Demonstration of UAV-technologies in Bavaria (Demonstration zum Thema UAV-Einsatz in Bayern)

The DLR-RMC is participating by developing technologies for vision-based navigation, in particular for autonomous landing, sensor fusion as well as by developing systems for rescue missions in mountains and systems for forestry applications.

AUTONOMOUS FLYING – a project of Munich Aerospace consortium (

The DLR-RMC is involved in the development of high performance modeling and control methods for UAVs as well as in the development of technologies for UAV navigation in cluttered natural environments e.g. flying in canyons.

PLANET (EU FP7-project)

PLAtform for the deployment and operation of heterogeneous NETworked cooperating objects

Efficient deployment has been identified as one of the main problems for the acceptance of new technologies based on Cooperating Objects (COs). The goal of PLANET is to provide an integrated planning and maintenance platform that enables the deployment, operation and maintenance of heterogeneous networked COs in an efficient way. The main objective of the project particularly emphasizes the capability of the platform to support deployment and operation strategies for large-scale systems composed of unmanned ground and aerial vehicles cooperating with wireless sensors and actuators.

The DLR-RMC is responsible for developing UAV-technologies for sensor deployment in areas with difficult access.

ARCAS (EU FP7-project)

Aerial Robotics Cooperative Assembly System

The ARCAS project proposes the development and experimental validation of the first cooperative free-flying robot system for assembly and structure construction. The project will pave the way for a large number of applications including the building of platforms for evacuation of people or landing aircrafts, the inspection and maintenance of facilities and the construction of structures in inaccessible sites and in space.

The detailed scientific and technological objectives are:

1.New methods for motion control of a free-flying robot with mounted manipulator in contact with a grasped object as well as for coordinated control of multiple cooperating flying robots with manipulators in contact with the same object (e.g. for precise placement or joint manipulation)

2.New flying robot perception methods to model, identify and recognize the scenario and to be used for the guidance in the assembly operation, including fast generation of 3D models, aerial 3D SLAM, 3D tracking and cooperative perception

3.New methods for the cooperative assembly planning and structure construction by means of multiple flying robots with application to inspection and maintenance activities

4.Strategies for operator assistance, including visual and force feedback, in manipulation tasks involving multiple cooperating flying robots

The DLR-RMC is strongly involved in objectives 1 and 4.


Estimation and control for safe wireless high mobility cooperative industrial systems

Autonomous systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can play an important role in many applications including disaster management and the monitoring and measurement of events such as the volcano ash cloud of April 2010. Currently many missions cannot be accomplished or imply a high level of risk for the people involved (pilots and drivers) as unmanned vehicles are not available or not permitted to fly. This also applies to search and rescue missions, particularly in stormy conditions, where pilots need to risk their lives. These missions could be performed or facilitated by using autonomous helicopters with accurate positioning and the ability to land on mobile platforms such as ship decks. The applications strongly depend on the UAV reliability to react in a predictable and controllable manner in spite of perturbations, such as wind gusts.

On the other hand, the cooperation, coordination and traffic control of many mobile entities are relevant issues for applications such as automation of industrial warehousing, surveillance by using aerial and ground vehicles as well as for transportation systems.
EC-SAFEMOBIL is devoted to the development of sufficiently accurate common motion estimation and control methods and technologies in order to reach levels of reliability and safety to facilitate unmanned vehicle deployment within a broad range of applications. It also includes the development of a secure architecture and the middleware to support the implementation.

The DLR-RMC has been working on systems for autonomous landing of fixed wing aircrafts on mobile ground platforms as well as on systems for launching of UAVs from manned aircrafts.

MUAC-IREN (EU FP7-project)

Multi-UAV Cooperation for long endurance applications - International Research Exchange Network

Interest in using multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Aerial Robots for civilian purposes has been increasing in recent years taking into account potential applications of multiple UAVs performing different missions: mapping, surveillance, traffic control, communication relays, terrain monitoring, etc. However all these applications have a common problem: the short endurance of most civil, low cost and commercial UAVs.

Achieving long time mobility without having to stop in order to recharge batteries or refuel is a critical issue in many systems and applications, as for example in aerial vehicles to continuously fly day and night without landing. Recently, new ideas like the so-called autonomous soaring have been proposed. Soaring is the process of exploiting favourable wind conditions to extend flight duration. Having this ability of continuous flight without requiring to land or dock for fuel is a key characteristic for many applications with UAVs such as surveillance, traffic control, coast control, etc.

Other interesting research problems arise in long endurance applications when different weather conditions are taken into account. Long endurance UAVs should be able to integrate advanced estimation and control algorithms that enable them to fly and perform their mission successfully even if very adverse weather conditions are encountered.

One of the challenges of this project is to integrate these novel technologies in the control system in such a way that not only one but multiple aerial vehicles can stay in continuous operation. This is a complex problem that involves distributed estimation/prediction and multi-vehicle coordination. These systems also pose very important challenges when failure recovery procedures are considered since safety plays a critical role in the coordination and cooperation of cooperative long endurance systems. Several problems can be identified as for example the coordination of the motion of two mobile entities for rendezvous or docking as required for in-flight refuelling applications. Even if some of these hazardous operations have been already performed in some particular conditions, the safe and efficient implementation in more challenging environments still requires the development of new very accurate motion estimation/prediction methods with sensor data fusion (visual cameras, infrared cameras, range sensors and differential GPS technologies) and closing reliably distributed sensing and actuation control loops.

Dr.-Ing. habil. Konstantin Kondak
Institut für Robotik und Mechatronik

Tel: +49 8153 28-1127

Fax: +49 8153 28 1134

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