Germans land UAV drone on roof of moving car

18 January 2016
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
Landing on a roof of a moving car offers several advantages, say German Aerospace Centre engineers

Landing on a roof of a moving car offers several advantages, say German Aerospace Centre engineers

German engineers have managed to autonomously land a drone on a car travelling at 75km/h.

The car was fitted with a large roof rack for this purpose with an elastic net to allow the 20kg UAV with a three-metre wingspan to gently lower itself onto the roof-mounted platform without causing any damage to itself or the car.

The accomplishment was the first of its kind and required engineers from the German Aerospace Centre to place a number of optical markers on the landing platform to allow the drone’s tracking system to synchronise the plane's speed automatically with that of the car. The whole landing was controlled by a computer running a sophisticated set of algorithms.

The drone navigated into the landing position with an accuracy of 50cm. Once the aircraft and the car adjusted their speeds, the plane softly lowered itself into the net.

While the experiment, carried out at a Bavarian airfield, required a human driver to control the car based on instructions provided by the computer, in future, such an interaction could be carried out between a driverless car and a fully autonomous aircraft.

The researchers originally developed the technique to allow aircraft to land without landing gear. They were particularly interested in solar-powered planes used to survey the stratosphere, for which every pound carried extra is a huge challenge.

Without the landing gear, such research planes could carry more scientific instruments and better communication equipment, as well as stay airborne longer.

However, other types of unmanned planes could benefit from the technology as well, as it is easier to land this way in crosswind conditions. A drone equipped with this technology would be less dependent on weather for landing.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1606

"Where would Frankenstein and his creative mind fit into today's workplace? Should we fear technological developments or embrace them?"

E&T jobs

  • Lecturer in Engineering (Electronic / Electrical)

    Blackburn College
    • Blackburn, Lancashire
    • £23,560 to £35,583 pro-rata, per annum plus Market Premium of £3K per annum

    We are looking for a Lecturer in Electronic / Electrical Engineering to join our busy Higher Education team at a time when the STEM agenda....

    • Recruiter: Blackburn College

    Apply for this job

  • Lecturer in Engineering (Mechanical)

    Blackburn College
    • Blackburn, Lancashire
    • £23,560 to £35,583 pro-rata, per annum; plus Market Premium of £3,000 per annum

    We are looking for a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering to join our busy Higher Education team at a time when the STEM agenda...

    • Recruiter: Blackburn College

    Apply for this job

  • Director of Technology & Engineering

    Birmingham Metropolitan College
    • Birmingham, West Midlands
    • c £55,000.00

    This key role will provide inspirational leadership to drive success and outstanding performance across the department

    • Recruiter: Birmingham Metropolitan College

    Apply for this job

  • Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) of Smart Building Solutions

    ETH Zurich
    • Zurich, Canton of Zürich (CH)

    The successful candidate is expected to develop a strong and visible research programme in the area of control and diagnostics of building systems

    • Recruiter: ETH Zurich

    Apply for this job

  • Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst - UK Power Sector

    Premium job

    Nortech Management Ltd
    • Birmingham, West Midlands or Pershore (Worcestershire)
    • £30,000 - £35,000 (depending on experience) + benefits

    Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst to join a team of talented technology enthusiasts who design and support the low carbon networks of the future.

    • Recruiter: Nortech Management Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Production Engineer

    Premium job

    Compact Engineering
    • Thirsk / Leeds / Banbury / Colchester / Cambridge
    • Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience, knowledge, aptitude and capability

    A Production Engineer with some knowledge and understanding of radiant energy transfer.

    • Recruiter: Compact Engineering

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer with Strong telecoms background

    Premium job

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd
    • Falkland Islands

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd currently has a unique engineering opportunity in their Falkland Islands office. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, teeming ...

    • Recruiter: Sure South Atlantic Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Nikon Metrology Europe
    • Tring, Hertfordshire

    Nikon Metrology is looking for an Electronics Engineer to join our Electronics Team based in Tring (UK).

    • Recruiter: Nikon Metrology Europe

    Apply for this job

  • Cyber, Communication, Information and Data Scientist roles

    Premium job

    Dstl
    • Porton Down, Salisbury
    • Competitive salaries

    Information is everything. Use it to serve your country and help keep us safe.

    • Recruiter: Dstl

    Apply for this job

  • MI Senior Developer

    National Grid
    • Hinckley, England, Leicestershire
    • Negotiable

    MI Senior Developer Hinckley National Grid's energy network transports gas and electricity to homes and businesses all over the UK. It's an essential part of all our lives. And it needs to be continuously advanced and enhanced to meet increasing demand wh

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T