[GlytchTech] decided to implement his own Digital Data Link (DDL) for his drone experiments, and by using a Raspberry Pi Zero and some open-source software, he succeeded in creating a mostly self-contained system that delivers HD video and telemetry using an Android phone as a display.
The link uses standard WiFi hardware in a slightly unusual way to create a digital data link that acts more like an analog system, with a preference for delivering low latency video and a graceful drop-off when signal quality gets poor. A Raspberry Pi Zero, Alfa NEH WiFi card, external antenna, battery, and a 3D printed enclosure result in a self-contained unit. Two are needed: one for each end of the link. One unit goes on the drone and interfaces to the flight controller, and the other is for the ground station.
A companion android app allows for just about any old Android phone to serve as video feed, on-screen display of telemetry data, and touchscreen interface.
The software is DroneBridge (GitHub repository) and it implements Wifibroadcast which uses WiFi radios, but without the usual WiFi functionality. A Raspberry Pi is the usual platform, but there’s also an ESP32 port. The software is capable of even more, but so far suits [GlytchTech]’s needs just fine, and he was able to refine his original Watch_Dogs-inspired hacking drone with it.
3 thoughts on “HD Video And Telemetry Link Uses Standard WiFi Hardware”
Did anyone tried to use the Rpi’s built in WIFI for this purpose with nexmon with this or similar projects?
UFL connector can be added for sure:
It was made to work on a specific wifi chipset (atheros):
I think it uses some features, like the ability to put the card into monitor mode, etc.
So adapting to a new wireless card is rather a huge project in itself.
If I had any sort of coding acumen, this is exactly where I would’ve been taking WifiBroadcast already. Splendid!
There’s no mention of encryption, though I assume it shouldn’t be hard to add. Because there are already hijacking attacks against mavlink running over unencrypted 3DR radios. (Stupid!)
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