When performing automatic flight maneuvers with drones, it often becomes necessary to integrate automatic actions, beyond flying along a predefined path. It is in that moment when it becomes fundamental the use of a control system for UAV with configurable automatic routines. These automatic routines facilitate operation, permitting the operator to focus in flight monitoring and payload control; it improves effectiveness, reduces operator fatigue and increases safety.
Some of the most common applications for this kind of automatic routines are: parcel delivery, dropping packets when flying over a predefined point; automating the capture and transmission of video when overflying a given area; in photogrammetry applications, for image capturing from a certain point and at a predefined period; turning on lights when reaching a certain altitude; activation of satellite communications in case of data link loss; pointing a gimbal to a heat source detected by thermal sensors; activation of flares when it is detected a shipwrecked on maritime search and rescue; etc.
This routines automation system also plays a significant role in system security, it permits the configuration of flight exclusion zones and safe flight zones, as well as to schedule automatic routines for fail-safe procedures activation such as: go home, hover flight, ascension, emergency landing, parachute activation… in the case that the system detects a situation of risk; lack of fuel, loss of communications link, onboard fire detection, flying outside flight envelope…
Configuring automatic routines with Veronte Autopilot
Applications such as the ones described above can be performed completely autonomously in any unmanned aircraft, thanks to Veronte Autopilot. Permitting the execution of automatic actions upon detection of any event, or the combination of multiple of them, there are also AND, OR & NOT rules available for increased flexibility. Veronte Autopilot also can configure periodic actions, to be executed repeatedly in intervals of time, distances or defined height variations.
Some of the most used actions with Veronte Autopilot system are:
- Onboard log. Registration of onboard information, it permits to record flight information within a specific instant.
- Output. Establishes an actuator position or a routine for: activating servos, lights or any device connected to the system.
- Fly to. Fly to a waypoint defined during the edition of the mission.
- Phase. Changing flight phase, allowing perform actions such as landing, go home…
- Mode. Switch flight mode: automatic, manual, semi-automatic…
The events available for the activation of one or multiple actions in the system are:
- Waypoint. Run an action when reaching a waypoint.
- Variable. Activation at any range in a system variable: datalink quality, battery level, height…
- Mode. When a flight mode is adopted the action is executed.
- Button. Configure custom buttons in the user interface.
- Alarm. Execution upon activation of a predefined alarm.
- Polygon. It will carry out an action when the aircraft is inside or outside within a defined area.
- Phase. When a flight phase runs the action is launched.