Servers by jDrones

General planning and advice for a monumental multi-vehicle undertaking sometime in the future

As the title suggests, I’m looking for general advice and planning assistance for an absolutely monumental RC project that I’m considering for once I graduate college (MecE by the way, so I should have the knowledge to do this). I want to build a whole system of vehicles to go lake-exploring, including a 40+MPH capable hydrofoil base craft, a 100ft+ capable submarine, and a quadplane drone. I’d like to be able to control all of these from 20+mi away, through rough terrain, in an area with no cell reception, with at least a 720p 30FPS live video feed (although 1080p 30FPS would be ideal). I’m prepared to use high-powered, directional, tracking antennas as necessary, as well as mountain-top (preferred) or thermal glider-based (doable, but less preferred) relay stations. I’ll attach a diagram of the signal side of things so y’all can get an idea of what I’m thinking.

If I were to want to implement this sort of signal setup, how would I go about it, both in terms of code and hardware? Any recommendations? Is this even doable?

On the vehicle side, I’m thinking of custom parts all the way round, even custom thrusters for the sub. I’ve got some designs in mind, but it’ll come down to some CFD and a lot of trial and error with 3d printed prototypes to get it right.

  • Boat: I would love recommendations for low KV brushless motors (I’m thinking 48V on the boat, and I need the torque while staying under 4000 RPM for props, and under 12000RPM for foil-borne turbines) that don’t mind being fully submerged. Maybe someone in the boat or sub community has some ideas there?
  • Sub: Same as boat, but planning on 24V, still need about 4000 peak RPM, so very low KV. Ideas?

Also, battery recommendations would be welcome for both craft. I’m not opposed to something DIY based around 18650s, but I’d love to go LiFePO4 for the added stability, as the batteries will be quite close to a lot of gasoline for the gas motor on the boat, and lake fires are not on my to-do list.

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I forgot to put the sub’s tether into the diagram, but that part is pretty simple. It just replaces the 2 directional antennas with a cable carrying that signal.

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Servers by jDrones