NASA Designed a Helicopter That Could Fly Autonomously on Mars

2021-02-19

NASA Designed a Helicopter That Could Fly Autonomously on Mars

Ingenuity’s body is the size of a box of tissues, slung underneath a pair of 1.2m carbon fiber rotors on top of four spindly legs. It weighs just 1.8kg, but the importance of its mission is massive.

Ingenuity isnt intended to do anything complicated because everything about the Mars helicopter itself is inherently complicated already. Flying a helicopter on Mars is incredibly challenging for a bunch of reasons, including the very thin atmosphere (just 1% the density of Earths), the power requirements, and the communications limitations.

There are a cellphone-grade IMU, a laser altimeter (from SparkFun), and a downward-pointing VGA camera for monocular feature tracking on board. A few dozen features are compared frame to frame to track relative position to figure out direction and speed, which is how the helicopter navigates.

There is also an inclinometer that would be used to establish the tilt of the ground just during takeoff, and a cellphone-grade 13-megapixel color camera that isnt used for navigation, but to take some pictures while flying.

Helicopter operates half-way autonomously due to its sequencing engine on board. A set of sequences, a series of commands are uploaded that file to the helicopter and it executes those commands.

The guidance part of the flights on the ground in simulation as a series of waypoints, and which are the sequence of commands that operator send to the guidance software. When operator gives a command to the helicopter to fly, the guidance software takes over and executes taking off, traversing to the different waypoints, and then landing.

Source: https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/aerospace/robotic-exploration/nasa-designed-perseverance-helicopter-rover-fly-autonomously-mars




Tree planting in the mountains with drones

2021-05-19
Tree planting in the mountains with drones

FlyingBasket and Bayerische Staatsforsten (BaySF) joined forces to test the use of cargo drones for tree planting in the mountains. After FlyingBasket obtained crossborder operation authorisation by the Federal Aviation Office in Germany, the team was able to start the trial by transporting 2,000 young trees from a location in the valley of Aschau, Southern Bavaria, to 18 planting locations up in the mountains near the famous Kampenwand.

Kaman Announces First Flight of Unmanned K-MAX TITAN

2021-05-13
Kaman Announces First Flight of Unmanned K-MAX TITAN

Kaman Air Vehicles, a division of Kaman Aerospace Corporation, announced today the first flight of its new unmanned helicopter, the K-MAX TITAN™. The world’s first heavy lift unmanned helicopter for the commercial market, K-MAX TITAN leads the way in repetitive, heavy lift without the constraints of manned operations. With a focus on enabling safety and operational efficiency, the proprietary K-MAX TITAN system will redefine the helicopter external lift market by increasing future mission capabilities in any location and any type of weather.

ZALA Lancet - Drone Fighter

2021-05-13
ZALA Lancet - Drone Fighter

Unmanned aviation follows the path of manned. At the beginning of the XX century, first, there were reconnaissance airplanes, then they learned to drop bombs from them. We fought the first planes initially from the ground with machine-gun and artillery fire, it turned out to be expensive and inefficient. Until specialized fighter planes appeared. History repeats itself with unmanned aircraft. Shooting down drones with missiles or cannons is also expensive and also inefficient. It was clear that soon the reconnaissance and strike drones would be hunted by unmanned fighters. The first such device was presented by the Russian company ZALA DEFENSE.

In England, drones will replace some of the engineers

2021-05-12
In England, drones will replace some of the engineers

Updating mobile networks is quite a difficult job, which is usually performed by engineers. But Vodafone decided to introduce an innovation in England and, together with Ericsson, try to replace people with drones in this business.

Xiaopeng Motors has announced the Traveler X1 flying passenger drone

2021-05-12
Xiaopeng Motors has announced the Traveler X1 flying passenger drone

The Chinese company Xiaopeng Motors, specializing in the production of electric vehicles, presented a manned drone Traveler X1 at the Shanghai Auto Show Auto Shanghai 2021. Traveler X1 is capable of reaching speeds of up to 120 km/h. The size of the new vehicle is comparable to the size of a compact city car.

The State Duma in the first reading adopted amendments on registration marks for UAVs in Russia

2021-05-06
The State Duma in the first reading adopted amendments on registration marks for UAVs in Russia

The State Duma adopted in the first reading a government bill providing for the introduction of accounting identification marks, which will be required to be applied to unmanned civil aircraft.

The drone will deliver cargo to residents of Komi and other hard-to-reach areas of the Russia

2021-05-06
The drone will deliver cargo to residents of Komi and other hard-to-reach areas of the Russia

Starting next year, the unmanned aircraft will begin parachuting mail and medical supplies weighing up to 200 kilograms in such remote regions as Kamchatka and the Komi Republic.

Use of a SIM card on board for the safe integration of drones into the common airspace

2021-05-05
Use of a SIM card on board for the safe integration of drones into the common airspace
A St. Petersburg startup has developed an on-board lte-responder AST-401 for drones, which will allow electronic identification of unmanned aircraft in urban air mobility systems.

ADASI from UAE develops QX-4 kamikaze drone able to carry precision guided bombs

2021-05-05
ADASI from UAE develops QX-4 kamikaze drone able to carry precision guided bombs

The UAE-based company ADASI, a subdivision of EDGE, has designed and developed the QX-4, a new generation of UAV loitering munitions able to carry up to two precision-guided bombs. The drone was unveiled during IDEX 2021, International Land Defense Exhibition that was held in Abu Dhabi, February 2021.

American UAV XQ-58A "Valkyrie" for the first time demonstrated the use of an internal compartment for weapons

2021-05-04
American UAV XQ-58A "Valkyrie" for the first time demonstrated the use of an internal compartment for weapons

Stealth drone "Valkyrie" has passed the next stage of testing. It is reported that an inconspicuous American drone during the sixth test flight carried out a launch from its own board of a small drone located in its internal compartment. We are talking about a compartment designed for weapons.


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