Samara University unmanned aerial vehicle has successfully passed the test
Samara University scholars have finished testing of unmanned aerial vehicle “Photon 601” (UAV). The apparatus is oriented to the solution of civil tasks, i.e. the problem areas monitoring of oil companies’ main pipelines, surveying of hydraulic works, revealing of unauthorized landfill site, control of natural resources extraction and many other things.
On the UAV “Photon 601” developed at Samara University 9 test flights were conducted. The flights resulted in working out of the autoflight mode, modifiability of the route as well as control over the work load (transmission of information and its quality).
The UAV has two power supplies, i.e. the solar array system and combustion engine.
“Our main task is the work at the receiving of a high efficiency from solar arrays aboard an UAV, - says one of the developers of “Photon 601”, employee of the Centre for Unmanned Systems Anton Nazarov. – We periodically switch them on during the flights and the results satisfy us. We are moving to the further provision of UAV flights only on the solar energy basis. This will allow our apparatus to go to the higher level of autonomy and justify its name”.
One more characteristic feature of “Photon 601” is its potential independence on navigation systems of GPS and GLONASS types. The complete autonomy of the UAV is to be provided by the built in alternative navigation block developed at Samara University. It is based on the principles of optical navigation. Due to the support points set beforehand along the route the UAV is able to navigate the terrain with the help of “machine vision” and correct the course without the use of satellite navigation signals.
“Applying the autonomous navigation we substantially increase the radius of the apparatus in comparison with other UAVs and increase its safety significantly. The duration of the flight of our UAV today is up to 24 hours – Anton Nazarov explained. – Now in Russia there are no known analogues to such apparatus. There are many UAVs with different types of the work load, but they all of exclusively local use. We work over the expansion of the geography of flight – it will enhance the competitiveness of our apparatus dramatically”.
During the whole flight control over the most important blocks and joints of the UAV is made from the ground control station. If radiocommunication is lost “Photon 601” automatically returns to the take-off and lands. If on its way “home” the communication is resumed, the UAV again returns to the source route for completion of the flight assignment. Herewith the apparatus can be followed both in visible spectrum and infrared band.
In two years after receiving of the necessary certificates and licenses by the developers “Photon 601” can be mass produced. Abilities of the UAV have already caught the interest of different environmental structures, oil companies as well as national security, defence and law enforcement agencies
Unmanned aerial vehicle “Photon 601” is intended as a research laboratory for running of experiments and is equipped with two types of cameras on gyrostabilized suspension. On the UAV of Samara University another work load of up to 8,5 kg in weight can be set.