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'[EE]:helicopter simulation programs PIC16C74A'
2002\04\08@172449 by Dal Wheeler

It'd seem to me that a gyroscope would be more what you want for this kind
of application.  Your method assumes the ground is perfectly level and flat
and can get pretty accurate distance measurements.

That said,
gives several pic example projects of measuring distances with ultrasonics.

You'd have to either have large distances between transducers on your
carriage or super tight distance readings; maybe both.  Is this test being
done indoors?

{Original Message removed}

2002\04\10@130545 by Benjamin Bromilow

I read about a similar device recently in a radio control aeroplane magazine
(RCM+E  [UK] if I remember correctly though I haven't got that edition
anymore to check). It was based upon AVR uCs AFAIR. Seemed mostly to rely on
accelerometers rather than the ultrasound approach, though I like the idea.
A couple of issues though....
Is the accuracy of ultrasound enough though? A small inaccuracy could result
in a big movement. You'ld presumably also need a "rudder" stabilising
circuit/device (eg a gyro) to stop the tail wandering. Wouldn't the US
system get rather confused when taking off from grass? I would expect the
downdraft would make the grass wave all over the place resulting in a
terribly noisy signal? Perhaps not for a simple pulse reflection
In addition, if the heli did go off the horizontal at any height (ie due to
a gust of wind) won't the signal get reflected away from the heli completely
bogging up the system? Out of control egg whisk time! Ouch....
Interesting project though :)

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