Towards autonomous flight

To allow ultra-long endurance waypoint-following flights such as those over the Atlantic, the AtlantikSolar UAV has to be capable of (control-wise) fully autonomous flight. To achieve this goal, we’ve been using smaller test-planes to test our autopilot hardware and flight capabilities in the last months. A first fully autonomous waypoint-navigation flight was achieved with a test plane in the beginning of January. The next step will now include the application and testing of the same control hardware and software to the AtlantikSolar UAV.

The video below shows the aforementioned test plane (Multiplex EasyGlider) with the integrated Pixhawk PX4 and the Autopilot, both developed at ETH Zurich. Both of these components are also integrated in the AtlantikSolar prototype. The video was recorded on February 3rd for a demonstration within the European ICARUS project.