Simulation of Flight Data in MATLAB®

The aim of this project, which Arian Ghoddousi a member of Team Drone Tech is currently working on, was to compute and simulate aircraft flight data. The data output was designed to look like a common general aviation plane cockpit, like the Cessna C172.

During the coding process it became clear that the potential of this program is greater than just a stand-alone project. When the whole code was recoded in order to convert it from procedural programming to object orientated code, it was coded in module blocks, which can work separately and can be put together as desired, especially, the gauges and the trajectory plot. This method enables a larger spectrum of usage. The main program is designed to compute all the necessary data by itself. A different method and the next step would be the usage of sensors which gather data. Therefore, a hardware interface, like an Arduino, is needed.

The possible usage of this project for Team Drone Tech could look like this:

A drone could be equipped with different sensors, for example, for pressure and acceleration and then establish a connection to, e.g., a radio transmitter. On the ground station, a receiver is required, which needs to be connected to a microcontroller, such as the Arduino, which then will transform the data, gathered by the sensors, into concrete values. The last step is the communication between microcontroller and the MATLAB® host computer. The program receives the calculated data and can save it in variables, which then will be plotted on the display. The information provided on the output screen enables the drone pilot to fly under similar circumstances as IFR-pilots. If the drone gets out of sight, the drone pilot still has some information such as:

  • Altitude or Height (Depending on altimeter is set to QNH or QFE)
  • Attitude
  • Speed
  • Vertical Speed
  • Heading and Track
  • Position (either absolute via GPS or in relation to the pilot or departure point)
  • Any other information being sent to the host computer

Furthermore, this project could also be the basis for a drone autopilot. Therefore, an interface which can control the drone’s engines and other control devices would be needed.

Matlab Programming Project

During the third semester students have to fulfil a MATLAB® programming project. One of these projects was realised by Victoria and Annika together with two fellow students. It was a quadcopter failure simulation which will be used in a later task to analyse failures of individual motor shutdown or a total shutdown and visualizes graphs and animations.

The main goal of this project was to create quadcopter failure simulations on MATLAB® and Simulink®. The variables of the simulations would be saved in a multidimensional matrix, which can contain millions of simulations worth of data. This data can be read into Artificial Intelligence, which would then be able to recognise the type of failure as it is happening in real-life and combat it.

This was achieved by expanding on an already existing MATLAB® code, which simulated a quadcopter in stationary flight. The program expansion included the implementation of shutdown variables, interpolation of data, implementation of a regulator and the creation of a graphical user interface.

The GUI enabled the user to choose the desired parameters of flight. The user can choose from a list of simulation options, including the type of flight, type of failure, time of the failure, time and number of simulations, wind velocity and wind angle. The settings can also be set to random. The program then shows a simulation of the desired flight and failure of a quadcopter, and plots how the various variables are affected over time.

The system also allows the plotting of variables from multiple simulations to observe how the different failure modes lead to different plots on the same graph.

Coorperation with Drone Rescue Systems

For 1 1/2 years we have a cooperation with the company “Drone Rescue Systems” (=DRS). This partnership is a great opportunity for Team Drone Tech to expand our research duty.

Drone Rescue Systems developed the fastest and most efficient parachute safety solution for drones available on the market. This system is essential to protect expensive equipment on drones. Furthermore, in case of an accident, it also protects bystanders. During the last year we built a test drone for DRS and carried out the necessary flight test to verify the system reliability and integrity.

We are looking forward to continue our successful cooperation.

For more information about Drone Rescue Systems:

New members and get-together!

One of our goals is for the team to constantly grow in members, therefore the team introduced itself at the Aviation and Computer Electronics degree course. After a big meeting for everyone interested in joining the team, the ones who wanted to join had to pass a little acceptance test. At the end of the day the team decided to accept 10 out of 24 candidates. The lucky ones are Michael L., Jakob S., Michael B., Arian G., Benjamin K., Felix M., Christoph P., Victoria F., Annika D. and Patrick make the TDT officially an inter-degree team by having Aviation and Computer Electronic students on board.
About a week later a welcome meeting with the new team members took place to break the ice between the new and the old crew and we decided to begin with a relaxed evening with food and drinks at our first official get together, the “Stammtisch”. Because it’s best to get to know each other over a couple of cold beverages and delicious food. We are sure this newly mixed composition will be a huge benefit and we are excited what projects will come up in our near future!

New Dual Extrusion 3D Printer!

Das Team Drone Tech startet erfolgreich ins neue Jahr mit einer besonderen Neuanschaffung, die das 3D-Drucken von Drohnen- und Zubehörteilen noch effizienter und schneller gestalten soll. Der Xinkebot Orca 2 3D-Drucker hat es endlich nach langem Weg über die halbe Welt ins Labor des Teams geschafft und ist bereits fast rund um die Uhr im Einsatz. Das besondere an diesem Drucker ist die Möglichkeit per Dualextruder zu drucken um zwei Filamente simultan geladen zu haben und on-the-fly ein Produkt mit zwei Farben und/oder sogar zwei verschiedenen Arten von Filamenten zu drucken.

Ein paar Spekifikationen für Interessierte:

  • Build Volume 400x400x500 [mm]
  • Dual Extrusion
  • 2.7″ Touchscreen Control
  • Max Print Speed 1800mm/s
  • Layer Thickness 0.05 – 0.25 [mm]
  • Filament Supported PLA, ABS, PETG, PC, TPU

Weitere Informationen auf der Homepage und falls ihn jemand “in Aktion” sehen möchte, einfach einmal im Simulationslabor des Team Drone Techs im zweiten Stock des AP149 vorbeischauen!

Team Drone Tech & Drone Rescue

Da das Team Drone Tech auch um die sonst so stressige Weihnachtszeit nicht die Füße hochlegt sondern weiterhin die Arbeit an erster Stelle steht gibt es hier einen kleinen Vorgeschmack auf die derzeitige Zusammenarbeit mit unserem fantastischen Kooperationspartner Drone Rescue! Um was es sich bei dieser Zusammenarbeit genau handelt könnt ihr im anschließenden Video etwas genauer erfahren!


Danke Drone Rescue für die Möglichkeit dieser Zusammenarbeit und hoffentlich auf viel weiteres in der Zukunft!