Introduction. A datalink is a means of transmitting information from one point to another. When the transmission is accomplished using a wireless means, the datalink may also be referred to as a 'radio link' or 'radio modem'.
In unmanned aviation, the datalink allows the transmission and reception of information between the autopilot in the aircraft and the Ground Control Station (GCS) as follows:
Data management is a fundamental aspect of any information system, including those used within the aeronautical sector. The processing of information reported by different sensors and subsystems must be accurately recorded within the information system in order to ensure that flight operations are not adversely affected.
The helicopter platform offers a very particular set of advantages over its fixed wing counterpart and this has led to its use in a wide variety of operational scenarios where vertical take-off and landing, and often also the ability to hover, is required. In addition, the capability to operate from unprepared landing sites distinguishes it from fixed wing platforms which for the most part require a prepared runway.
The aerospace industry is characterized by extremely demanding levels of Quality Assurance (QA), and this philosophy is applied at all levels for product manufacturers. In the case of UAV Navigation, an ISO qualified company, the QA cycle within the manufacturing process begins with the calibration of sensors.
For fixed wing UAVs operating from traditional runways and landing strips, the landing manoeuvre is usually the most challenging and critical stage of any flight.
UAV operations take place in all corners of the world and so UAV manufacturers must ensure that their platforms, including all of the components, are prepared for the extreme environments which may be encountered. Environmental conditions can significantly affect all kinds of aircraft operation and UAV subsystems may be subjected to a broad range of temperatures, icing conditions, extremes of altitude, humidity, sea-salt etc.
Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology is used in UAV systems to measure translational states (position and velocity) both onboard the aircraft and also for the position of the Ground Control Station (GCS).
Since the earliest days of aviation pilots have used a magnetic compass for navigation, using the instrument to show heading information.
Magnetometers used in aviation measure the Earth's magnetic field in order to show orientation. There are of two types: Absolute and Relative (classed by their methods of calibration).
Absolute magnetometers are calibrated using their own known internal constants.