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Rigid Frame Kite

The type of rig used to suspend a camera beneath a kite for aerial photography varies from simple to sophisticated, and with the type and model of camera to be used. The simplest rigs suspend a small compact camera which looks vertically down and is fired at preset intervals by an on-board timer. this eliminates the need for any ground-based infrared, radio or wired controls. Most use the compact and light self-damping suspension system invented by Pierre Picavet, and which now bears his name.

Camera rig

In the rig seen below (by kind permission of Brooks Leffler), the small Picavet suspension system can be seen at the top with its associated cords. The model radio-control receiver is positioned at upper left (above the owner's thumb), and the rechargeable batteries are at upper right. The white rotating arm of a servo is used to depress the camera's shutter release button. An alternative shutter release mechanism, that plugs directly into a standard model radio-control receiver, uses an infrared trigger mechanism that . When the trigger is activated by remote control, an infrared signal is emitted and then detected by the camera's IR sensor. The pan servo can be seen in the centre beneath the Picavet suspension system, and the camera tilt is controlled by the servo on the right-hand side under the batteries.

The whole rig weighs about 280 grams (10 oz) and can be lifted with a 6.5 foot span delta of the type shown above.

All pictures by kind permission of Brooks Leffler.

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