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Ground control and autonomy

The DeltaQuad has been designed to fly fully autonomous from takeoff to landing. With the advanced safety features provided by DSPS we have rated the DeltaQuad Pro as safe to use Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS). Please note that in most countries a special permit is required to allow BVLOS flight. 

Ground Control Station (GCS)

The DeltaQuad uses QGroundControl as its primary GCS. Vertical Technologies has collaborated with the developers of this ground station to enable all the advanced features employed by the DeltaQuad. This user friendly ground control station makes operating the DeltaQuad as easy as operating the navigation system in your car.

Using the DeltaQuad simulator you can get acquainted with GCS and general characteristics of the DeltaQuad before attempting to control the vehicle in actual flight. 

When purchasing a DeltaQuad you will be supplied with an operations guide that details the use of the GCS in a clear set of instructions with screenshots.

Autonomy

The DeltaQuad is capable, and has even been designed to fly fully autonomous missions. Although it is possible to control the vehicles position from the ground station using the virtual joystick, or even from a traditional remote controller, the DeltaQuad is at its best when flying on its own. 

Autonomous flight of UAVs is something most countries will only allow within visual line of sight (VLOS) of the operator. Sometimes special permits need to be obtained to allow flying beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The DeltaQuad Pro can connect to the ground station using the 4G cellular network and an encrypted VPN link. This unique feature gives the DeltaQuad virtually limitless telemetry range when flying in areas with 3G or 4G cellular coverage.

The advanced safety features of DSPS allow even unskilled operators to safely send the DeltaQuad on an autonomous mission as it will perform virtually every task that a skilled UAV operator will perform both before and during a flight. using DSPS the DeltaQuads autonomy is not limited to pre-flight and flight checks, it will also monitor the systems overall health and warn the operator when vehicle maintenance is recommended or required.

Designed not to fail

One of the key aspects of autonomous operation is safety. The DeltaQuad was designed not to fail through various methods. Our advanced safety features provide a level of safety that far exceeds any human pilots ability. But the DeltaQuad goes further in its quest to be the safest commercial UAV available through its hardware design. The DeltaQuads avionics have been tested to the extremes and common points of failure have been mitigated. Either by making them redundant or by eliminating them all together. An example of the elimination of a common point of failure is the airspeed sensor. This sensor, used in virtually every other fixed-wing or VTOL system, is by far the most common point of failure that often leads to a crash.

There are a number of reasons this sensor is likely to fail;

  1. It requires specialized calibration before every flight
  2. It is very sensitive to temperature changes and weather conditions
  3. It can easily become clogged by dust, sand or any other obstruction acquired during flight
  4. It is notoriously unreliable at the relative low speeds of a UAV
  5. To function properly the sensor needs to stick out in front of the UAV making it very sensitive to damage during transport or landing.

For these reasons Vertical Technologies has decided to eliminate the need for an airspeed sensor on the DeltaQuad. In stead the DeltaQuad uses a several of the other on-board sensors to accurately estimate its airspeed. The results have proven to not only be far more reliable, they also show to be far more accurate then most airspeed sensors under normal conditions. 

After more than a year of research and development specifically aimed at safety and performance we are confident that the DeltaQuad can be ranked as the safest VTOL UAV that is commercially available. We intend to keep this status by continuing to improve these aspects as new technologies become available and we will release these features to everyone who owns a DeltaQuad in the form of software updates and optional hardware add-ons.


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