Free Drone Operation And Control Research Paper Sample

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Control, Information, System, Camera, Wireless Technology, Media, Device, Aviation

Pages: 8

Words: 2200

Published: 2021/01/07


The paper is dedicated to the study of drone operation and control properties. In particular, the considered parts of the drone avionics allows for solving a wide range of tasks to monitor areas and hard-to-human areas in the national economy. Application of the avionics television cameras allows for good meteo-visibility and good light to provide high resolution and detailed monitoring of the underlying surface in real time. Application of digital cameras allows for using drones for aerial photography in a given area, followed by a detailed decoding. Using thermal imaging cameras allows the use of drones around the clock, although at a lower resolution than using television cameras. The most appropriate use of complex systems is along with the formation of the synthesized image. However, such systems are still quite expensive.
Key words: drones, drone control, television camera, thermal imaging camera.

Executive Summary

In this paper, there is presented information on the drones, their control systems, antennas use and peculiarities. The use of plug-in modules of devices receiving imagery information, thus reducing the cost and reconfiguring the composition of airborne equipment to solve the problem in a specific application. Ability to provide reliable communications is one of the most important characteristics that define the operational capabilities of the drone complex control. The proposed system of high gain AC control in drone complexes optimizes the process of entering the communication and the ability to restore communications in the event of loss. The system is suitable for use on drones, as well as at control ground and air bases. The presence of on-board radar provides information at a lower resolution, but round the clock and under adverse weather conditions. The data received by the board means of monitoring should be real-time transmitted to the control center for processing and making appropriate decisions.
Amateurish approach here, as in all other cases, is fraught ultimately with financial loss and loss of time. Why is the automatic flight so important applied to the problems being solved by enterprises of fuel and energy complex? It is clear that the very air monitoring has no alternative. Control over the condition of pipelines and other facilities, the problem of protection, monitoring and surveillance are best solved with the use of aircrafts. But reducing costs, ensuring regularity of automation data acquisition and processing - rightly focus on drones, which prove the high interest of specialists in passing exhibitions and forums. However, drones can also be complex and expensive systems that require support, maintenance, creation of ground infrastructure and maintenance services. To the greatest extent, it relates to complexes, originally created to solve military problems, and now quickly adaptable to economic applications.


Drone itself is only part of a complex multifunctional complex. As a rule, the main tasks assigned to drone complexes – exploration of remote areas, where conventional means to obtain information, including aerial reconnaissance, are difficult to use or endanger the health and even lives of people. In addition to the military use, drones open the possibility of rapid and inexpensive method for survey of inaccessible terrain, periodic monitoring of target areas, and digital photography for use in geodetic works and in case of emergencies.
Currently, the most widely used tactical complexes are micro and mini drones. Due to the greater take-off weight, mini-drone load in its functional structure is the most complete composition of airborne equipment that meets modern requirements to the multifunction reconnaissance drones.

Drone Use Objectives

• Devices to obtain visionary information;
• Satellite navigation system (GPS);
• Devices of radio line for telemetry data;
• Devices of command and navigation radio line with antenna-feeder device;
• Device of the command information exchange;
• Device of the information exchange;
• On-board digital computer;
• Storage device specific information (Yamamoto et al., 2014).
Modern television cameras transfer to the operator in real-time picture of the observed area in the format closest to the characteristics of the human visual system, which allows him to freely navigate the terrain and, if necessary, to carry out drone pilotage (Léchevin, Rabbath & Maupin, 2015). Ability to detect and recognize objects is determined by the photodetector characteristics and the optical system of the television camera. The main disadvantage of modern television cameras is their limited sensitivity, not providing 24-hour use. The application of thermal imaging cameras allows for the drone use round the clock.

