Ok team, here goes my first blog post. My goal here is to build a Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) for my UFO using a sonar range sensor as opposed to the wand. The design needs to completely mimic the performance of the wand system currently in the boat. The system needs to be fully removable to allow for One Design Racing if desired.
A few design guidelines...
Improvements to current control system:
1) Sensing wave terrain out ahead of the boat
2) Not engaging the mainfoil flap until the boatspeed hits 7 knots to reduce drag while floating
3) Toggle settings for upwind vs. downwind (maybe a button press?)
4) Data acquisition
5) Auto rear foil rake adjustment (this is a maybe feature, this would be lots of extra hardware for limited improvement)
Questions to answer:
1) Do I need a GPS to get good boat speed or is the accel, gyro, magnetometer IMS good enough?
2) How and where will I couple the servo to the flap control push rod
3) How big a challenge will marinization be? Is enough to buy waterproof parts and a waterproof box?
4) Is it useful to have more than two sonar sensors to create an accurate map of oncoming wave motion? Does wave motion traveling orthogonal to the direction of the boat matter? Or are waves going so slow compared to the speed of the boat that it doesn't matter?
I will endeavour to use parts that have excellent tutorials available online.
I will be concerned about the cost of my time even when it costs a bit more money to buy parts that are easier to integrate.
Basic Block Diagram Below: