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Head Office in North Bay

30 Roundel Road, North Bay, Ontario, P1C 0B8

Request a Quote

The best at what we do..

* Please Fill Required Fields *
img

Phone

Toll Free : 1-866-206-2267

Working Hours

We are happy to meet you during our working hours. Please make an appointment.

  • Monday - Friday08:00-16:30
  • Saturday - SundayClosed

HEMS drone avoids traffic autonomously with FLARM

By admin In UAV News

15

Apr
2019

HEMS drone avoids traffic autonomously with FLARM

Rega presented a new type of aircraft for searching for missing persons: the newly developed Rega drone can autonomously scan large search areas and is equipped with various sensors, such as a thermal camera. As a result, in future, Rega will have at its disposal an additional device to help it search for people in distress.

In future, the Rega drone is to be deployed on missions to search for missing, injured or ill persons to supplement the conventional resources for example, if the helicopter has to remain on the ground due to poor visibility.

“We observed the development of drone technology from an early stage and were always convinced that drones could be of help in particular on search missions,” says Head of Helicopter Operations Sascha Hardegger. However, there is currently no drone system on the market that meets all of Rega’s requirements. In particular, it is not possible to operate a relatively small, lightweight and flexible drone over a distance of several kilometres and for several hours without visual contact with the drone pilot. “As a result, we took the initiative and decided to develop a Rega drone ourselves in collaboration with suitable partners”. Rega has been working on its own drone project with the aim of making this additional operational device available for search missions in the very near future.

With its three rotor blades and a rotor diameter of just over two metres, the new Rega drone looks like a mini helicopter and in appearance has little in common with commercially available multicopter drones. During a search mission, it flies at an altitude of 80-100 metres above ground level and scans large search areas precisely and autonomously following a predefined route. It is also able to independently detect and avoid other aircraft or obstacles, such as helicopters and overhead cables. This is possible thanks to anti-collision systems, coupled with countless data stored in the drone’s in-flight computer, such as digital models of the terrain and obstacle databases.

Thanks to two redundant GNSS receivers, the Rega drone flies autonomously on a predefined route. It follows the topography of the terrain at an altitude of around 80–100 metres above ground level. In addition, a ground radar is built into the drone. Like many aircraft in Switzerland, the drone is equipped with the FLARM anti-collision system. The FLARM signals are evaluated on board. If necessary, the drone will automatically alter its flight path in order to avoid an impending collision. The drone operates without visual contact with the pilot (BVLOS).

Thanks to the FLARM anti-collision warning system, the drone is mutually recognisable electronically by other aircraft from a considerable distance. The drone pilot at the ground control station is constantly connected with the so-called U-space. This is an air traffic management system that is currently being set up to coordinate unmanned aircraft in jointly used airspace. It aims to prevent the drone from getting dangerously close to known air traffic.

For the event that, despite all the precautions described above, the Rega drone does get dangerously close to an aircraft and runs the risk of colliding with it, it is equipped with an active, automatic anticollision function. Based on the signals transmitted by the FLARM anti-collision warning system, the drone autonomously alters its flight path in good time to avoid colliding with the other aircraft. Around 80 percent of all aircraft in Switzerland, including all of Rega’s helicopters, are voluntarily equipped with FLARM, and the system is also becoming increasingly popular with paraglider pilots. This collision avoidance function will be further enhanced by combining it with a built-in radar device.

FLARM

Published at Mon, 15 Apr 2019 05:01:25 +0000

{articles|100|campaign}True Terrain Following available for professional drone surveys and inspections

A new solution for UAS allows for accurate terrain following without the need to rely on map data.

With the help of a proprietary UgCS data logger and a laser altimeter, SPH Engineering has solved a problem that has been troubling the drone industry for quite some time: how to follow terrain without compromising effectiveness and precision.

The new integration solution is especially significant for inspections, mining, engineering, agriculture and environmental industries where ground penetrating radars or analysers are used or where being able to fly over objects at a particular height is crucially important for other reasons.

As this usually requires flying them above the ground at a very precise height, rough estimates are not good enough. Previously, digital elevation model (DEM) data was essential to do this; however, this is often not available for a given region or is not sufficiently accurate. For example, if a drone with a ground-penetrating radar needs to be flown at a height of one metre, but the precision of the available data is three metres, the data is of no use for this purpose.

However, having too much information can be as problematic as having too little. LiDARs nowadays can create extremely accurate terrain maps by providing a precision level of up to one centimetre. As good as this sounds, for drone mission planning, this would mean including too many waypoints. As the waypoints need to be loaded onto the drone in batches of no more than 99 at a time, following a LiDAR-mapped area of terrain with the necessary precision would involve flying over the area time and time again.

SPH Engineering has solved both of these issues by gathering and using terrain data on the go. The laser altimeter gathers an uninterrupted data flow by measuring the flight time of a short flash of infrared laser light as it bounces back off the surface of the terrain, while the UgCS data logger adjusts the drone flight height accordingly. As it uses actual and not pre-
existing data, the mode is called True Terrain Following.

All of this, together with the UgCS software, allows for hassle-free drone mission planning with uncompromised flight height precision. The operator just needs to set the desired flight height and speed, and activate the True Terrain Following mode. The function is currently available for DJI M600/M600 Pro drones and can also be used with custom drones based on DJI A3 autopilot. More details are available at industrial.ugcs.com/ttf.

Published at Mon, 15 Apr 2019 05:01:15 +0000

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