Student Aeronautical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or similar: Autonomous Fixed-Wing Landing Systems

Your mission:

The key research area Flying Robots covers the three main domains of the Robotics and Mechatronics Center - aeronautics, space robotics, and optical information systems - in order to exploit synergies in the development of robotics technologies for autonomous flying platforms. The spectrum of our work ranges from low-level control and sensor data processing to mission planning and execution. We have been working on general problems for autonomous systems taking into account special issues related to flying platforms and their applications.

In parallel to traditional applications focused on aerial sensor data acquisition (photo, film, infrared and multispectral cameras) we intensively work on applications where flying robots have to interact with the environment physically, e.g. installation of sensor nodes, taking samples of soil or water in inaccessible areas and even assembly of structures.

Our work is divided into five principal lines of research, namely aerial manipulation, landing on mobile platforms, high altitude pseudo satellites, mechatronic components and systems for UAS, and autonomy.

We are currently looking for a student (internship, working student, master´s thesis) to support our research activities in the area of autonomous fixed-wing landing systems. The aim is the development of a “ground based landing gear” allowing for the omittance of the heavy aircraft landing gear and the compensation of higher sideslip angles caused by lateral winds and wind gusts. Such system would allow for an increased payload capacity and a higher operational safety and availability. The system as a whole, consisting of the aerial vehicle, the ground vehicle and the landing platform needs to be considered during the development of a suitable cooperative motion control strategy. The virtual couplings between the different dynamic systems are an important aspect in this application. Nevertheless reliable state estimation, precise flight control and real-time trajectory generation are crucial system components.

You will support our recent activities described above. The current ground vehicle setup consists of a modified car with a human driver. The driver is provided with control inputs by means of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) mounted inside the car. The experimental fixed wing aircraft has a take-off mass of 20 kg. Your work could include activities related to:

  • system modelling (dynamics and external forces/moments) and parameter identification
  • state estimation/sensor fusion (traditional inertial and GPS based methods + vision based methods)
  • flight control law design (e.g. cascaded PID controllers with gain scheduling, Total Energy Control, Model Predictive Control)
  • ground vehicle control concept and if necessary further automation of car/optimization of GUI based interaction with driver
  • networked coupled control for the complete system
  • optimized trajectory generation (model based)
  • further development of the mission control interface
  • further development of the mechanical landing platform design
  • electrical system integration
  • software and hardware development and integration
  • execution of flight experiments

Your qualifications:

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Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications will be given preferential treatment.

Course paper / final thesis, Student placement, Internship


DLR Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR-Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics

To institute

Contact person :

Tin Muskardin

Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics Tel: +49 8153 28-4061

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