DRDO scouts vision-assited recovery system for UAVs

SP's Special Correspondent

April 18, 2015: With a view to test a vision-assisted take-off and landing system for small size UAVs, the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) in Bengaluru has called upon Indian vendors to design and develop necessary navigation algorithms, putt them in target hardware, interface with the onboard sensors and autopilot on a mini flying test bed, perform the necessary calibration checks on the test aircraft, and prove the algorithms in a closed loop with the onboard navigation system. The tasks will be carried out in close interaction with ADE. The flying test bed is proposed to be a 20-30kg-class fixed wing UAV. The tests will initially be with electrical engine to contain the vibrations and then with IC engine for more realism, says the ADE announcement. The work demands precision work in the areas of computer vision, modeling and simulation, aircraft navigation sensors and systems, control and guidance, aircraft systems integration, daylight and IR sensors and image understanding, estimation theory, numerical methods, and high-performance embedded computing. It also demands efficient software design and implementation. "The task is very complex and the firms bidding for it will need to demonstrate the necessary capabilities, prior experience and stability to undertake the task," ADE has stipulated.