ComQuest Ventures and UAVenture Partner to Bring Integrated Solutions for Hybrid VTOL UAS Developers
UAVenture and ComQuest Ventures (CQV) are partnering to offer integrated UAS development, flight control and simulation solutions for UAV developers in the rapidly expanding market of hybrid VTOL UAS.
Developing hybrid VTOL UAS airframes and flight control systems poses unique engineering challenges. Airframes must be highly optimized to benefit from their VTOL capabilities, and often require customized flight control software which must be carefully tested for adequate stability and control. UAVenture and CQV are combining their expertise and technologies to provide UAV makers and suppliers solutions that simplify this process and provides an agile approach to the creation and use of VTOL systems.
UAVenture’s AirRails product is a modern flight control system tailored for hybrid VTOL aircraft. CQV offers Typhon UDX, the first integrated UAV design and simulation software that enables UAV developers to adopt an agile process in the design of any VTOL airframe configuration including quadplanes (SLT), tiltrotors and tailsitters. The AirRails interface within Typhon UDX allows developers to simulate and design their airframes in conjunction with the actual flight control code and the AirRails Ground Control Station (GCS).
Both companies are also offering a standalone simulator software for UAV end-users. This allows UAV manufacturers and suppliers to provide their customers with a full flight simulation package which realistically captures the performance, looks, and operation of their systems.
CQV and UAVenture are able to work closely with their clients to customize their technologies based on specific requirements, and to offer their combined expertise in VTOL flight control systems and airframes to interested parties.
Team members from Wingcopter and UAVenture traveled to a remote location in the north of South Africa to complete training and run mapping trials with the Wingcopter Mapping Package for Smops SA as they prepare to launch their mapping services across Africa.
The Wingcopter Mapping Package consists of a Wingcopter 178 Heavy Lift with a full-frame camera, such as the 42MP Sony a7R II, providing a GSD of 1.3cm and a high accuracy PPK system from Klau Geomatics. In a single flight the Wingcopter 178 Heavy Lift is capable of covering more than 500 hectares with a battery reserve of 30%. It is powered by UAVenture’s AirRails Hybrid VTOL flight control and Ground Control System which provides it with powerful terrain following mapping capabilities.
While previously employed as RPAS pilots by a Mozambican company, Robyn and Jacque, the co-owners of Smops SA, carried out extreme mapping jobs in very remote and poorly accessible locations with a conventional flying wing mapping system.
Robyn explained that “Fixed-wing drones perform adequately in completing large mapping missions, takeoffs and landings have proven to be hazardous due to the fact that small clearings or rocky areas are the only option available. The results were often catastrophic and the lifetime of these drones were limited, requiring frequent and expensive repairs”. As a result they began looking towards vertical takeoff solutions that still brought extended flight times with moderate cruise speeds.
With the acquisition of the Wingcopter 178 Heavy Lift, Robyn and Jacque are now able to achieve automated vertical takeoffs and landings with as little as 5 – 10 meters clearance and safely transition to forwards flight. Stress free and with zero damage.
Due to the multi-kilo payload capacity of the Wingcopter they are able to carry a larger high quality camera (Sony a7R II) and acquire very high-resolution images with centimeter precision using an onboard PPK system. Their future-proof Wingcopter 178 Heavy Lift allows Robyn and Jacque to start surveying today with the option to upgrade to a 4kg LiDAR system when required.
The AirRails Ground Control Station complements Wingcopter’s AirRails autopilot, by providing a tightly integrated and highly intuitive process for creating sophisticated terrain adjusted surveys in a few simple steps. In addition to time and distance based camera triggering there is an option to automatically pause triggering during turns which excludes all unnecessary photos. This reduces both the processing preparation effort as well as the final processing time.
Once uploaded to the Wingcopter, starting the mission is as easy as the press of a button. Transitions from multicopter mode for vertical takeoff to fixed wing flight and back are fully autonomous, as is the rest of the mission, and the Wingcopter’s progress can be followed in real-time in 3D on the Ground Control Station tablet. Camera trigger counts and ground coverage estimates from each photo taken are shown on the map in real-time.
During the training period, Robyn and Jacque were able to complete the mapping mission and obtained high quality imagery, resulting in an impressive orthomosaic of the expansive rural property. Wingcopter and AirRails are ready to deliver a Hybrid VTOL solution to solve your challenging mapping needs.
Smops SA is a newly registered company run by two South African women who will commence commercial operations as soon as their RPAS Operators Certificate has been approved. For more information see their company profile, or contact them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A brief demo showing a basic mapping mission with AirRails and the Wingcopter in action:
Landing precisely where you want it to land is important in confined spaces or when you require a landing platform (for example to provide stable ground or to connect to an automated charging pad, etc.). The following video shows the very first precision landing test with AirRails on a “landing pad” setup using an ultra wide band (UWB) positioning system.
