Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:09 am
Location: Northants, England

aeroplane live feed to ground

Sat May 25, 2019 8:13 am

as in the subject, this is what i am trying to achieve

we do cctv at events in the uk, we are doing a airshow soon and have just been asked if its possible to put a camera in a aeroplane and broadcast the stream back to a tv on the ground.

i can fit a camera that gives out a rtsp network video stream no problems, i was then going to use the mobile network to send the image back to ground and via the facebook live platform so users online can view aswell.

i would like peoples thoughts on this, i was going to build a pi in a box with a 4g router and all the other bits i need (as it would all need to run on battery for around 20-30 mins)


Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:14 pm

Re: aeroplane live feed to ground

Sat May 25, 2019 8:54 am

Hmm sounds like an interesting project. What sort of aircraft are we talking about here? I am just guessing but if we are talking full size aircraft which come under CAA regulation then red tape is going to be a nightmare. Recording a video from on board an aircraft obviously happens all of the time, but as for a live video or anything involving the use of RF communication onboard is a whole different matter.

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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: aeroplane live feed to ground

Mon May 27, 2019 2:37 pm

The biggest factor in selecting a communications systems is understanding the amount of data you want to ship. Basic 360*540 10 fps video is a lot different from full 4kHD at 30 or 60fps. Is the received signal for just kick?, or for security or a HQ public broadcast? all have very different requirements for quality and stability, hence radio bandwidth and power.

All radio systems, even ultra high bandwidth point to point microwave systems as used by the TV ENG trucks suffer fade or dropouts, hence they tend to forward buffer like crazy. This problem is exponentially worse of either the transmitter or receiver is moving. The problem with using the 4G network is that the antennas are designed (polarised) to look down to the earth, and not up. Some signal is usable at elevation, but again what is your expected operating ceiling.

My feeling is a dedicated (and approved) narrow band digital radio link, probably with a omnidirectional antenna on the plane and a tracking directional yagi on the ground. Encoding and using one of the common digital video standards designed for unstable links.

This is how the racing cars, F1 and Red Bull Air races track their vehicles/planes.

Small light aircraft are also notorious for high levels of RFI due to engine ignition and low tech radio systems. Thorough screening, RFI design and yes FCC.CAA, UKCAS approval is essential. With the exception of a mobile phones (and thats unclear), its generally illegal to operate any form of radio transmitter on any aircraft, and even then within proximity to controlled airspace.
..the only thing worse than a stupid question is a question not asked.

Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:09 am
Location: Northants, England

Re: aeroplane live feed to ground

Mon May 27, 2019 2:41 pm

hi thanks for the info, this opens alot of thoghts. its not for security its just a idea to give people attending the show a view from inside whilst it is happening

Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:18 pm

Re: aeroplane live feed to ground

Fri May 31, 2019 8:30 pm

You would have better luck searching for RC FPV cameras/ radio equipment for drones.

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