I'm starting a project in which I want to be able to attach a GPS module onto a drone in case the drone falls out of sight. I have a few questions as I'm researching parts for this.

My ideal specs: Small and light, maybe around the size of a quarter.

  1. Most of the modules I see online seem small and compact, ranging from 20 to 30 dollars. They are also labeled as "receivers". Does this mean they can only determine their own position and not send it off? If so, where can I find a "data pusher"?

  2. Are there better alternatives than GPS? Assuming the drone might crash, that could mean it won't get a clear satellite signal, so I'm open to different ideas, but I'm not sure what.

  3. Any other helpful information you might have is very appreciated. I'm kinda walking into this blind right now, so I'm hoping I can figure something out.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. I think that you need GPS transceiver module 2.You can use mobile internet from cell towers to get GPS coordinates if signal from satellites get lost \$\endgroup\$ – Lazar May 26 '15 at 8:55

GPS is a recieve-only system, so all the modules you get will just record their position and enable it to be accessed by direct connection.

You need a separate system for transmitting data back from the drone. Depending on what you already have, there may be something you can piggyback on, but usually the control system is recieve-only on the drone as well.

There are various other modules which you could build a system for transmitting from the drone out of: 433MHz-band, Nordic Semiconductor, or ESP8266 WiFi modules.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok this is kinda what I was expecting. So using a module like the ones you listed, would I hook up some sort of output pin on the GPS into the transmitting module and have a receiving module elsewhere? \$\endgroup\$ – Gigaxalus May 26 '15 at 9:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. You may need a small microcontroller to translate and initialise the GPS, or you may just be able to get away with treating it like a long serial link that outputs NMEA which you interpret on a computer elsewhere. \$\endgroup\$ – pjc50 May 26 '15 at 9:20

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