Common and Advanced Control Modes with UAVs

Generally, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have different kind of control modes selectable depending on the needs of the operation. There are three control modes which are the most common and that are known by different names; their nomenclature is simplified in this article, naming them as the effect they have on the flight control of the drone. These controls are the manual, the semiautomatic or arcade and the automatic.

These control modes are the most common in any UAV, but in case the drone is a professional UAV that has an avionic control system or high performance UAV autopilot, it can have a wide variety of additional advanced control modes.

In this article some control modes that incorporates Veronte Autopilot are described.

Common Control Modes

Semiautomatic and manual control modes sometimes have the function of training safety pilots about the UAV control. This is advantageous since they are obligatory modes for some operations, depending on the responsible aviation authority. The automatic control mode would be the usual control mode with Veronte Autopilot, which can be deactivated at any time during the flight in order to allow the pilot to control the UAV.

Manual Mode

In this control mode the pilot fully controls the drone, commanding directly the control surfaces through the joystick, which permits to directly manage the servos movement. In this mode the pilot has to be skilled enough when managing the aircraft, since he/she is not assisted by Veronte Autopilot.

Semiautomatic or Arcade Mode

The semiautomatic or arcade mode is equivalent to the manual mode but assisted by the Veronte Autopilot. In this case, the pilot commands through Veronte Autopilot, which receives the joystick signal as well as it manages the servos through an automatically stabilized control. In essence, a person without advanced knowledge of piloting could manually control the UAV through this control mode: for instance, the Veronte Autopilot could control the attitude while the pilot, manually, could control the altitude, speed and/or other variables.

Automatic Mode

This control mode permits the UAV to perform operations in a way fully autonomous with no need of a pilot, as well as it makes possible to a single pilot to control many UAVs simultaneously. In this case, Veronte Autopilot together with Veronte Pipe software, allows different flight phases that permit the pilot to monitor the operation. These phases consist of following a waypoints route and following a predetermined direction, to perform takeoffs and landings, hover and loiter maneuvers, among many other possibilities.

Common and Advanced Control Modes with UAVs - Convoy - Follow My Path

Advanced Control Modes

In addition to what has been said, there are advanced control modes that become essential for the development of a wide variety of operations. Nevertheless, these control modes are only available in some control systems such as Veronte Autopilot. Down below some of them are described.

Fly-by-Camera Mode

Sometimes during an operation with a preconfigured route, it may appear a focus of interest for the sake of that operation; in that moment the system may alert us about that eventuality and suggest to take the control through the fly-by-camera mode. Through this mode, the control of the UAV is taken intuitively, aiming with the camera to the focus of interest and permitting the Autopilot Veronte to adjust the flight, keeping it stabilized and controlling it directly to the direction indicated by the camera. This control mode is especially useful for applications such as tracking vehicles, borders surveillance and other similar situations

Followme Mode

The “Follow Me” advanced control usually keeps the UAV following the target at a fixed distance, but in case of UAVs that use Veronte Autopilot, this mode goes beyond: The “Follow Me” of Veronte Autopilot permits to create any kind of operation and maneuvers regarding to an objective, to perform takeoffs, landings, climbing, loiter, hover, mapping…

Follow My Path Mode

One of the most recent incorporations to the advanced control modes of Veronte Autopilot is the “Follow My Path”. With this new control mode, instead of following a moving target, the UAV follows the route performed by that target, so if it made a path avoiding collisions with fixed obstacles, the UAV with Veronte Autopilot will perform the same manoeuver avoiding collisions with the environment.

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