COMPLETED AND ONGOING PROJECTS (SELECTION)
As part of the larger project on High-Altitude Platforms by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR), AlphaLink performed a study on the concept and design for a payload component. The given requirements for the subsystem related to weight, size, power consumption, and control complexity. After the concept phase, one of the proposed solutions was selected. The construction was completed inhouse and the final solution was evaluated using a sensitivity analysis. A control concept was also proposed.
In a world's premiere, the Vector box VN1630A was successfully connected to the Pixhawk flight controller using the CANoe sofware. This allows hardware tests up to full hardware-in-the-loop simulations. AlphaLink works together with Vector to enable the drone community using the high-performance equipment of Vector for the typically used commercial off the shelf hardware.
The results of the development are showcased in the presentation "Digital twinning of UAS – A Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulator with CANOe and Pixhawk" held by Dr.-Ing. Alexander Köthe in various ocassions like the Vector Virtual Week.
In this project, the objective was to prepare the certification process of an algorithm for fully autonomous (level 5) driving. We conducted a system analysis of the data collection and the decision layer of the MOTOR AI software solution, a unique approach to certifiable autonomous driving in Germany and Europe. We successfully prepared a certification guideline in accordance with ISO 26262 for the subsequent certification process.
The intelligent use of data through processing and visualization is at the core of one of the projects with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC). Deliverables include a web-based dashboard as interactive user interface and the design of a MySQL database. The solution is transferable to similar projects and complies with the high standards of reliability and security required by public entities.
Using MATLAB/Simulink, we successfully launched the AlphaLink Unmanned Aircraft Experimental System (UAXS). This flying lab allows easy-to-implement control engineering for academic clients. The flight controller designed in MATLAB/Simulink can be tested in virtual and real flight tests. Available add-ons include a hardware-in-the-loop simulator and the AlphaLink Virtual Flight Test Environment (VFTE).
In the internal project smartRPAS (ongoing), AlphaLink develops a complete UAV flight control system including a ground station for remote piloting. Documentation of the development process follows RC DO-178C and DO-311. Final demonstration includes fully automatic flight from take-off to landing with an in-flight surveillance and detection mission.
Cracau & Köthe (2020): "Medical Delivery in Urban Areas: The Power of Backup Systems and Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation". European Drone Forum 2020, pp. 50-53.
Hopf, J.; Dommaschk, J.; et al. (2020): Unmanned Aircraft Experimental System: The Flying Lab for Applied Flight Control and Flight Mechanics. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt - Lilienthal-Oberth e.V.
AWARDS, MEMBERSHIPS, AND SPONSORS
AlphaLink has been recognized for its compound aircraft and smart flight control approaches at the national and international level. This includes awards with and without prize money, media coverage (print, TV, online), participation in exclusive exhibitions and panel talks. Further, AlphaLink participated in the Fellowship program of the Mistletoe Foundation (mobility cohort 2019/2020) and is a selected member of the Hardware Club.
AlphaLink is actively cooperating with Technische Universität Berlin, Department of Flight Mechanics, Flight Control and Aeroelasticity, among others. We are member of the UAV DACH, the German model aircraft pilot association (Deutscher Modellflieger Verband, DMFV) and receive support from industry partners like tesa in different R&D projects.