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Aerospace Need Help with Drones

  1. Jan 21, 2017 #1
    Hello , i am Arnendu from India , I am really very exited to participate in Google Science Fair 2017 .. but i am very much confused in choosing the best science project for me which can make me winner. I loves aerospace and Robotics a lot so at first i was thinking about to make a drone that can detect terrorists who are among public but some difficulties i face to make the detector that can detect weapons. So i wanted you to advice me some great ideas on drone to save humanity. should i go on the previous project or choose another one but i wanted to make modern drones. wanted advise....
     
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  3. Jan 21, 2017 #2

    Drakkith

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    You're idea for a drone that can detect weapons and terrorists is an admirable one, but I feel that it is well beyond your current abilities. The U.S. Military cannot yet make a drone that can do this (at least not remotely, without a pilot/operator to assist it). Instead I'd focus on a single concept that could apply to a drone.

    For example, you could focus on the sensor and how to program it to detect certain weapons. This is a very complicated process since the detection and recognition of different shapes by the computer is a non-trivial problem. You'd have to learn how to program (if you don't already), how the sensor functions, how the software and hardware communicate, and various other things. I'd start with the programming aspect and learn how to develop an object recognition program.

    Also, I wouldn't focus on trying to find a project that will win the science fair. I'd just try to find a project which will have a meaningful impact on the world, even if it is just a small improvement in an existing technology or technique.
     
  4. Jan 22, 2017 #3
    but how to build that type of sensor ?? i have no idea about it ?? please suggest me ..
     
  5. Jan 22, 2017 #4

    Drakkith

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    I'm afraid I cannot help you, as I have little experience building drones and sensors and such. You'd probably have to purchase the sensor from somewhere, but I have no idea where you could get one.
     
  6. Jan 22, 2017 #5
    It's not a robot, but it is related to your idea. You could create a network of cameras that recognises dangerous situations as they happen. Such as rapid dispersal of populations from a specific point, which would indicate something bad is in the process of happening. With so work you could also link such a system to an Ai, that will learn odd behaviour/movement patterns among a populated area. Could be used as an early warning system to alert authorities. I suppose you could also set up a neighbourhood watch app that alerts the user to such an event so you can help, or tell the Ai all is well. This could also help the Ai learn a normal event from a dangerous one. Like a spam filter.
     
  7. Jan 22, 2017 #6

    berkeman

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    That is very noble of you to pick that project for your science fair project. It is good to try to be a good person, in addition to being good at science and math.

    I'll offer a suggestion for the sensor, but then I need to offer some important practical advice about this.

    To detect metallic weapons like pistols and rifles, you can use a low-power circularly polarized radar that chirps through wavelengths that correspond to the physical sizes of such weapons. Your radar receiver would pick up radar returns from such metallic weapons. You would probably use an antenna array to steer your sensor and the receive antenna beam over an area in front of the drone. This is well-developed technology.

    But beyond that, since metallic weapons are fairly easy to detect, terrorists will do their best to assemble weapons that do not involve much metal. Pistols and rifles can be made with ceramic materials, or just 3-D printed using strong plastic materials (dosposable weapons). IEDs can be made with ceramic or plastic or other casing materials, and chemical and biological weapons do not need metallic casings.

    But the problem with doing research about these other weapon modalities to try to design sensors for them, is that if you spend much time doing that on the Internet, you will start raising red flags with the monitoring services that watch for terrorist activity. I would recommend that you not do much research into detailed terrorist weapon detection, because that could put you on some watch lists that I would never want to be put on.

    Just some friendly advice. You can certainly get a lot of mileage from a standard beam-steered, chirped radar antenna array with signal processing to detect metallic pistol and rifle weapons with your drone for your project, IMO. The biggest problem is that such an antenna array will need to be about the size of the weapons you want to detect, so your antenna array will be pretty large compared to size of your drone itself.

    Have fun, and stay smart! :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  8. Jan 24, 2017 #7
    thanks for the suggestions. it is really helpful. but i find some trouble to make the radar you said before . please describe the whole process how can i make the sensor ? thanks in advance
     
  9. Jan 24, 2017 #8

    berkeman

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    If you make a radar apparatus/sensor, you will need to get it certified in your country before you can use it. There are government regulations that cover intentional emitters of EM radiation (like radios, cell phones, walkie talkies, HAM radios, etc.). You can't just build one and start transmitting (and interfering with other EM communications).

    That said, you can certainly start with a Google search, to get you information on how to design, build, test and certify a low-power radar sensor. You can certainly do a research paper for your project that describes how the sensor would be built and how it could be used (and its limitations like the ones I mentioned).
    It's your project after all, so you should be doing the work, right? :smile:
     
  10. Jan 24, 2017 #9
    thanks ... but give a headstart .. please
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2017
  11. Jan 24, 2017 #10

    berkeman

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    Nope. This is your schoolwork project, and we require that you do the bulk of the work. What I wrote above is your head-start, and you need to take it from there. Besides, it will be fun to learn about the topics that I outlined regarding the radar sensor. :smile:
     
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