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Deployment Tube method for a drone

Deployment Tube method for a drone

Deployment Tube method for a drone

(OP)
What methods would you recommend to deploy a drone out of a tube? The drone will be deployed vertical out of a 50mm tube approx. 500mm long. The vessel inside has a diameter of 46mm. I was thinking of using a linear guide rail and stepper motor. What would you do different?

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

Turn the tube over and let the drone slide out?

Rather difficult without knowing what the sort of drone is and why it's in a tube. Why are you thinking of using a linear guide rail and a stepper motor?

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

Spring
Compressed gas/air
Rocket motor
Bungee cords

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

You haven't given us near enough information to provide helpful suggestions. What are the objectives, limitations, budget, etc. One-off prototype or high volume production? What is the environment? Why not just drop it out of the tube? Gravity is free and reliable. See? Without enough information we suggest things that you obviously are not even considering.

I understand a stepper motor and a linear guide but, why? How are you converting the rotary action to linear? A belt and pulley arrangement? A ball screw? Why?

Why the expense of a stepper motor? There are cheaper options. Is precision of release velocity an issue?

The more you tell us the more we can help you.

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

That's a pretty small tube / drone

Sounds more like a guided missile to me....

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

I would go with a spring or bungee cord system.
No power required, no electronics to fail, and as inexpensive as you can get.
It would also be easy to have various calibrations based on tension to allow to launch various drones.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

The bit that I difficult to visualise is how the drone emerges from the tube and promptly starts to fly / rotate the blades without damaging anything.

Also how do you pick up its transmissions?

What sort of length of tube are we talking here? 5m, 50m, 500m?

Yu might have done a lot more that you're saying, but the actual method of getting the drone out looks to be the least of your issues at the moment and I'm not sure you've fully thought this through based on what we can see.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

(OP)
The launcher is needed because sometimes its difficult to safely access voids underground due to the dangers of rocks falling. It is a tight fit but I'm confident there can be something done mechanically for that 90 degree flip. The legs will collapse by using a lead screw powered by a motor on the drone. All that is sorted and will have no problem fitting inside the tube. As you can see by the image the lid will act as a platform to take off. ID of the tube is 47mm. I'm think some type of pulley mechanism and letting gravity do its thing.

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

Run the motors backwards and the drone will push itself away from the carrier. Use springs rather than linear actuator to deploy the legs.

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

I was thinking of a hinge in the extending arm at the top end of the drone (so opposite end to what you have drawn), and make it spring loaded. When everything is packed in the tube, the arm will be straight, but once the arm is extended out of the tube, the spring will bend the arm up 90­° or so. That configuration should be pretty easy to draw the arm back into the tube so the whole apparatus can be removed from the borehole (just need to overcome the spring when you retract the arm). It would have the disadvantage of the spring being the only thing holding the drone up, so you'd need a decently strong spring.

I'm not sure how you'd get the drone back out, but in a quick search of companies that do mine drone inspections, all the drones seem to have cages around them, so I'm guessing crashing is pretty common and therefore your drone might be disposable anyways.

RE: Deployment Tube method for a drone

Sorry for the crude sketch.
In the marine industry, we have what's called a Devils Claw for holding back anchor chain.
I was thinking that if you made a T bar to fit the drone you could hook on and off, and also align the drone so it slips back into the tube.
When the T bar rotates in line with the hook, the slots between the finger would keep it from wiggling around.

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