Drone Control Elements

The most promising is the use of combined-body thermal imaging systems. The operator receives synthesized image containing the most informative part of the inherent visible and infrared wavelengths, which can significantly improve the performance characteristics of the surveillance system. However, such a system is technically complex and very expensive (LaFleur et al., 2012). The use of radar provides information around the clock and under adverse weather conditions, when the TV and TPV channels do not provide access to information. The use of plug-in modules allows for reducing the cost and reconfiguring the composition of airborne equipment to solve the problem in specific application conditions. Below there is presented the composition of the board equipment mini-drones.
Survey course device with pivot mechanism is attached steadily at an angle to the drill axis of the drone, providing the necessary capture area on the ground. As part of the survey course device, there may be a television camera (TC) with wide-field lens (WFL). Depending on the task, it can be promptly replaced or supplemented by a thermal imaging camera, a digital camera or radar.
Device of detailed overlook with pivot mechanism consists of a detailed review of the TC with narrow-field lens (NFL) and a three-dimensional pivot mechanism, providing turning of the camera by the course, roll and pitch by operator commands for detailed analysis of site-specific areas. For operation in low-light conditions, TC can be supplemented with a thermal imaging camera in the micro bolometer matrix with NFL. There is also possible change of TC to the digital camera. Such a decision would allow use of drones for aerial photography at the turn of the optical axis of the digital camera to the nadir.
Devices of radio line of telemetry data (transmitter and antenna-feeder device) must provide for the transfer of visionary and telemetry data in real or near-real time to CP within the radio visibility.
Devices of command and navigation radio line (receiver and antenna-feeder device) must be capable of receiving commands within the framework of radio distance of piloting drones commands and management of its equipment.
Device for the exchange of command information provides distribution of command and navigation information on consumers on board of the drone.
Device of data exchange provides data distribution between onboard imagery sources, radio transmitter of imagery information and on-board storage device. This unit also provides information exchange between all functional units that are parts of the drone payload for the selected interface (Léchevin, Rabbath & Maupin, 2015). Through the external port of the device, before drone takeoff there is performed introduction of the flight task and implemented automated prelaunch built-in control over functioning of the main components and systems of the drone.
The satellite navigation system provides a binding frame (topographic location) of the drone and the observed objects by the signals of the global satellite navigation system GPS. Satellite navigation system consists of one or two receivers with antenna systems. The use of two receivers, antennas of which are separated by the construction line of drone in addition to the drone coordinates allows one to define the value of its course angle.

On-board digital computer (FDC) provides drone onboard control complex.

Imagery data storage device provides accumulation of imagery information selected by the operator (or in accordance with the flight plan) until the drone landing (Yamamoto et al., 2014). This device may be removable or fixed. In the latter case, the channel must be provided for removal of the accumulated data to the external device after drone landing. Information retrieved from the storage device allows for a more detailed analysis when interpreting the flight results of the drone.
Built-in power supply provides the coordination of voltage and currents consumption of onboard power source and devices that are part of the payload, as well as immediate protection against short circuits and overloads in the power supply (Luo et al., 2012). Depending on the class of drone, the payload can be supplemented with various types of radars, sensors of environmental, radiation and chemical monitoring. Drone control system is a complex, multi-level structure, the main objective of which is to ensure drone reaching a given area and executing operations in accordance with the flight plan, as well as ensuring the delivery of information obtained by means of airborne drones, to the control point.

Drone Antenna Systems

High gain AS control system includes (LaFleur et al., 2012): High gain AS itself, radio parameters of which are selected on the basis of the requirements to provide the necessary range of communication by radio. AS servo drive that provides AS spatial orientation towards the expected occurrence of communication object radiation.
Automatic directional tracking system (ADTS), which provides a stable communication auto tracking of the object in the coverage area of ​​the DF system performance capture. Radio receivers, which provide formation of Communication signal, confirming receiving information of the specified quality.
Processor of antenna control system that provides analysis of the current state of the AS control system, forming the servo signals for spatial orientation of the antenna in accordance with the flight plan and spatial scanning algorithm (Yamamoto et al., 2014). It also provides the analysis of the connection, the analysis of the possible relocation of the AS servo mode "External control", mode "Auto Track", forming signal of AS servo mode transfer "External control".
The main task performed by control system of high gain AC is to ensure stable connection with the object specified by the flight plan. This task is divided into a number of subtasks: Ensure that the spatial orientation of the AS towards the expected appearance of communication object radiation and its spatial stabilization for the case where the AS is on board of the aircraft. Another task is expanding the area of ​​sustainable capture of communication object radiation through the use of discrete spatial scanning algorithm with deterministic space-time structure (Luo et al., 2012).
There is also switching to the mode of sustainable automatic tracking of communication object by AS system, when it detects a communication object. Providing opportunities to resume the connection in case of breakdown. For a discrete spatial scanning algorithm with deterministic space-time structure, there are the following features: scanning is done discretely in time and space; spatial displacement of AS during scanning is carried out in such a way that there are no spatial zones that do not overlap by the area of AS firm grip system for the entire scan cycle.

