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Flight Control System Description


1.   A typical UAV Navigation (UAVN) Flight Control System (FCS) consists of:



Provided By

Onboard Elements
  • Autopilot
  • Datalink
  • UAV Navigation:
  • External supplier: RS-232/ETH capable
  • Peripherals
On Ground Elements
  • GCS Hardware: Modem
  • UAV Navigation:
  • Datalink
  • UAV Navigation:
  • External supplier:RS-232/ETH capable
  • GCS Hardware: Joystick
  • UAV Navigation:
  • GCS Software

2.   The standard setup configuration consists of: VECTOR autopilot, a Joystick, an external radio (not supplied by UAVN), GCS03-NR and Visionair software.

Flight Control System

Figure 1. UAVN's FCS - Standard Setup



3.   UAVN's APs are full equipped systems which which includes: 

  • AHRS/INS which features:
    • Air Data System (ADS - static and dynamic pressure gauges)
    • GNSS
    • Accelerometers
    • Gyroscopes
    • Magnetometers
    • An internal CPU.
  • Flight Control Computer (FCC)

The AHRS-INS communicates with the FCC that implements aircraft control and communications with the GCS via a datalink and payload control.The schematic of a typical UAVN AP is as follows (VECTOR example):

Figure 2. VECTOR Architecture.



4.   The AP flies the aircraft in fully autonomous mode, from take-off to landing. Its Flight Plan Management (FPM) module will calculate the trajectory to guide the aircraft to the next waypoint (WP), and the FCS module will use the information provided by the Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) to steer the aircraft in the desired trajectory. The following diagram explains the logic behind the navigation control system:

Figure 3. Navigation Control System Logic Scheme.



5.   Further information about the Flight Modes implemented in the autopilot and the detailed description of their logic can be found in the Autopilot Software section.

6.   A Flight Control System Operation Example is provided at this link.