If you need aerial data for your projects the only options so far has been using satellite imagery or collecting the data using manned systems. Both of which are either complicated or far too expensive and very restrictive for R&D projects. With the introduction of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) researchers finally have acquired a level of freedom to collect real-time data at a reasonable cost repeatedly.
This is a small introduction to point out how to make use of UASs and A-techSYN capabilities in your projects that require aerial data collection.
I will try to make it very simple and implement a step-by-step approach.
- What Data ? : The first thing you need to do is decide on what type of aerial data you will require. Aerial data can consist of data that is collected during the flight but exist on the ground or on air. Aerial imagery of the ground is an example of the first one while air temperature, direction of wind or location of other aircraft are examples of the later.
- How much Data ? : Second step is to define the type, amount, frequency, and quality of data you will require. This is a very important step, since being tight might result in repeating the flights or changing equipment but being too generous might result in heavy and expensive equipment to be required and custom design of UAS.
- What Sensors ? : Once you decide on the data, now you need to figure out what type of sensors you need to acquire those. The main issue with UAS is always the payload/endurance/capability trade-off. You need to select the optimum sensors with low power requirements that are light and also modular. Any out of standard sensors will result in extra equipment that means more space and weight.
- Sensor Fusion ? : A very important issue is to understand that you will be working with a platform of some size. The CGT50s have a wingspan of 5m and body length of 3m. It is not only possible to use several different type of sensors but also possible to use more than one of the same sensor at some significant distance to each other. Another issue is that the platform is moving but the movement vector is provided as data to the sensors or can be added to the collected data. It is crucial to understand these dynamics and come up with the best possible sensor set that will provide the best data set and possible new data dimensions that will provide to be useful in any research project.
- Optimisation : Once you decide on the sensors, you will need to work with our team to look for optimisations that can be done. Most sensors are designed to work stand-alone. This sometimes means that several sensors use the same type of peripherals repetitive. A good example are the GPRS and AHRS units. Since A-techSYN UAVs have a CAN network on board, attitude and location information and many others can be broadcasted to all equipments on board. Another example would be the power system. A-techSYN UAVs have powerplants and produce sufficient DC energy that can be used by most sensors directly, thus making it possible to avoid using extra batteries or power adaptors.
- Integration : Next step is where and how to attach the sensors and their peripherals (power adaptors, cables, electronics, antennas etc.) to the UAV. A-techSYN team will work on 3D models and test locations and performance of sensors until a solution presents itself.
- Decision on the Platform : At one point, you have to decide on the platform -UAV- to be used. Depending on the sensors, integration, weight and flight parameters, you may be able to go with
- standard A-techSYN UAVs such as the CGT50 or the CNG-V
- Customized A-techSYN UAVs (small changes on the body, internal electronics, communication system, powerplant or engine etc.)
- A New UAV Design
We at A-techSYN are happy to be part of your projects and will support you at all of the above stages.
Once the decisions are made, we will supply you with all necessary information and timelines on production, tests, integration of equipment, regulations to fly etc. and will take responsibility on these.
A-techSYN will take part in any work packages that would be related with sensor decisions, integration of sensors, ground and flight tests, actual data collection, performance and optimisation flights and demonstrations.
We recommend to include a stand-alone work package including all UAS related phases such as the design/change of design, manufacturing, integration, software development/ amendment, ground and flight tests and optimisation of the UAS.
Please keep in mind that there will also be some extensive regulatory issues (registrations, risk analysis, trainings, permission to fly etc.) to be discussed with civil aviation authorities to be able to perform flights and these should be addressed in the same or a separate WP.
I hope this helps and looking forward to supporting you with your projects.