Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle Ground
Control System
Software Development


Contact Information

Roger Lopez
Manager
Autonomous Systems & Controls
(210) 522-3832
rlopez@swri.org

Image: The U.S. Army needed a mini unmanned aerial vehicle for backpack and scout force over-the-hill reconnaissance in day or night conditions

The U.S. Army needed a mini unmanned aerial vehicle for backpack and scout force over-the-hill reconnaissance in day or night conditions

 

Image: Also developed was a lightweight, portable, miniature, multipurpose ground control station as a command and control station for mission planning and video display.

Also developed was a lightweight, portable, miniature, multipurpose ground control station as a command and control station for mission planning and video display.

The U.S. Army needed a mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for backpack and scout force over-the-hill reconnaissance in day or night conditions. This required a small UAV with a miniature flight management system containing the aircraft control operation.

Buster:

  • A mini-UAV called Buster was developed by Mission Technologies Inc. (MITEX) that:
  • Weighs less than 10 pounds
  • Has folding wings with a 40-inch wingspan
  • Has a range of greater than 10 kilometers
  • Has a loiter speed of 35-45 knots
  • Provides a fully autonomous flight with launcher take-off and parachute recovery
  • Has an endurance of over 2 hours
  • Uses a Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)-developed flight management system for aircraft control

Ground Control Station

Also developed was a lightweight, portable, miniature, multipurpose ground control station as a command and control station for mission planning and video display.

Also developed was a lightweight, portable, miniature, multipurpose ground control station (GCS) as a command and control station for mission planning and video display. The station is:

  • Self-contained
  • Battery-powered
  • Daylight readable
  • Used for both mission planning and mission deployment

SwRI selected commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components, which included each of the following:

  • Ruggedized laptop
  • Commercial digital video recorder
  • GPS receiver
  • 900 MHx datalink
  • C-BAND video receiver
  • Commercially available ground control software package

SwRI integrated the COTS components into a briefcase-size case and provided a software link layer to communicate with the SwRI-developed airborne flight management system.

Related Terminology

aircraft engine performance  •  unmanned aerial vehicle  •  ground control station  •  Buster  •  mini UAV  •  miniature flight management system  •  aircraft control  •  aerospace engineering

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.

04/15/14