Automated system enables unmanned aircraft to land

February 25, 2015 by Rose Trapnell, Queensland University of Technology
Automated system enables unmanned aircraft to land
Dr Luis Mejias and his team at ARCAA have developed a world-frist automated emergency landing system for unmanned aerials under 20 kilograms in weight.

QUT unmanned aircraft researchers have made what's believed to be a world-first breakthrough for small unmanned aircraft (UA) under 20 kilograms, developing an automated emergency landing system (AELS) that has enabled the aircraft to land on its its own.

Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) Deputy Director, Dr Luis Mejias, said technology had been tested and proven on both QUT's Cessna aircraft as well as onboard a small (UA) taking the technology further than elsewhere in the world.

"Using the ARCAA-developed Detect, Think, Act system, the aircraft, simulating while in flight, was able to detect possible landing areas, select the best one, then control the aircraft to a safe touchdown," Dr Mejias said.

The research and test flights were conducted by QUT as part of Project ResQu, a $7 million two-year project funded by the Queensland Government, QUT, CSIRO, BR&T-Australia and Insitu Pacific, which aimed to fast-track the development of smart technologies to enable to fly safely in civil airspace.

Dr Mejias said the successful AELS trial enabled Project ResQu to wrap up on an extremely positive note.

Previously, the Project ResQu team had tested and proved what was believed to be the world's first on-board vision system to enable a small UA to detect and avoid another aircraft while in flight.

With the successful completion of the project, ARCAA Director Professor Duncan Campbell said the newly-developed technologies had great potential for commercialisation.

"The research and technologies developed throughout Project ResQu amount to significant advancements that will ultimately pave the way for the routine use of UA in disaster management, such as during fires and floods, as well as environmental monitoring and other uses," Professor Campbell said.

He said with the closure of the joint project and recommendations made to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the focus was now on contributing to the progress of the regulations and standards that need to be established for these technologies to develop further.

"Through our continuing representation on CASA's UAS Standards Sub-committee, the outcomes from Project ResQu will inform and actively guide the development of the standards necessary for routine safe operation of unmanned aircraft in civil airspace," he said.

"The standards will need to take into account a range of conditions including populous areas and other airspace users.

"Once the standards are set, unmanned aircraft operators will know exactly what parameters UA will be required to meet in order to fly under a range of conditions."

Explore further: World-first breakthrough for small unmanned aircraft

Related Stories

World-first breakthrough for small unmanned aircraft

February 6, 2014

Queensland Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) researchers have made what's believed to be a world-first breakthrough for small Unmanned Aircraft (UA), developing an on board system that has enabled a UA to detect another aircraft ...

New research to help safer emergency aircraft landings

January 5, 2012

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) aviation researchers are developing an information system to help Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) make safer emergency landings and better enable their wider commercial use.

Singapore plans 'real-time' aircraft tracking system

February 5, 2015

Singapore said Thursday it will introduce a new aircraft tracking system that will ensure complete surveillance of its airspace, amid global efforts to prevent a repeat of Flight MH370's inexplicable disappearance.

Recommended for you

1 in 3 Michigan workers tested opened fake 'phishing' email

March 16, 2018

Michigan auditors who conducted a fake "phishing" attack on 5,000 randomly selected state employees said Friday that nearly one-third opened the email, a quarter clicked on the link and almost one-fifth entered their user ...

World's biggest battery in Australia to trump Musk's

March 16, 2018

British billionaire businessman Sanjeev Gupta will built the world's biggest battery in South Australia, officials said Friday, overtaking US star entrepreneur Elon Musk's project in the same state last year.

Origami-inspired self-locking foldable robotic arm

March 15, 2018

A research team of Seoul National University led by Professor Kyu-Jin Cho has developed an origami-inspired robotic arm that is foldable, self-assembling and also highly-rigid. (The researchers include Suk-Jun Kim, Dae-Young ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.