OverviewThe “AELS” team focused upon the development of a key technology to enable the operation of UAS over populated areas. A current known limitation of UAS is the ability to perform an emergency landing unassisted in the event of a failure such as communication breakdown or engine failure. In late 2014, the team 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. Using the ARCAA-developed Detect, Think, Act system, the aircraft, simulating engine failure while in flight, was able to detect possible landing areas, select the best one, then control the aircraft to a safe touchdown.
Watch ‘Automated Emergency Landing System’ here.
ARCAA Flamingo Platform Specifications
Launch Method: Rise of ground (ROG) launch from conventional runway grass or bitumen. Typical take off distance is 80M on grass, less from bitumen.
Flamingo Applications: Research platform for developing enabling technologies such as vision based detect and avoid during Smart Skies, the Automated Emergency Landing System during Project ResQu and environmental sensing. General applications include surveillance/monitoring.
Power Plant: 3W 28cc gasoline engine turning a three bladed carbon fibre propeller.
Maximum Flight Endurance: Two hours enduarnce with 3kg payload or four hours endurance with a low payload e.g. a light weight camera for surveillance.
Maximum range with the Same Payload: Range with a 3kg payload is approximately 100nm depending on conditions.
Ceiling: 15000ft (4500m) (manufacturer specification – never tested due to regulatory conditions). For Project ResQu, operational ceiling was 400ft.