Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are a fast-developing technology, which has and will have applications beyond our imagination. Besides the potential for good and useful applications involving UAVs, like delivery, rescue missions and surveillance of the rainforest, there’s also a potential for applications with less good intentions. The full extent of the malicious applications involving UAV technology is yet unknown, so law and enforcement developed a challenge to prepare against any threat UAVs may or will oppose: DroneClash
The main focus for the AIDA project is the education of our members in a real life setting. The main objective is not necessarily doing something completely new but doing something very useful. AIDA stands for autonomous indoor drone applications, autonomy is important because one of the biggest uses for drones is not the hardware but the software implementations. We will focus on indoor because drones are mostly used in indoor applications simply because it is not allowed to fly almost anywhere. Especially bigger warehouses and factories are doing research in indoor application since flying can optimize processes that are currently being done manually.
UAVs are highly mobile and can reach any location without the need of ground infrastructure, making them a prime candidate for emergency aid. As part of a R&D collaboration with Transport4Transport, A3T has been invited to test a humanitarian UAV in Malawi capable of autonomous mapping and aid delivery. In response, the team plans to take this opportunity, and go onsite to test our solution and implement it.
The main purpose of project UA-X is to explore the advantages and use-possibilities of lighter-than-air UAV’s. The main foreseeable advantages compared to copter drones are the low energy consumption and therefore large range, low noise when hovering and better safety due to the fact that they cannot just fall from the sky in a case of a malfunction. These advantages allow many possible uses of which the main ones will be filming and photography (for events, documentaries, etc.); Surveillance (for police operations, wild fires, etc.) and measuring/scanning (for archaeology, environmental surveys, disaster relief etc.). This year the plan is to focus on manoeuvrability and develop a concept for an airship that can carry a camera for filming and scanning. This will include looking into the aerostatics and aerodynamics of airships and building prototypes for first experiments. At the moment one three-to-four-metre-long prototype is planned, with two different envelopes. The ultimate goal for UA-X is to develop an Unmanned Airship that maintains its manoeuvrability in harsh weather conditions and can stay aloft permanently with the use of PV-Panels for filming and scanning.