...and You Thought the $100 Hamburger Was Some Kind of
Of course, it won't be as capable as the "real thing," but it
will probably fly autonomously, as several home-built UAVs have
done in the past few years.
ANN has laid back on these do-it-yourself projects since
September 11, not out of any sense that we'd be clueing in any
would-be terrorists, but rather in a spirit of political
correctness, that we're now ready to shed.
So, we're having a look at home-builders' projects, that are
kinda "on the edge," but nevertheless interesting.
As so many that we've heard in the past have said, Bruce
Simpson, who lives near Auckland, New Zealand, had a habit, he
says, of shooting off his mouth. No doubt inspired by tales of $300
hammers and $800 toilet seats, he is on a personal quest to show
the world's military procurement officers how they're wasting
Although he's been publicly assailed, he says he'll continue his
projects, the latest of which is building a "cruise missile" from
things he finds around the house. Well... he's been ordering stuff
-- stainless steel sheet, a GPS system, radio controls, enough
video and transmission equipment to make an onboard flight-view
system; and things to make his "buzz-bomb +" jet engine. He says
it's loud, but the neighbors don't mind.
His style is matter-of-fact. As he talks about his
guidance and flight-control system, for instance, he writes,
"Today, compact, high quality, high accuracy GPS receivers are
readily available for just a few hundred dollars. The inclusion of
an easily used computer interface in many of these units makes them
well suited for use in a low-cost cruise missile (LCCM). While the
GPS provides information necessary for tracking waypoints and
identifying the final destination, smaller course corrections (for
stability) can be provided by the solid-state gyro systems now
readily available for use in model helicopters and aircraft.
Instantaneous measurement of altitude and groundspeed can be
provided by a semi-forward looking radar and doppler radar units
(possibly built around components such as these and these. This
allows a the LCCM to fly lower than would be possible if relying
solely on GPS and offers a degree of contour-hugging even when the
exact nature of the terrain is not available."
He says his website has received about half its hits (as nearly
as he can tell) from military and intelligence viewers. Hopefully,
they'll learn something about cost control. After all, there is
something to be said for sheer volume...