AUTOMATIC AND RUNWAY-INDEPENDENT TAKE-OFF AND LANDING SYSTEM FOR SOLAR-ELECTRIC FLIGHT OF MEDIUM-WEIGHT UAVS
The ElektRail project pursues the development of a mobile, runway-independent take-off and landing system for unmanned as well as manned aircraft. The central idea is to enable aircraft to take-off and land without the need for a classic landing gear and thus reduce the aircraft’s mass significantly. In addition, the aircraft can be accelerated during takeoff by the groundsystem, which leads to noise reduction and shorter take-off distances.
Building on the findings from the GABRIEL and REALISE research projects, the ElektRail project developes the groundsystem for aircraft in market-relevant sizes.Take-offs and landings will be demonstrated with a solar-electric aircraft with a wingspan of 13m.
Design and mode of operation
The ElektRail take-off and landing system consists of a rail system with a mobile sled, which can move in the take-off/landing direction and sideways. The sled with the rotating coupling device, automatically synchronizes with the approaching aircraft. This means that landings can also be carried out under strong crosswind conditions.
Due to the complexity of the synchronization, extensive automation is essential. At FSD, an overall simulation of the system is being developed to support controller design. In addition, the sensor technology needed to determine the relative pose (position and orientation) between the aircraft and the ground system is being developed at FSD. This high-precision sensor technology is essential for reliable and precise synchronization.
Example of how it works: REALISE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ges7zZFiSwU
October 2020 to September 2023