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Author Topic: Video camera in RC live feed  (Read 842 times)


  • Guest
Video camera in RC live feed
« on: December 05, 2011, 06:20:44 pm »

 The live camera view from inside your RC model as it goes on about its task is amazing. The RC cars and RC boats have little to no problems with the Legal system here in the US.  The RC aircraft with Video feeds have really made a mess of things with the law. The aircraft providing live views while they fly make it easy to take them far away and up to great altitudes and still be controlled with ease.
        The FAA shut down the comercial operators and fined them alot of money. The FAA is trying to hammer out Laws and regulations for this new technology and grounded everything till they do. The FAA claims the aircraft are to much of a hazard to full sized aircraft as well as people on the ground, Okay I see the point 5 to 6 pounds of battery hitting anything is going to leave a mark but doesn't everything we do come with some risk. I don't know what the answer is but it sure hurts to have something so amazing like this shot down before it even got started.
   What are your thoughts on this?
    Can it be possible to operate within reason?


  • Guest
Re: Video camera in RC live feed
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 07:03:08 pm »

AFAIK there's 2 systems in place over here for FPV flying - roughly speaking they are;

1. An article bfrom the BMFA
# "What is first person R/C?"

First person R/C is a relatively new aspect of model flying activity. It is a system whereby a radio control model aircraft is piloted, not through direct line of sight, but by using a live video downlink from an onboard camera allowing the pilot to experience a 'cockpit view' and to control the aircraft from the visual perspective of an on-board camera.

The latest generation of lightweight camera equipment combined with developments in data transmission have enabled this type of flying to be carried out cost effectively and with small lightweight airframes.

Equipment is now becoming commercially available which allows the on-board camera to be gimbal mounted and driven by servo motors which are in turn linked to a gyro controlled headset worn by the operator. This allows the pilot to point the camera mounted on the aircraft in almost any direction by moving his head.
# Safety concerns

The equipment described potentially presents the pilot with opportunity to fly the aircraft out of normal unaided visual range by utilising the 'cockpit view'.

Where an aircraft is being flown either using a headset or a monitor screen there is cause for concern in any emergency situation, either due to pilot error (disorientation, or unsure of position) or systems failure (loss of data link), as the pilot may not be able to re-acquire the aircraft visually with sufficient speed to prevent a crash.

This problem may be compounded due to lack of spatial and positional awareness as well as lack of information on other external factors (such as the location of other model aircraft and persons).
# Control measures

A mechanism to address the above concerns is already in place within radio control flying. This is the Buddy Box system which is regularly employed to train ab-initio pilots in radio control flying.

This is a system of electronically linking two transmitters in a master and slave configuration, whereby a switch on the master provides the facility to instantly transfer control of the aircraft to either transmitter.

After consultations with the Civil Aviation Authority and our insurers, the BMFA is happy to confirm that First Person R/C will be a legal and recognised aspect of model flying and as such covered by the BMFA Insurance policy but ONLY where the following conditions are applied:
# The activity is solely for ‘sport and recreation’ purposes.
# Two pilots must take part
# A buddy box system must be employed
# The pilot in charge must operate the master transmitter
# The pilot in charge must not wear the headset or view a screen
# The aircraft remains within the natural unaided visual range of the pilot in charge
# Reliable operation of the Buddy Box is established
# A clear handover protocol is established
# The pilot in charge is solely responsible for the safety of the flight

These operating conditions very clearly place the legal responsibility for the safety of the flight on the pilot in charge.

Only by compliance with the above procedures can First Person RC take place as a lawful and insurable aspect of model flying activity".

2.  Small, light 'foam based' models upto IIRC 1.8kg, (4 lbs), can fly solo with an 'observer' when in a 'safe flying zone' see for a copy of the exemption.

My advise would be to contact the AMA and ask them to find out the systems approved by the BMFA (#1 above), and the FPVUK guys (#2 above).  Then they can approach the FAA with knowledge of a system approved in the UK.

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