Manual takeoff and landing...
Above and below, from uav_roadmap2005.pdf
Take off and landing for many Unmanned Aircraft is currently performed manually.
What follows is an account from the
site discussing the first fully automated take-off and flight of the Aerosonde
“Millionaire” Unmanned Aircraft, in 1997. Since that time, other Unmanned
demonstrated fully automated take off, flight and landing.
Our First Fully Robotic Flight
On 22 September, 1997, an important step was taken towards automatic, rather
than manual control, of take off and landing. In a one-hour test at Trout Lake
in Washington, Aerosonde “Millionaire” flew under autopilot, continuously from
launch to touchdown.
Figures show the landing, as plotted on ground-station displays. The aircraft
touched down smoothly on the Trout Lake runway, made one small bounce and a
large-angle yaw and then decelerated rapidly, through some tall clover. Overall,
the performance was quite comparable to a good manual landing.
Although the landing was done under autopilot, it was not quite autonomous
guidance onto the runway centre line was done visually from the ground station,
rather than being left to the onboard tracker. However the test produced good
results in position measurement, by differential GPS.
Height above ground level (top) and offset from the centreline (bottom), during
the airborne computer controlled approach and landing of the Unmanned Air
Above is shown the telemetry data for an Aerosonde Unmanned Air Vehicle as it
lands, entirely under the control of the onboard flight control computer, which
uses information from onboard navigation sensors, including a GPS unit, to
manage an accurate landing.
Underside of an Aerosonde Unmanned Air Vehicle, showing the imager in the front
and the pusher engine on its swivel mount, to enable the control of the thrust
Above and below from presentation by Dave Grilley on " Certification of an
autonomous launch and recovery system" at the UAV 2007 Conference in Paris.