UWB performs well outdoors and is not affected by weather conditions. The setup in the video is a 2 by 2 meter landing platform featuring 1 anchor on each corner to triangulate the device (tag) attached to the drone. The drone is able to consistently navigate to the same spot within 10cm. Support for AirRails powered VTOLs and AirRails GCS coming soon! Please contact us for more information.
UAVenture and Daedalean Partner to bring Vision Based Navigation, Guidance and Control to Commercial Unmanned Aircraft
Downward facing segmentation by on-board deep neural network as part of Daedalean’s landing guidance system. The system recognizes roofs, low and high vegetation as well as other obstacles. A large enough gray patch is a candidate for (emergency) landing. The system updates in real time on board on a small single-board computer.
© Daedalean AG 2018
Zürich based Daedalean aims to bring full “level-5” autonomy to the personal electric aircraft of the near future. Daedalean’s engineers apply insights from modern robotics, deep learning and computer vision to build an autonomous guidance system that meets the highest bar (DAL-A) for safety critical aerospace systems ( DO-178C, DO-254 and DO-160G). Their product provides visual based guidance and navigation intended to enable both unmanned operations and personal transport certified for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions.
UAVenture‘s AirRails autopilot system makes the commercial operation of unmanned Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) vehicles accessible to all with its advanced flight control and highly intuitive flight planning and monitoring software. Since 2015 UAVenture has focused on Hybrid VTOLs, a fusion of multirotor and fixed-wing technology, and is now a leader in making this technology available to mapping, search & rescue, surveillance and agricultural applications.
Today both parties have signed an exclusive partnership to integrate Daedalean’s vision based technology into UAVenture’s AirRails VTOL autopilot system for unmanned applications and to make it available to all AirRails users. This partnership allows UAVenture to provide unrivalled guidance, navigation and control for the most challenging UAV applications to their customers.
The system, christened Magpie, will be a lightweight version of Daedalean’s technology for personal transport, featuring:
- Real-time vision based detection of suitable emergency landing locations.
- Detection of wires and other obstacles during a landing approach and landing.
- Vision based navigation and attitude estimation for GPS denied scenarios.
- Lightweight hardware (approximately 500 g).
- Low power consumption (approximately 30 W).
Future versions may incorporate functionality targeted specifically at real-time precision agriculture.
The cooperation allows Daedalean to gain engineering validation in real flight at scale, and to gather a high volume of high quality imagery correlated with actual flight data in a multitude of realistic environments for training and testing of their systems.
Initial offerings to a selected group of manufacturers and their customers will be at a reduced charge in exchange for this data.
Trials of the system have already commenced with the first systems expected to be available to customers later this year.
Hybrid VTOL or multirotor package delivery doesn’t get easier than this.
Set a delivery on the mission with a couple of clicks and all of the transitions, landings, takeoffs and package releases will be handled transparently.
Performing surveillance operations with the AirRails GCS is a highly intuitive process allowing you to divert your UAV from its mission path to locations of interest with a few simple clicks.
This video shows you how simple it is to drop one or more markers on the map which you can then click on to send the UAV to that loiter at that location.
The operator can resume the mission at anytime and there is a choice of resuming the mission directly or retracing the UAV’s path.
At InterDrone, UAVenture of Aarau, Switzerland and Aerotenna of Lawrence, KS, U.S.A are proud to announce Precision Spray Autopilot, a complete autopilot system purpose-built for agricultural spraying applications. The bundle is built with agriculture drone manufacturers and service providers in mind, it enables agriculture drones to fly fully autonomously and allows better spray management with planning and real-time monitoring. The manufacturers and service providers can finally focus on their core agriculture business.
The revolutionary new Precision Spray Autopilot is a simple plug-and-play solution, allowing quick and easy integration into your existing multirotor spraying drones. It includes the Aerotenna OcPoC flight controller, powered by UAVenture AirRails Crop Sprayer firmware, an Aerotenna µLanding altimeter, and AirRails Ground Control Station Crop Spraying edition for Android. The Precision Spray Autopilot supports the ability to fly a fully autonomous spraying mission at the touch of a finger. It also enables agriculture drone manufacturers and spray service providers to fly semi-autonomous missions with simple control over their spray rates and auto lane switching.
- Fly spray missions from a tablet or with a remote control
- Radar based high performance terrain following
- Real-time adjustment of flight height and speed
- In-flight spray rate monitoring and control
- Auto-refill and return to mission
- Field-tested in simple and complex fields
“We’re so excited to work with Aerotenna to bring the cutting-edge bundle to the market. We are confident this solution will leapfrog the precision agriculture to the level of fully autonomous, and highest precision planning and execution,” says Simon Wilks, Co-founder of UAVenture AG.
