ROV, HD video + telemetry

I have a radio controlled submarine that I have been using for more than 10 years.

The existing configuration (excluding the 72 MHz RC control) consists of:
(mobile components)

  • a miniature VGA camera in the sub
  • a miniature coaxial cable that extends the composite video signal to a surface float
  • the surface float contains a 900 MHz composite video transmitter (and its own 12V battery)
    (base station components)
  • 900 MHz video receiver
  • composite video to USB converter
  • laptop computer to display/record live video

It was/is desired to upgrade the system to include:

  • high definition video (1080p minimum)
  • telemetry to detect and display submarine depth, pitch, and heading
  • to get rid of the laptop and use a tablet for display/recording

I have a 5MP camera (USB output) and I have used a Nano with a 10DOF sensor board for telemetry transmitter (via serial) and use a Mega with servos as a telemetry receiver and display (tested and working). I had intended to use the existing composite video radio to send the serial data from the Nano to the shore station.

I THOUGHT that I would be able to use a USB-to-Ethernet adaptor and a Wi-Fi radio to send the HD video to the shore station but could NOT find a USB/Ethernet interface that would act as a USB server. I therefore need to re-think the communications arrangement.

Possibilities are

Option 1:

  • change the 5MP camera to a HD IP camera
  • convert the Nano to Ethernet interface
  • cable 2 IP channels to the surface float
  • feed the 2 IP channels to a hub, then to the Wi-Fi transmitter
  • add some kind of video server at the receiving station to make the video available to multiple tablets
  • feed the telemetry channel to an Ethernet shield on the Mega

Option 2 (more simple? maybe not practical)

  • Interface the USB camera to the Nano and output the video stream as one Ethernet channel
  • switch the telemetry data from serial to a second Ethernet channel
  • extend an Ethernet cable to the Wi-Fi transmitter on the surface
    (on-shore configuration would remain as above)

I don’t know if the Nano+shield would be able to handle the data rate required to get full resolution on a 5 MP camera? (up to 50MBPS) - telemetry is low data rate.

Any suggestions on how to make this work or an alternate configuration to meet the same goal of getting HD video to multiple viewers on shore and to get the telemetry to the receiving Mega? (Space inside the submarine is VERY limited!)

I don't know if the Nano+shield would be able to handle the data rate required to get full resolution on a 5 MP camera?

I do, it's no. The nano runs at 16MHz, you can't even send a SD TV signal with that.

It looks like what you need is a Raspberry Pi, not an Arduino at all.