UAV Navigation in depth: A safe and reliable system against emergencies
Ensure flight safety. These are the three words that guide us during the development of our products, features and capabilities.
UAV Navigation knows the importance of providing the best flight control solution for the platform configurations we have in our portfolio, this is, rotary wing/helicopter, fixed wing aircrafts, fixed wing VTOL aircrafts and target drones. For this reason, we have developed safety procedures and special features to ensure their correct and reliable performance, even in the most challenging operations.
As we have described in previous blog posts, despite many other flight controllers that rely on the GNSS to navigate, UAV Navigation system has an outstanding performance when the GNSS signal is lost, ensuring flight safety in case of executing dead reckoning operations or failure in the receptor. These failures may lead to catastrophic situations if not using a high-end flight control system with an excellent inertial sensor fusion.
The VECTOR range of autopilots can also manage multiple alternative landing plans. Once the alternative flight plans are defined during the commencement of the mission, the system will be able to automatically respond to the different contingencies that occur, despite not having a communication link with the operator. The autopilot optimizes the potential and kinetic energy of the aircraft by means of pitching up and down to enlarge the range. This feature, together with our GCS Software - Visionair predictive path tool, enables the user to visualize the real time range of the descent and calculate where to land. Additionally, the software of these solutions also includes the capability of releasing a parachute in case of emergency. The operator, by means of a simple switch, can deploy the parachute and save the aircraft integrity.
For rotary wing platforms, we developed the first complete autonomous autorotation maneuver. This feature provides the safe descent of the aircraft in case of engine failure. The aircraft uses the kinetic energy to move the blades and create lift. When the aircraft is close to the ground, it performs a flare maneuver to minimize the energy when landing. This way, the autorotation allows the recovery of the aircraft and third parties preventing notable damages.
For fixed wing platforms, both standard fixed wing and target drones (also known as unmanned aerial targets), UAV Navigation has developed the stall protection. This feature allows the platform to glide to the aerodrome, alternative landing site or a safety area in case of engine failure.
It is also known that, due to the increase of drones and UAS populating our skies, visualization of the surrounding air traffic is going to become a critical feature to ensure flight safety. UAV Navigation's Flight Control System is compatible with Transponders ADS-B IN & OUT. Visionair provides an intuitive interface that displays indications about the surrounding air traffic, including the position, danger categorization, and other useful information about the aircraft, such as predictive trajectories.
Finally, apart from the previous special safety features and capabilities, UAV Navigation provides recommended safety procedures to all its customers. This way of proceeding helps the client to elaborate their own Operation manual and know how to react in case of visualizing any single alarm in the GCS alarm panel.
However, UAV Navigation’s solution tries to find a way to continue the mission before executing these procedures.
The cornerstone of UAV Navigation is to keep a safe airspace and help spreading the use of UAS by showing their safe operation when in flight. For this reason, we want to identify and overcome every single situation and contingency that may appear during a flight, and we have developed a deterministic, robust and reliable product that include emergency capabilities to execute in case of incidents.