I am currently working on a student project that involves having a UAV fly an orthogonal path over a series of transmitters -- taking in data (through an arduino-based system for data processing).
The problem is -- I can't seem to decide on the right antenna(s, if more are required) in order to efficiently receive these signals (from these various trackers and transmitters in the canopy). A suggestion was to use a series of omni-directional whip aerial antenna linked to a single receiver. Most of the recording would be done on board. The drone should theoretically fly a .5 grid over the canopy area, sweeping for signal strength throughout the channels (operating in the 142 - 150 MHz range).
Unfortunately, I am a bit directionless in the area of hardware -- what receiver and corresponding antenna would be optimum for logging signal strength over a forested area. I've looked into smaller Yaesu receivers, but I am a bit clueless in regards to what antenna attachment to look into -- perhaps a series of omnidirectional whip antennas linked to a receiver. An alternative was also taking a Baofeng radio and hacking the thing. The bird itself would be reasonably high above the canopy, but I'm told that the rule of thumb is basically to be able to sweep the area as far as possible while maintaining a good gauge of signal strength from each transmitter beneath the canopy.
Would any of you be able to point me in the right direction in terms of hardware? I work mostly on the software end, so this is a rather new horizon for me.