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Thread: Drone Mounted Laser Projector

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    85

    Default Drone Mounted Laser Projector

    Getting ready to start a new project. The idea is: big, heavy lift drone + laser projector (monochrome or Rgb) must have sandisk preloaded graphix + 12v battery and inverter. The plan: fly drone and project custom light design on specific high elevation target for a minute or so. I'm calling it "aerial laser graffiti". My idea so far is to sling the projector/battery and inverter under the drone. Solenoid controlled shutter so that the projector can remain running as long as the battery lasts. Any ideas for suitable projectors would be great. The lighter weight, the better. Single diode color would work too, probably pull less current as well. I've seen a couple of Chinese models that would work, current draw seems a little high though:

    Here is one model:
    http://www.eelight.com/sd-card-500mw...stem-p-86.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    1 hr from everything in SoCal
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    2,619

    Default

    I don't want to sound like a jerk but there are so many reasons why this is a horrible idea and all of them have to do with safety. Believe me, you don't want the FAA to give you trouble and something like this could get you into very big trouble.
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,513

    Default

    I am currently building a drone that could carry any projector out there. The purpose is to allow it to loft long antennas that are impractical to mount on a tower as well as allow the usual video streaming. Before I discuss the safety caveats about the projector, the drone needs to be designed differently than the typical, small, fast commercial units. You need very low disk loading and more specifically, low prop span loading. This necessitates a large, but very light weight structure. Unless you are very budget limited, carbon fiber is almost unavoidable. The parasitic weight of the frame reduces your flight time dramatically. Higher loading reduces lift efficiency, adds to motor inefficiency and as the C rate on the battery(s) rises the available energy storage decreases.

    Remember, you will be flying this at night and so good avoidance lighting is a must. If your budget allows, a FLIR camera can be substituted for the typical FPV camera as well.

    Now the caveat. This projector will be outdoors (obviously) and although terminated (usually) it doesn't have to be. This is an FAA no no. So, be aware that you will be outside the law. You might want to consider some high power, incoherent LED spots on a SS relay controlled by an Arduino board. This is legal and it can be MUCH brighter. I have looked into this and the off road LED "work lights" will give you an idea for what is available.

    I'll send you a PM tomorrow, as I'm sure this thread will generate some nervous responses.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    85

    Default

    It is a little risky, without a doubt. Currently though this project resides in the "thought experiment" zone until budget = practical feasibility. Saw a video a few months ago of Swedish drone with a gas powered chainsaw buzzing full tilt. The payload for this project couldn't be heavier than that and would definitely be a lot less dangerous.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,513

    Default

    Maybe less dangerous, but unquestionably illegal. That's the rub

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