Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Semestr: Summer

Range: 2+2s


Credits: 4

Programme type:

Study form: Fulltime

Course language:

Time table at FEE


The course is dedicated to students interested in unmanned aerial systems (UASs). It includes lectures aimed at airplane construction, engines, sensors, electronic systems,servos, control electronics, control algorithms and one course presents law issues related to UASs from the flight approval and control perspectives. The course is extended with an educational excursion to relevant laboratories. Seminar projects are related to Procerus UAV in the field of sensor data processing including participation on the experimental flight.


Course syllabus:

1. Introduction, demonstration of advanced control algorithms, multi-agent planning, sensor systems. Brief history of unmanned systems.
2. Materials and construction of unmanned aerial vehicles. Laminates, composites. Construction of the body and wings. Issues related to stiffness and elasticity.
3. Engines for UAVs. Piston engine, engines with piston rotary design. Small combustion turbine. Small jet engine. Examples of selection of suitable engines for specific UAV projects.
4. MEMS and SMART inertial sensors for UAVs - data acquisition, MEMS, smart sensors, data processing and data fusion. GPS, INS and aerometric systems from the user point of view. Redundancy and security of the system.
5. Basic control loops for individual modes of airplane's auto-pilot. The control of take-off, adjustment of dynamics,following a trajectory, holding patterns over a ground target, tracking of moving object on the ground.
6. Approach and landing.
7. Advanced algorithms for control systems design - optimal and robust control systems.
8. Telemetry for unmanned aerial systems - communication modems, protocols, security and antennas.
9. Flight trajectory planning - optimal trajectory, no-flight zones, planning criterion - fuel/power consumption, mission accomplishment.
10. Autonomous collision avoidance for UAVs - cooperative and non-cooperative methods, AgentFly system.
11. Multi-UAV control algorithms - flight formation, cooperative monitoring.
12. Add-on devices - stabilized platforms, optical systems, localizers, rangefinders, image processing.
13. Legal issues related to operation of UAVs in Czech Republic and Europe.

Seminar syllabus:

1. Examples of different types of unmanned aerial systems.
2. Discussion on the selection of a suitable engine for unmanned aerial system.
3. Excursion (three different excursions within three seminars) - material testing, wind tunnel, UAVs projects in Czech Republic - Sojka, Mamok, Vilik and others.
4. Excursion.
5. Excursion.
6. Identification of the model (aerodynamic coefficients) from the flight data.
7. Design of a basic control loop of autopilot.
8. Simulator - Integrated Modular Avionics testbed.
9. Introduction and selection of semester tasks.
10. Working in teams on the assigned tasks.
11. Working in teams on the assigned tasks.
12. Working in teams on the assigned tasks.
13. Working in teams on the assigned tasks.
14. Final presentation of semester tasks' results,
discussions, ratings and credit.


[1] Dalamagkidis K., Valavanis K. P., Piegl L. A.: On Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems Into the National Airspace System, Springer, 2009
[2] Musial M.: System Architecture of Small Autonomous UAVs (Paperback), VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller e.K. 2008
[3] Hasik J.: Arms and Innovation: Entrepreneurship and Alliances in the Twenty-First-Century Defense Industry, The university of Chicago Press, 2008
[4] Newcome L. R.: Unmanned aviation: a brief history of unmanned aerial vehicles, AIAA, 2004
[5] Nolan M. S.: Fundamentals of Air Traffic Control, Thompson Brooks/Cole, 2004
[6] Cutler J.: Understanding Aircraft Structures