Scanning Algorithms

Each particular spatial position determined by scanning algorithms can be divided into two phases: the "Auto Track" and "External control". In the phase of Auto Track, AS system evaluates the possibility of receiving radiation of communication object for the selected spatial position of the RDA. The structure of an onboard complex of drone navigation and control includes three components.
1. Integrated Navigation System;
2. The satellite navigation system;
3. Module of autopilot.
Autopilot module performs production of control commands in the form of a PWM (pulse width modulated) signals, according to the laws of control inherent in its computer. In addition to controlling the drone, autopilot is programmed to operate onboard equipment: stabilization of the camera, synchronization in time and coordinates camera shutter, release of the parachute, discharge of cargo or sampling at a given point and other functions. In memory of the autopilot can be recorded up to 255 turning points of the route (Luo et al., 2012). Each point is characterized by coordinates, altitude and flight speed transmission.
In flight, the autopilot also provides delivery to the transmission channel of telemetry information for tracking the flight of the drone. And what then is the quasi-autopillot? Many firms now declare that their systems provide automatic flight with the world's smallest automatic pilot. The most telling example of such a solution are products of the Canadian company Micropilot. To form the control signals, there is used raw data - signals from the gyroscopes and accelerometers. Such a decision, by definition, is not robust (resistant to external influences and sensitive to the conditions of the flight), and in varying degrees is operational only when flying in a stable atmosphere.

Drone Use Setbacks

Any significant external disturbance (wind, upward flow or air pocket) is fraught with loss of orientation of the drone and its crash. So anyone who has ever faced similar products, sooner or later understand the limitations of these autopilots, which cannot be used for commercial systems of the drone production. More responsible developers, realizing that there must be present navigation solutions, try to implement a navigation algorithm using known approaches of Kalman filtering.
Unfortunately, it is not so simple. Kalman filtering is just an auxiliary mathematical tool, not the solution (LaFleur et al., 2012). Therefore, it is impossible to create a robust stable system, simply moving on MEMS integrated systems of standard mathematical apparatus. There is required delicate and fine-tuning for a specific application. In this case - for maneuvering airborne object schema. In our system, there is implemented experience of more than 15 years in the development of inertial systems and algorithms for GPS aggregation. By the way, in the world only a few countries have the know-how of inertial systems. Russia, the USA, Germany, France and Britain. Behind this knowledge, there are scientific and engineering schools, which is why it is at least naive to think that such a system can be developed and manufactured in some institute's laboratory or in the hangar of the airfield.


Drone control is a problem for a well-trained professional. In the US Army, drone operators are Air Force pilots after a year of preparation and training. In many ways, it is harder than piloting aircraft, and, as we know, the majority of accidents are caused by errors of drone pilot-operator. Automatic systems of drone are equipped with full automatic control that require minimal training of ground staff, thus solving problems at a great distance from home base, out of contact with the ground station, in all weather conditions. They are easy to use, mobile, rapidly deployable and require no terrestrial infrastructure. It can be argued that the high performance drone systems are equipped with full automatic control system, reducing operating costs and personnel requirements.


LaFleur, K., Cassady, K., Doud, A., Shades, K., Rogin, E., & He, B. (2013). Quadcopter control in three-dimensional space using a noninvasive motor imagery-based brain–computer interface. Journal of neural engineering, 10(4), 046003.
Léchevin, N., Rabbath, C. A., & Maupin, P. (2015). Health Monitoring of a Drone Formation Affected by a Corrupted Control System. Handbook of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, 1703-1719.
Luo, S., Chen, R., Lu, Y., & Zhang, Z. (2012). Portable Ground Measurement & Control System. Binggong Zidonghua/ Ordnance Industry Automation, 31(8), 14-16.
Yamamoto, H., Fujii, T., Ha, P. T. T., & Yamazaki, K. (2014, February). New development of remote control system for air vehicle using 3G cellular network. In Advanced Communication Technology (ICACT), 2014 16th International Conference on (pp. 456-461). IEEE.

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