Title page for ETD etd-08142006-101925

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hastings, Benjamin E.
URN etd-08142006-101925
Title Design of a Micro Wireless Instrumented Payload for Unmanned Vehicle Testing
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wicks, Alfred L. Committee Chair
Reinholtz, Charles F. Committee Member
Stilwell, Daniel J. Committee Member
  • unmanned vehicles
  • wireless instrumentation
  • GPS
  • inertial navigation
Date of Defense 2006-07-31
Availability unrestricted

The testing of unmanned vehicles presents a need for an independent device capable of accurately collecting position and orientation data. While commercial-off-the-shelf components could be pieced together to sense and record this information, this is an expensive, large, and heavy solution, not suitable for small or aerial vehicles. The micro wireless instrumented payload, or μWIP, was designed precisely for this purpose.

The μWIP includes a GPS receiver, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, and 3-axis magnetometer which are used to measure an unmanned vehicle's position and orientation. The device also uses a secure digital card for data storage, and an 802.11b module to provide wireless connectivity. Additionally, the μWIP contains a on-board battery and the circuitry required to charge it. Firmware for the ARM7 processor was written to allow sensor calibration and data transmission, and a user interface was designed to run on a personal computer.

The finished design is a tiny 3''x5''x1'', and weighs a mere 0.8 pounds including battery and antennas. It is capable of continuously streaming accurate GPS and inertial data over an 802.11b wireless network for over 5 hours. Having a bill of materials cost just over $600, the μWIP is also more cost effective than any alternative solutions.

This thesis details the hardware and software design of the μWIP, as well as the initial testing, calibration, and evaluation of the device.

  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
 28.8 Modem   56K Modem   ISDN (64 Kb)   ISDN (128 Kb)   Higher-speed Access 
  uWIP.pdf 9.04 Mb 00:41:50 00:21:31 00:18:49 00:09:24 00:00:48

Browse All Available ETDs by ( Author | Department )

dla home
etds imagebase journals news ereserve special collections
virgnia tech home contact dla university libraries

If you have questions or technical problems, please Contact DLA.