“Follow Path” manoeuvers with UAS and its applications

The Veronte Autopilot revolutionizes again the guidance and control of UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) or more commonly known as drones. Enabling the use of “Follow Path” manoeuvers, which improves “Follow me” or “Fly-by-camera” (navigation guidance by camera pointing). With these new manoeuvres, instead of pursuing an objective defined as a dynamic point, the UAS can follow the same path described by the guide, so if the guide has followed a route avoiding collisions with fixed obstacles, the follower will perform the same manoeuvre, thus improving the safety of the mission.

The “Follow Path” manoeuvres with UAS are framed within the Veronte Autopilot functions known as “improvisations”, which include the “Fly-by-camera”, the manual or semi-automatic control, the improvised go-to, etc. … These manoeuvres are useful during the execution of predefined operations with UAS, so it is possible to take the drone out of the automatic pre-defined route to perform an specific action: fly over points of interest or detect some type of activity in the environment.

To activate a “Follow Path” manoeuvre it is as simple as selecting in the Veronte Pipe interface the UAS to follow and entering the safety distance to the target to avoid flying too close, and the type of axis Vector Body or Vector NED to establish the type of formation flight: chain, in parallel, etc … With what, Veronte displaces the trajectory with respect to the selected UAS, for example to repeat a same route displaced 10 meters to the right.

Applications with “Follow Path” manoeuvres

Among the most staked applications for the use of “Follow Path” maneuvers are:

  • Taxi function in airports. With this application it is possible to guide the UAS with a car for its placement on the track.
  • Exit of ships from ports. The automated exit of ships from a port can be monitored with UAS, for example by dodging masts of sailboats or chimneys of other vessels when flying over the same area where the ship will sail.
  • Surveillance. It is possible follow the trajectory of convoys or cargo ships, for the fight against piracy, avoid stowaways, attacks, robberies, …
  • Coordinated manoeuvres. With this application drones can fly in formation performing coordinated manoeuvres between different UAS, to carry out air support missions, search and rescue missions, border surveillance, exhibitions,…

In conclusion, given that “Follow Me” operations with UAS are growing in interest among the communities of drone operators, as well as between companies and amateurs, these would do well to consider adopting the operations described as “Follow Path” because of the advantages provided over “Follow Me” operations. Therefore the Veronte Autopilot is the best option, being the most relevant unmanned control system that supports these manoeuvres, “Follow Path”, “Follow Me”, “Fly-by-camera”…

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