Autonomous drone landing system

Summary

Autonomous drone landing system in GPS-denied areas (indoor, for example) and when optical-based landing is not feasible.

Multiple intermediate variants are possible between the recommended and the super-stretched configurations.

For example, having 4 x stationary beacons only on one wall will improve the coverage by reducing the maximum distances while keeping the system simple and requiring only about 60% of investments compared with the recommended configuration.

Still, the recommended configuration is the safest choice providing the most robust tracking.

Task

The customer already has an autonomous drone landing station with a dome to protect against precipitation.


They successfully tested and implemented an RTK GPS-based autonomous landing, but they needed the same for the GPS-denied areas. Also, they cited that the RTK GPS station was too expensive for their needs.


Optical methods didn’t work well for them due to: 1) sun reflections and shadows, 2) USB cameras dropping out as devices, and 3) an additional board needed for video processing.


They chose our indoor positioning system for automatic landing for their autonomous drone and for guiding the drone in the “last mile” based on our Indoor “GPS”:
– The drone flies autonomously using regular GPS

  • – Then, the drone flies back to the docking station within 10-30 meters based on the GPS
  • – Our indoor positioning system locks the mobile beacon on the drone within 30-100m
  • – The indoor positioning system provides precise coordinates in the same format as GPS, thus making the switchover from regular GPS to Indoor “GPS” a breeze
  • – The drone lands based on Indoor “GPS” as it does based on the RTK GPS without even knowing that it is not using GPS – the same SW and algorithms are re-used

Conditions

Requirements

The robot will be autonomously driving under the control of the embedded microcomputer autopilot and needs:

Solution

Since conditions are simple, several options are possible and offered. The choice is purely a matter of the customer’s preferences.

Recommended configuration

Options, upgrades, and expansions

Contact us via info@marvelmind.com with any questions