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Curtis Olson
Works at Airborne Technologies, Inc.
Attended Globe High School
Lives in Minneapolis, MN
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Curtis Olson

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People have been flying the skywalker variants for years.  Here is some onboard video from mine ... two manual hand launches, and then a bit of autonomous flying.  I only have 6 flights on this airframe so I'm still tuning and tweaking things a bit, but I'm getting to the point where it flies around the sky pretty well.
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Emerald Lake photo sphere.
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Thank you wired, now the whole thing has been ruined for me. :-)
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Senior Telemaster, fun with stats: I flew 4 flights today, 2 hr 20 mins of flight time logged, 100% autonomous. 4 solid auto launches, 4 reasonable auto landings. The only time I touched the controls was for pre-flight checks and to taxi the aircraft back to the staging area. This telemaster now has over 70 hours of flight time, 66 of that is under autonomous control. It's not a fast bird, but it has now covered 1722nm of distance over the ground (almost 3200 km). The hybrid autopilot in the telemaster has flown 4 minutes shy of 5000 minutes (83 hours) autonomously in 6 different airframes.
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If anyone is still interested, I wrote up a couple blog articles (parts 1-5) which touch on a lot of aspects of what I'm up to: http://gallinazo.flightgear.org/uas/ardupilot/hacking-the-apm2-part-1-introduction/
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The guts of my beaglebone/apm2 hybrid autopilot system laid out on the table, running, tested, and ready for airframe integration. This approach offers a 'simple' (simpler?) way to add a full suite of sensors and RC interfaces to a beaglebone computer (or really any linux computer with a spare USB or UART.)
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Sea bird off the coast of Oahu.
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Curtis Olson

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Panoramic 360 view from the top of Twin Sisters (11,400 ft) earlier today. The big mountain to the west is Longs Peak. Towards the east we are above the clouds.
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Mountain meadow, Allenspark, CO
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Two autonomous landings from today.  Winds were a bit breezy/gusty with some thermals, but were averaging about 10 mph ... enough to slap me around a bit, but nothing the telemaster can't easily handle.
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Beautiful landings! 
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RIP Skywalker 1900. You flew majestically for 5 seconds!

Everything checked out good and looked good, stability augmentation was all in the right direction and turned down to zero for the maiden. I walked out to an open area, faced into the gentle breeze, ran the throttle up to about 2/3rds and it practically wanted to rip itself out of my hand. So I took a step forward and released it and it wanted to go straight up. With a 4 cell battery t has the power to fly vertical I think. So I quickly moved my throwing hand back to the transmitter to give some nose down, but in the process, I bumped one of the switches. Sadly it was the manual/autonomous switch. I had not given serious thought to the autopilot configuration or checked through it because this was going to be a 100% manual maiden. So I watched helplessly (not initially realizing which switch I bumped) as the thing went full throttle, nosed over, and flew straight into the ground. Bahhh.... :-(
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With some help from my daughter Amelia, we found a break in the rain and went out and did a redo on the maiden flight.  This time things went reasonably well.  I needed a fair bit of nose down trim and the conditions were a bit breezy for this design (judging by the direction of flight sometimes being backwards) but after some fiddling, she flies pretty ok for a cheap hunk of foam.  The fuselage looks like a banana after my crash, but in the air she flies straight.

I had one issue where the airspeed would sometimes go to zero in the air and stay there. (?)  It all checked out on the ground and I didn't have the static/dynamic lines reversed.  So I'm not sure what's going on there ... if it's mechanical or electrical?

I did about 20-30 seconds of autonomous flight (things looked reasonable) but then the airspeed indication crapped out.  What fun would life be if everything worked perfectly on the first try? :-)
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Beaglebone + APM2 hybrid autopilot end-to-end system check before installing in an airframe. Lot's of pretty blinking LED's!
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It's an ardupilot, a beaglebone, a gps, and a 3dr radio modem, all madly
flashing their led's.
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Taken at Oshkosh.
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In his circles
141 people
Have him in circles
264 people
Singular Aircraft's profile photo
David Knoll's profile photo
Eugenio Roscini Vitali's profile photo
Bruce Hellstrom's profile photo
Jorge Juan Chico's profile photo
Mick Rakauskas's profile photo
Torsten Dreyer's profile photo
Amie M Mitchell's profile photo
Csap Kod's profile photo
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Minneapolis, MN
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Occupation
Flight simulation and embedded avionics engineer. (and UAS test pilot.)
Employment
  • 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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Best and largest apple fritter we have ever eaten.
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months 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 - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Wow, this was the best ice cream we have had in a long time! Enough said!!!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year 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 - a year ago
reviewed a year 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 - a year ago
reviewed a year 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 - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago