SUSI 62 A ROBUST AND SAFE PARACHUTE UAV WITH LONG FLIGHT TIME AND GOOD PAYLOAD
The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Commission I, WG I/V ABSTRACT: In many research areas in the geo-sciences (erosion, land use, land cover change, etc.) or applications (e.g. forest management, mining, land management etc.) there is a demand for remote sensing images of a very high spatial and temporal resolution. Due to the high costs of classic aerial photo campaigns, the use of a UAV is a promising option for obtaining the desired remote sensed information at the time it is needed. However, the UAV must be easy to operate,
... easy to operate, safe, robust and should have a high payload and long flight time. For that purpose, the parachute UAV SUSI 62 was developed. It consists of a steel frame with a powerful 62 cm³ 2stroke engine and a parachute wing. The frame can be easily disassembled for transportation or to replace parts. On the frame there is a gimbal mounted sensor carrier where different sensors, standard SLR cameras and/or multi-spectral and thermal sensors can be mounted. Due to the design of the parachute, the SUSI 62 is very easy to control. Two different parachute sizes are available for different wind speed conditions. The SUSI 62 has a payload of up to 8 kg providing options to use different sensors at the same time or to extend flight duration. The SUSI 62 needs a runway of between 10 m and 50 m, depending on the wind conditions. The maximum flight speed is approximately 50 km/h. It can be operated in a wind speed of up to 6 m/s. The design of the system utilising a parachute UAV makes it comparatively safe as a failure of the electronics or the remote control only results in the UAV coming to the ground at a slow speed. The video signal from the camera, the GPS coordinates and other flight parameters are transmitted to the ground station in real time. An autopilot is available, which guarantees that the area of investigation is covered at the desired resolution and overlap. The robustly designed SUSI 62 has been used successfully in Europe, Africa and Australia for scientific projects and also for agricultural, forestry and industrial applications.