“Aerotenna is proud to extend our high performance µLanding altimeter and advanced OcPoC flight controller to precision agriculture markets. With it’s deep industry knowledge and field experience, UAVenture is a great partner to work with in bringing the solution to the market,” says Zongbo Wang, Founder of Aerotenna.
Precision Spray Autopilot ships in early October. Interested customers can place a pre-order now and enjoy a 10% discount off the general retail price. Supplies are limited, so customers are encouraged to place pre-orders to ensure product availability. Customers interested in placing a pre-order for the Precision Spray Autopilot can do so by following the link below:
More information about Aerotenna can be found by visiting Aerotenna.com
More information on UAVenture can be found by visiting UAVenture.com
The AirRails Ground Control Station (GCS) is an Android based MAVlink compatible GCS that runs on a range of 9 – 18″ consumer and rugged tablets. Specially designed from the ground up to be highly intuitive it makes extensive use of 3D flight plan views for adjusting altitudes, previewing the flight plans and tracking the drones in-flight progress. In addition it has been designed primarily with Hybrid VTOL operations in mind integrating tightly with the AirRails (Hybrid VTOL) flight controller, while maintaining compatibility with other types of drones such as multirotor and fixed-wing.
The GCS is ideal for fleet operations being tightly coupled with a central cloud based storage system allowing for the synchronisation and distribution of flight plans throughout the fleet, drone parameter distribution, automatic log file synchronisation as well as centrally managed user access controls to both hide complexity and unneeded functionality from basic operators, and much more.
The latest release of the AirRails GCS adds a number of new features, including:
- 3D maps and flight plans can now not only be rotated but panned and tilted.
- 3D air traffic visualisation and audio collision alerts.
- System gauges (speed, RPM, fuel levels, etc.) for more advanced operators.
- Extended the pre-flight checks to include a mission summary (flight time, distance, max. altitude, etc).
- Support for the Panasonic FZ-A2 Toughbook providing a screen that is still readable in direct sunlight.
Watch the video below for a brief demonstration of some of the key features.
More information on the AirRails GCS can be found on the GCS page or contact us email@example.com
Wingcopter, a German manufacturer of the fully autonomous Wingcopter tiltrotor VTOL and finalist in the 2017 Drones for Good competition, have partnered with UAVenture to deliver a complete UAS for professional applications with their commercial flight control platform, AirRails.
The Wingcopter is an universal all electric composite tiltrotor aircraft capable of carrying and operating a wide range of payloads. It’s ideal use-cases include search and rescue, monitoring, inspection, survey, mapping and delivery operations. Bundled together with the tablet based AirRails ground control station the Wingcopter is easy to use for operators and can be seamlessly integrated into any workflow.
The Wingcopter partnership with UAVenture has demonstrated how a specialist in developing and producing state-of-the-art VTOLs such as the Wingcopter Tiltrotor can quickly integrate the AirRails flight control platform for a market ready solution in only a few weeks. The AirRails platform goes beyond pure flight control and management but all integrates payloads and payload control, flight data management and 3rd party connectivity.
The result of our combined efforts can be seen at the Drones for Good competition in Dubai this year where Wingcopter completed successfully a complex search and rescue demonstration with 3 Wingcopters plus a unique VTOL acrobatic demonstration.
UAVenture has partnered with Flyingwings to develop the Falcon Vertigo, the first in a range of ready-to-fly hybrid vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones.
When ordered together with the AirRails flight control system the Vertigo will be pre-tuned and ready-to-fly providing evaluators with a fast track way of trialing hybrid VTOL technology and seeing how AirRails can bring hybrid VTOL solutions to their own customer base.
The Vertigo is a 1.3m (52”) flying wing electric VTOL and is capable of carrying a small payload such as a GoPro. The ready-to-fly version comes complete with quality electronics components pre-installed, including the autopilot hardware. When ordered together with AirRails it will be pre-flashed and tested.
AirRails is an advanced multirotor and hybrid VTOL capable flight control system that excels in its ability to provide an extremely intuitive operator user interface making the operation of a complex technology as simple as a few taps on the tablet’s screen. Features such as 3D mission creation and tracking plus the sharing and distribution of missions to teams of operators make it an ideal team based professional solution.
The advanced flight control system takes care of performing fully automated take-offs and landings, regardless of wind direction, and completes your missions not only accurately but safely with a range of built in failsafe systems.
Flyingwings is the leading UK manufacturer of EPP wings and hybrid VTOLs offering both hobby products and autonomous drones for commercial mapping applications.