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Looking For Help And Ideas On My Project


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I am trying to come up with different ideas on how to achieve a certain project I have come up with and I am looking for advice from others as to possibly other ways to do this or possibly make my idea a little cleaner. What I am trying to achieve is a self-contained unit that be carried on my UAV (an RC airplane) I am trying to be able to do site surveying for large wifi WAN installations. Basically being able to send the UAV up with predetermined waypoints for it to go on such as what the outer limits of the area that’s trying to be covered and being able to see if there are any other WIFI signals that are bleeding into the area and what the strengths of the signals are, the GPS coordinates and things like that. This is what I am just wanting to start with, I have plans to do more things but I think that this is a good starting point. In addition, I would like to be able to connect to the plane while it is up in the air and stream the info back to my laptop at the ground station.

Here are the ways I have thought of so far, please feel free to share any thoughts on anything I have come up with.

1. Getting a gumstix overo fire setup and installing say an Alfa driver or something similar to be able to make the wifi on the stick is able to sniff. Doing this seem the best for me as it would be the lightest weight in the air. Then to connect back I would either use something like an XBee module to send the signal back to the laptop or setup the stick with a specific IP and connect from my laptop that way. I see issues with both ways

2. Using an XBee module to power and connect ALFA adapter to, and sending the signal back through the XBee modules. Making it a wireless connection to the ALFA adapter and the UAV carries it around where I want it.

On board the UAV there is a GPS unit as well that I should be able to send signals from that to whatever way I end up going with and using that for the ability to log coordinates. Thanks for reading my long ramble and look forward to any ideas thoughts or anything. Weight is my biggest concern I can see once I can figure out how to send the signal from the UAV I can just add another antenna tracker to my setup to be able to get the cleanest signal from the UAV so I do not see that as an issue. If anyone needs any further info on the products I am talking about I can post links to their info.

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