Project NUAV is an initiative to diversify drone development at Northeastern University. With initiatives ranging from competitive drone racing to autonomous UAV development, NUAV appeals to a range of student interest by providing hands-on experience in constructing various systems. 

Quad in the flight line at Purdue University

Current Developments:

  • Quad Camp NU: An educational project for the construction of first person view (FPV) drones in which students build, code, and configure quadcopters from scratch and learn to pilot them. Beginning with micro drones, students will get used to piloting from the view of on-board cameras to eventually advance to larger and more advanced builds typically seen in competitions.

NU FPV race stand

  • Lap RF: Radio Frequency Timing System: Development of a radio frequency-based timing system to track the proximity of drones during races. With race heats consisting of up to 8 quadcopters flying in excess of 70 mph, precise timing systems are needed to accurately record the performance of pilots. Using open source firmware and hardware, we are designing, coding, and building a custom lap timing system for use by the NUAV drone racing team.

Spring 2018 lab work

  • Solar Wing: Long Range UAV: Using existing flight controller, solar, and long range radio systems, NUAV members are constructing a unique airframe capable of autonomous operation with extended flight capabilities from solar power. Learning from VTOL, (the predecessor of Learn to Fly: FPV Racing) a PixHawk 4 flight controller is being used with capabilities ranging from autonomous flight to data logging. Following an initial prototype, we will incorporate long range radio systems, solar cells, and video systems for real-time flight monitoring.

Spring 2018 flight controller wiring

  • X-Class Racing at Northeastern (to begin after the Fall 2018 semester): X-Class racing is a recent advancement in the FPV industry in which frames of 800mm to 1200mm (motor to motor size) are pitted against one another in high speed competition (normal FPV frames are around 200mm). This project will build and design a high powered X-Class racing drone around a custom designed frame by our students. Using CAD and prototyping techniques (3D printing, Laser cutting, CNC, etc…) this project will build a unique frame capable of FPV flight on a much larger scale.

Boston park fly-in spring 2018