Unmanned Systems Technology 024 | Wingcopter 178 l 5G focus l UUVs insight l CES report l Stromkind KAT l Intelligent Energy fuel cell l Earthsense TerraSentia l Connectors focus l Advanced Engineering report

out. The flux ring is finished in black electrocoat for durability. The batteries are 6S lithium-polymer items from Swaytronic with high C-ratings of 35/70. C-ratings indicate the maximum current draw that the batteries can support, the first number indicating the largest continuous draw and the second the largest peak draw. “The C-ratings allow for extreme loads in hover flight, and the performance always met our expectations, even during testing in a cold room at -34 C,” Hesselbarth says. To provide a degree of redundancy in the electrical system, the UAV always flies with at least two batteries, connected via two separate connectors, so it will maintain controlled flight even if one battery fails. Wiring harnesses are made by ISO 9001:2015-certified electronics company Wennmacher Electronic, which offers UL certificates for assembly upon request. Flight control Control is conventional for vertical flight, and relies on synchronised and differential motor speeds to climb, descend, turn on the spot, pitch and roll. In forward flight, control forces are generated by an aileron on each wing and a pair of rudders on the tail, all moved by premium servos. The autopilot hardware comes from Drotek, running AirRails software from UAVenture. The AirRails flight control core features a flexible control model that allows it to adapt to new demands quickly. Drawing on Wingcopter’s knowledge of the airframe’s flying qualities, UAVenture’s flight control engineers were able to quickly implement a working model simulation before any hardware had to be involved. “After that initial verification of the controls, we moved forwards to choosing the appropriate autopilot electronics,” a UAVenture spokesperson says. “A solution based on the well-tested Dropix autopilot was integrated by Wingcopter.” Designed by Drotek and the PX4 open hardware project, Dropix uses processor and sensor technology from STMicroelectronics – the CPU is a 32-bit ARM Cortex M4 – and a NuttX real-time operating system. Claimed benefits include integrated multi-threading, to execute multiple processes simultaneously, and a Unix/ Linux-like programming environment. New missions and flight behaviour can be scripted in the Lua cross-platform programming language, and a custom PX4 driver layer ensures precise timing across all processes, says UAVenture. Wingcopter says UAVenture supported the electronics installation, testing and changing parameters. Intensive long-term flight testing was performed directly by UAVenture using Wingcopter VTOL UAVs based on site, Kadura notes. Implementation and set-up of the