Costa Rica July 2013 - Day One - Landing on a tower

We've been at the Las Cruces Biological Station in San Vito, Costa Rica for less than 24 hours, and already Dana Boswell is making Ecosynth history.  

Today Dana completed a full mission of a forest restoration entirely from the top of a 15m canopy tower.  After waiting out a rain storm and low clouds (it is the rainy season), we decided we needed to give the closest field site a go.  Previously we had taken a short drive to a yard near the plot, but we realized that since we were so close at the station, we could just walk to the launch location.

Dana executed an auto take-off from atop the tower, let the mission run its course, then assisted with gentle prods of pitch and yaw to help the copter land perfectly atop the 2m x 3m tower viewing platform with a light breeze from the south.

As you can see - she was very excited!  Hopefully this is just the beginning of another excellent field campaign for Ecosynth.  More to come - I hope I can manage to get Dana to write a post as well.
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Comment by Erle Ellis on July 19, 2013 at 11:13am

Too cool for school!  You need to go pro!

Comment by Gerard Toonstra on July 27, 2013 at 8:16pm

This is a very good achievement. Do you have some more specific details on the launching and landing procedure?  I see that the space is rather restricted and auto-takeoffs and landings can easily have issues with scraping over the ground due to GPS variance, beyond the tower having open fences which means it could be blown away by the wind. Probably you have this set for a rapid takeoff in the settings?
So Ardupilot allows you to use the pitch/roll to adjust the exact position during landing, or do you need to set this up specifically somewhere?  with the hexa I was playing around with I noticed that in the landing it could easily move 2m across and even scratch the ground when it's already down. Did you do anything special to restrict such horizontal movements?

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