Good morning, all!
I was just introduced to the ArduSub project yesterday via a friend that had heard about it, and have been devouring the information on your overview site with a lot of excitement.
I have a small business that offers scale model submarine kits and components (www.rc-submarine.com) and I also offer buildup services for these kits. Historically, control of these craft is accomplished via standard hobby RC gear operating on 75mhz and using hobby transmitters and receivers. Control of the functions of the boat is handled through add-on modules such as pitch controllers, ESC’s, depth controllers, failsafes, etc. which are connected between the receiver and the control units, which are typically pumps, motors and servos.
I’m excited about the possibility of utilizing ArduSub to control these submarine models, as the additional functionality and flexibility is something that this small hobby desperately needs in order to grow and flourish.
Having said all of that, I was hoping to find out if you think that the ArduSub platform would be applicable to this use.
Standard configuration for an RC submarine would see:
- Via a single or dual shaft conventional propeller, rear-facing
- Typically brushed motors, however conversion to brushless is possible and is becoming more commonplace
- Via fore and aft dive planes powered by servos
- In typical setup, rear planes autonomously control the pitch of the model in an effort to keep it level. This can be overridden by the operator in order to pitch the model forward or back during operation.
- Forward planes dynamically control the depth of the model
- Forward and aft planes are usually on separate channels, though some users link together for simultaneous operation.
- via a pump (brushed motor) that empties or fills a ballast tank
- some systems also use a servo to control an air vent that “blows” ballast or opens a vent valve
*via rudders that are powered by a servo
- peripheral features such as open/close torpedo launch doors (servo), fire torpedo (relay or servo), raise/lower periscopes (motor), lighting (relay), sound (dedicated sound board powered by PPM inputs)
New features not typically seen in this hobby, but that ArduSub may be able to offer: (My wish list)
- Depth control via pressure sensor manipulation of the ballast system and/or forward dive planes
- Bottom collision avoidance via depth sounder (in development?)
- Object collision avoidance via scanning sonar (in development?)
- Information and data relay back to operator during operation (heading, depth, speed, battery condition, etc)
The typical configuration of these submarines is not one that appears to be supported in the standard options that are are outlined in the overview of the ArduSub project, however I don’t think that an alternative setup to match what we need would require much in the way of configuration changes as the system already supports servo and motor outputs. It’s really just switching outputs from motors to servos in most cases (in my amateur opinion, anyway).
So, long story short, is there anyone out there with ArduSub experience that can comment as to the feasibility of using the system to control a scale model submarine rather than an ROV?
Your help is very much appreciated!
Naples, FL, USA