKF, navigation, logging, and everything. Even a lowly APM2 has plenty of horsepower to do pure sensor I/O. The goal is for two fairly simple applications to manage instead of one giant program that handles every sensor, every platform, etc. Like all engineering choices, this has plusus and minus. I'm hoping by the end of winter I will have tightly integrated Python support running on board the aircraft so that missions and tasks and other higher level functions can be coded up in a simpler/tighter/flexible syntax independent of the core C++ code. Some of my architecture decisions are to allow significant python-ification.

https://github.com/AuraUAS/

Here is my off ramp into my own crazy little world:

https://github.com/AuraUAS/aura-props

:-)

Curt.
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Please, Please, Please, Please, Please ... THROW THE STICK!
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Curtis Olson

Building  - 
 
I just posted a quick update on my open-source model aircraft design software project. I did a bit of work to improve part nesting on the layout sheets. It's far from 'optimal', but pretty acceptable if you are cutting just one model.
One of the challenges when using rapid prototyping tools is laying out the parts on the cut sheet with minimal material waste. This is actually quite a challenging problem to solve optimally, but there are strategies we can use to reach an acceptable part arrangement in a reasonable amount of ...
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This is the group I work with at the U of MN.
A team of researchers at the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Laboratory are creating the next generation of research aircraft flight control system. The “Goldy” system allows researchers to pilot the ai...
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Flew my mini-tri via FPV today which was a fun experience. Also took the skywalker up for a 15 minute flight.
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Yeah, there's never enough time to fly, thus my posting of a notable event in my life. :-)
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Have him in circles
292 people
Patrick McTie's profile photo
Tatsuhiro Nishioka's profile photo
James Turner's profile photo
Gonzalo Velasco Conde (UAV DRONE pilot)'s profile photo
Eric Lorenzo Benjamin Jr's profile photo
Grussing Roofing, Inc.'s profile photo
Eric Colburn's profile photo
fo fs's profile photo
Claudio Marchi's profile photo
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Currently
Minneapolis, MN
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Work
Occupation
Flight simulation and embedded avionics engineer. (and UAS test pilot.)
Employment
  • University of Minnesota
    Aerospace Engineer, 2015 - present
    Currently (as of fall 2015) working on a precision agriculture project, blending guidance navigation and control technology with aerial image collection and processing.
  • Airborne Technologies, Inc.
    Embedded Avioinics Engineer, UAS Designer, Chief Test Pilot, present
Education
  • Globe High School
    1982 - 1985
  • Bethel College
    Computer Science Major, Math Minor, 1985 - 1989
  • University of Minnesota
    Computer Science, M.Sc., 1992 - 1996
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Male
Best and largest apple fritter we have ever eaten.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Wow! A great, world class, live magic show and kid friendly too. Our kids have seen local magicians do a few tricks at school or the fair, but never anything remotely close to this and they were completely blown away. Highly recommended, and one of the first places we'll visit again when we go back to the Dells.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Wow, this was the best ice cream we have had in a long time! Enough said!!!
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Carvelli's was a really pleasant surprise for us. They offered really great service, the chef rocked, and the food was wonderful. This was definitely the best restaurant we visited during our 4 days at the Dells. Our vacation at the Dells was marked by some big hits and some big misses so we weren't quite sure what to expect walking in off the street. Carvelli's is right at the top of our family's "hit" column. If you are looking for a place with some character and class (that isn't just another chain restaurant) definitely put Carvelli's towards the top of your list of restaurants to visit while you are staying at the Dells! Here's a quick parking tip: the main street through the downtown dells area is all parking meters, but if you turn off on a side street (like Cedar) we found it really easy to find a free spot just a half block off the main drag.
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Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
9 reviews
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I wish we would have read the reviews here before we went. They have a beautiful outdoor patio and we visited on a perfect evening for sitting outside. But everything others here have said about the food rang true for us. When they brought out our dish of butter packets, there was some used chewing gum stuck to the top of one of the packets. That grossed us out, but it's an honest mistake if the dish was recycled from another table and we were willing to forgive that. But then my daughter's hamburger was really under-cooked and things just didn't improve from there. It's a beautiful place so I wish I could write a better review ... maybe on a different night if we ordered different things it would have been better?
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Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
We just wandered in on a whim because we pretty much made it to the end of the whole downtown stretch and hadn't found anything else the kids were willing to eat. We had a great experience. The prices were very reasonable and the food was really tasty -- and the service was also very good. We would definitely eat here again next time we visit the dells.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago