The AeroLogix GeoStar UAV first flew on September 5th, 2014.  Before the (expensive!) camera was loaded aboard, a series of test flights were conducted with equivalent weights to thoroughly evaluate flight performance, autopilot precision and the parachute recovery system.  A number of modifications were required as experience was gained with general flight operations and the various systems that make up the GeoStar UAV.  The first flight with the camera payload was conducted on 31 October, 2014 at the Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Association show grounds.  The show grounds sit empty most of the year and the Association graciously allowed AeroLogix and Le Sueur County use of their facility for GeoStar UAV flight testing.  We are deeply grateful to the leaders and members of this fine organization. 

 Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Association

31 October 2014

Looking north down the gravel runway.

31 October 2014


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Notes from the day (Tim Briggs):

“I made it out to Pioneer Power in the early afternoon, setting up the Ground Control Station and assembling the GeoStar UAV.  I spent some time testing a few things out there at the field.  I checked and double checked the camera settings and focus.  By the time I was ready, it was getting late in the afternoon.  The sun was starting to get low in the sky.  It was perfectly clear, the winds were calm and it was getting cool outside.  The sun was casting beautiful colors on the countryside and everything seemed ideal.  I loaded everything up, powered up the GeoStar and readied for a northbound takeoff run down the gravel pathway.”

Aerial Imagery and Terrain Modeling

 FAA Approved Unmanned Aircraft Technology

Notes from the day (Tim Briggs):

“The takeoff went smoothly.  In the cool air the GeoStar accelerated quickly and was airborne in about 30 feet.  It climbed out strongly and I immediately commanded the camera to start collecting.  I ran it through the different autopilot modes and then set it to “Auto.” It began following a simple flight path back and forth over Pioneer Power at 500 feet.”

 “The flight plan lasted about 5-10 minutes and then the GeoStar returned overhead, descending to a 350 AGL orbit.  I secured the camera and set up for a manual wheel landing.  I had lots of room and soft clover to bring it down onto.  I made a few practice approaches and then landed on the clover, rolling out and stopping in about 50 feet.”

“I retrieved the GeoStar and proceeded to do an immediate review of the pictures.  Success!!  The pictures were beautiful despite the setting sun and long shadows that were being cast.  These pictures represent over 18 months of hard work, false starts, failures and triumphs.  Designing, building and testing the GeoStar UAV has been a challenging adventure that tested the limits of my resolve and technical abilities.  We now have a fully functional Aerial Imaging UAV."

First Picture Taken by the GeoStar UAV

31 October 2014

The GeoStar was climbing out and banking left when this picture was taken.