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DeltaQuad Safety and Performance System (DSPS)

Please note: DSPS and DSPS online are scheduled for public release in November 2017. The pre-release version that is now shipping on the DeltaQuad Pro will automatically upgrade to the latest version when it becomes available.

Uniquely for the DeltaQuad Pro we have developed DSPS. DSPS makes the DeltaQuad safely controllable by anyone and safe to fly beyond visual line of sight. It does so by automating virtually every task normally performed by a skilled UAV operator both before and during the flight. DSPS can take full advantage of the UAV internet connection when equipped with our 4G VPN telemetry unit.

What is DSPS

The DeltaQuad Safety and Performance System is an avionics software system that runs on the secondary board computer and interacts with the Flight Controller using the standard UAV communication protocol MAVLink. DSPS has been designed to communicate with the flight controller in such a way that the Flight Controller can safely continue its autonomous mission should a problem occur with the communication between DSPS and the Flight Controller.

DSPS performs safety checks, optimizes the flight and monitors the vehicles behavior during flight. It can make intelligent decisions when conditions change and it will inform you of everything you should know about your vehicle. DSPS is capable of running without an internet connection but it is most effective when it does.

Next to the onboard version of DSPS we also offer DSPS online, an online portal where you can manage your vehicle or fleet and make use of additional DSPS online features. You will find more information in the DSPS section below.

DSPS features

* Features indicated with an asterisks require the 4G VPN telemetry module.

Mission feasibility
Before starting a mission DSPS will check the feasibility of the mission given the battery capacity and current weather conditions. It will prevent an operator from executing a mission that it can not complete. During flight it will continuously monitor the feasibility and can make an intelligent decision if the conditions change making it unfeasible to complete its mission. if it becomes unfeasible to complete the mission given the current conditions but it is feasible to return to its takeoff point it will do so. If it is not feasible to return to its takeoff point but it is feasible to head directly to its destination it will do that. If neither of these are feasible it will land on a designated failsafe location or land as close to its takeoff or destination point as it can get.

* Flight path terrain verification
DSPS will use its online elevation database to verifying the entire path of the vehicle and warn if at any position during a mission it will be flying at an unsafe altitude above ground.

* Air traffic awareness
DSPS uses its internet connectivity to monitor surrounding air traffic using the international transponder standard ADS-B. When an aerial vehicle that publishes its location through ADS-B comes within unsafe distance to the DeltaQuad it will take preventive action. Pre-flight DSPS will not allow the DeltaQuad to take off, during flight DSPS will take warn the operator and take evasive action if needed.

* Weather condition awareness
DSPS uses its internet connectivity to check the current and forecasted weather conditions to verify if its takeoff and landing position fall within the maximum rated conditions. Depending on its configuration it can either issue a warning or ground the vehicle.

Advanced System Monitoring (ASM)
Comparable to a cars 'check engine' light DSPS continuously monitors the systems sensors and behavior. When a value exceeds acceptable limits the system will warn the operator and in some cases ground the vehicle or abort the takeoff. ASM monitors the following;

  • Sensor consistency: using redundant sensors the system can verify if all sensors are functioning normally.
  • Required thrust at takeoff: an excessive value can indicate an overweight vehicle or a drive failure.
  • Total flight time: the system will indicate when a maintenance cycle is recommended.
  • Avionics temperature: the system will indicate when the temperature inside the fuse is exceeding recommended levels. This can occur when the vehicle is left idle in the sun with the fuse lid closed. It can also occur if a payload is blocking the airflow over the avionics bay.
  • Power system: both power inputs from the redundant power supplies are verified before takeoff.
  • GPS signal: The vehicle will not start it's mission until a solid GPS lock has been acquired.
  • Vibration levels: broken or dirty propellers can cause high vibrations in the system. When the vibration levels exceed acceptable levels the system will warn the operator.
  • Flight efficiency: if the vehicles efficiency drops below acceptable levels this could be an indication of impending failure. The system will warn the operator that servicing the vehicle is recommended.

Flight optimization
During an autonomous mission DSPS will constantly monitor and tune the flight performance. It bases this on a multitude of vehicle sensors, weather conditions, mission duration and user defined settings based for endurance, stability and performance. When the vehicle is configured for endurance mode it will attempt to complete the mission as efficient as possible regarding energy consumption. In performance mode it will favor try to complete the mission faster but will fly less efficient. In stability mode the DSPS will optimize the flight characteristics to fly as stable as possible, this mode is recommended when the vehicle is equipped with a mapping camera.

DSPS Online features

Please note: DSPS online is expected to be released in November 2017. The following feature set could change.

DSPS online is a web-based environment where you can manage and configure your DSPS enabled DeltaQuads. 
Every DSPS equipped DeltaQuad comes with an activation code that will allow you to register your vehicle in your DSPS online account. Once activated your vehicle will synchronize with DSPS online and allow you to monitor and configure your DeltaQuads. 

* Features indicated with an asterisks require the 4G VPN telemetry module.

* Key vehicle statistics
In DSPS online you can monitor the vehicles software versions, flight hours, number of missions, efficiency and performance.

DSPS settings
Using DSPS online you can configure DSPS features such as Flight optimization method, VPN settings and failsafe behavior. The settings get applied automatically when the vehicle is equipped with a 4G VPN telemetry unit. They can also be applied by downloading a settings file that can be stored on the sd-card of the board computer.

* Vehicle localization and grounding
DSPS online will show you the last known location of your vehicle and will give you the ability to ground your vehicle. When grounding a vehicle it will no longer allow any new flight to be performed. For safety reasons any active flight will not be terminated when grounding a vehicle.

* Vehicle override
DSPS online allows you to instruct any active vehicle to abort its mission and return to its takeoff position. DSPS will only comply with this command it a return to its takeoff location is feasible. The takeoff location is visible from this screen. For security reasons the vehicle can only be commanded to return to its takeoff location from DSPS online. No other commands are available to control the vehicles behavior or position during flight.

Flight logs
When activated DSPS will synchronize its flight logs with DSPS online. As flight logs can grow to approximately 200Mb per hour, this feature requires significant bandwidth and is disabled by default. When enabled the vehicle will automatically upload its logs to DSPS online when not in flight. It is recommended to leave the vehicle activated after completing a mission until it signals that it has completed uploading the flight logs. Flight logs can also be uploaded manually to DSPS online using your computer and the flight controllers removable SD-Card. Available flight logs are displayed using charts on all key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Every flight log can be extended with comments for your convenience. Flight logs can be shared for maintenance and support purposes.

Mission analysis
Missions are analysed by DSPS when they get sent to the vehicle and before execution. When the vehicle is not equipped with a 4G VPN telemetry module, or when the mission will be executed in an area without 3G or 4G coverage, missions can be uploaded and analyzed in the DSPS online portal.

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