First flight of the demonstrator UAV

On September 28, the first flights with the VaMEx demonstrator were performed on the test site of the Institute of Flight Guidance, a decommissioned airfield between Braunschweig and Hanover.

Changing requirements and faulty hardware made it necessary to replace important components of the hexacopter. For example, the drive components and the flight controller were replaced. The new flight controller now also has an Ethernet interface, which makes communication with the onboard computer more robust.

A total of 3 flights were performed, which were used to make basic adjustments to the flight controller and the flight control system. The last flight was already fully automated.

The flight data collected will be evaluated and used to fine-tune the flight controller and the aircraft. In further flight tests, the maximum take-off mass calculated for the final setup of the demonstrator is to be achieved with the help of a replacement payload and the controller parameters adapted to the increased take-off mass so that the first flights for data recording can then be safely completed with the VaMEx sensor payload.

Integration meeting in Oct 2023

The VaMEx Project recently held a three-day meeting to discuss network interface definitions and conduct initial testing phases among the participating project partners. This step was part of the ongoing collaborative process, focusing on establishing clear communication protocols and validating interface functionality through both dummy and partially implemented systems.

In these sessions, partners worked together to detail and agree upon the specifications that will enable their systems to interact effectively. The progress made includes not only the successful definition of network interfaces but also their trial through preliminary implementations, setting the stage for the forthcoming development work. This effort reflects the project’s steady advancement and the practical approach to achieving set objectives in a complex, multi-partner environment.

VaMEx-RGE working meeting

From 29.08. – 31.08. an internal RGE working meeting took place at the University of Bremen. Participants were members of the working group for Cognitive Neuroinformatics, the working group for High-Performance Visualization and DFKI. At times, Andre and Roland from the Computer Graphics and Virtual Reality working group were also present. Together, we clarified many questions on key areas such as SLAM, trajectory planning, VTB connection, mission control and the network architecture.

We see the first deployment of two ubiquity access points as a special milestone. This enabled us to send the first ROS2 messages via a network between the two access points.

Other highlights included a visit to the “MARS findet Stadt” exhibition at the Kulturkirche St. Stephani and dinner at the Pannekoekschip Admiral Nelson.