DIPLOMA IN AEROSPACE ELECTRONICS (S90)
Autonomous Security Surveillance Airship Carrier II
The aim of this project, done in collaboration with TwinRock Global, is to create a surveillance drone capable of tracking and chasing targets of interest. It has a hybrid design, combining properties of a fixed wing aircraft(Range and Endurance) and a multi-rotor drone (VTOL); the former offering high speed chasing capabilities and the latter allowing speedy deployment of the craft.
The carrier :
- Needs minimal runway
- Minimises human effort
- Compliments existing security measures
- Optimises flight characteristics
The craft can also be flown autonomously via GPS waypointing, with its path preset before takeoff through the use of a ground station.
This project was undertaken to create a drone capable of security surveillance, combining the properties of a fixed wing aircraft and a multi-rotor drone. The fixed wing aspect of the chaser, as shall be referred to, allows it to achieve an extended flying time and range. It is also capable of high speed flight. The multi-rotor aspect of the chaser allows quick deployment and a fast acquisition rate. Tracking and maintaining targets is made easy as the three motors allow it to hover. The camera, which has yet to be implemented, will be on a two axis gimbal, which provides stable footage that will be transmitted to the monitor beside the ground station.
The advantages of a VTOL include:
- Use of minimal or no runway at all
- Efficient forward flight, unpowered gliding ; less power draw
- Quick target acquisition
- Manoeuvrability on par as that of a multi-rotor
- Ability to work in tandem with existing security measures
- Quick deployment capability
- Minimum human effort required for surveillance
The ground station allows communication between the chaser and the pilot. It can be manually controlled via a transmitter or controlled autonomously by the software, 'Mission Planner', by plotting its GPS waypoints and pointing the camera at the objective. The pixhawk is bound to a telemetry system that operates at 433 Mhz, which is legal in Singapore.
The telemetry system allows for communication between the pixhawk and the ground station, enabling the waypointing system to operate nominally with low latency. It's GPS accuracy is 7 metres or less, depending on flight conditions. It operates more efficiently on open ground, where ferromagnetic materials would not interfere with the onboard compass and GPS.