To a safe flight, and according to the current regulations in the majority of countries, it is necessary to equip the UAV with automated procedures, which are activated when a specific unscheduled event is verified during the flight operation. The failures can be of different types and these are classified in a different way depending on the incidence that the failure has in the system (including the ground control station and the aerial unit). Depending on the gravity of them, is indispensable to activate pre-defining routines of Fail-Safe or FTS (Flight Termination System).

How are faults classified and related to the Fail-Safe routines and FTS?

In general, they can be divided into two classes: Non Critical and Critical. For the first ones, it is always possible to define a Fail-Safe that allows the platform to be recovered safely. This class includes loss of LOS link, loss of GPS, insufficient battery to complete the mission, etc.

Fail-Safe routines and FTS automated with UAVs - Parachute drone

In the Critical failure case, the UAS cannot safely follow a preconfigured route and the remote control by the pilot is not possible. In this case, it is necessary to activate a previously installed FTS on board, which ends immediately with possible sources of damage to third parties.

Depending on the platform’s size, the activation of the impact energy reduction system may also be required, which usually consists of a parachute. Included in this group are the motor losses (Rotary Wing), the block of the control surfaces (Fixed Wing) and, in general, all the essential components for a safe and controlled flight.

Detection of failures and automation of Fail-Safe and FTS’s routines with Veronte Autopilot

It is always important, on the part of the operator, to detail beforehand (normally in the design phase and during the first tests) the possible failures and unequivocally determine the detection of the same and the consequent reaction of the system.

The Veronte autopilot is capable of autonomously detecting system failures, both the ground control station and the air unit. Through the definition of automation and following a simple Boolean logic, the Veronte autopilot allows the activation of different types of Fail-Safe and FTS actions for each situation detected.