Project EMMA



To create a dynamic Physics engine and interface


Equations of motion (Laplacian solutions) and Newtonian gravity used successfully. Basic graphical display in concept phase. Sensor data from Project Auto-Launch has been analysed using EMMA.



Most of the programming in Project EMMA is done in PHP and has been used to model gravitational fields and calculate min energy trajectories.

The sensors we are playing with are accelerometers of varying precision. Future work will be done with sensors to detect different parts of the EM spectrum for use in tracking and analysis.

20/02/2010: We have been busy the ground station interface for Project Auto Launch – Mark II and like many coding jobs, much time has been spent on a few small and annoying issues. We will unveil the new interface shortly. This will give us real time data analysis while the Mark II plane is in the air regarding the voltage of the battery, air temperature and the GPS position plotted onto Google Maps. The software uses a web interface coded in PHP and we will be running it off an ASUS Eee PC.

The interface is part of the overall structure of Project EMMA, the software architecture used for all of our projects and that we will one day use in a larger ship to control ship systems, sensors and data. As we create new ways to handle sensor data and perform calculations we contribute to the growth and evolution of Project EMMA.

We are looking for keen programmers to help us add to Project EMMA for our various projects. If that sounds like you please email us or drop by the forums. Suggestions or ideas on the programming language and GUI are welcome.



20/02/2010: Here it is! On this screenshot we have plotted the data taken from the recent test flight of the Mark II. The dots on the map show the position of the plane every second and the graphs on the side are taken from the voltage and temperature sensors on board.

It was too windy for a test flight today but we will try and take out the Mark II tomorrow to test the interface. Tomorrow we will also be having a company meeting so expect another update soon.

10/07/2010: We have been doing some heavy development on Project EMMA, primarily becuase it’s the easiest to do in our spare time. We now have functions for ZFS, Cron, Google Maps, GPS NMEA Data, Serial Interfaces, 3D Visualisation and have made the move to SVG for all of our graphing and image generation. The main reason for switching to SVG, is to move some load off of the server and onto the clients. This will also bypass some issues with browser caching.

I have also made some minor changes to the Project Auto Launch template, on the EMMA GUI. More GPS information is displayed, graphs are generated using SVG, and they are also reversed showing newest data from the left(this feels more natural when reading live telemetry from the plane).

The image shown is the new PAL interface. We reached a top speed of 41.11 kts (76.13kph / 21.15ms-1) that day, total flight time was 15 minutes, the battery was drained almost to half, which is what we expected from the 1350mAh LiPo battery. We should be able to achieve at least an hour of flight time, with our new 2600mAh battery.

21/07/2010: After looking the data from our last flight we have produced a vector diagram to show the MKII’s speed over ground and bearing when it was is flight.

NOTE: Up is true north. The speeds are in knots multiplied by 4.5 to obtain pixels.