56954: Student in Electrical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics or similar (f/m/x) - Integration and Validation of a SatCom-Datalink into a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS)

Updated: 28 days ago
Location: Braunschweig, NIEDERSACHSEN

Contribute to the design of the future of Unmanned Aviation! The DLR Institute for Flight Guidance has been researching concepts and technologies that enable the integration of UAS into controlled and uncontrolled airspace for several years. This research is bundled in the institute’s research group on "Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)".
Satellite communications (satcom) are very useful to provide a link to aircraft and ships when they are in areas where there is no coverage for other network links. It can also serve as a backup, a secondary link option, when there is some problem with the primary link. However, this option has been discarded for medium and small drones due to the usual size and weight of the satellite antennas and modules. But quite recently, new solutions have appeared solving that problem. The interest for using satcom in drone operations appears not only while flying in areas without ground network coverage, but can also be useful while flying in urban areas where buildings can block the signal of the primary link.

In the context of the Labyrinth project (http://labyrinth2020.eu) we currently validating need the integration of a drone using satcom into a U-space framework (the European Unmanned Traffic Management concept for Drones).

The main tasks of this Master/Bachelor Thesis will include:

  • Install and configure a drone with a satcom module
  • Develop the code necessary for the drone to communicate with the U-space server using satcom
  • Perform experiments to test the latency of the communications and the automatic switch (when the link automatically changes from primary to secondary).
  • Document your developments, analyze the results from the experiments and report your conclusions.

You will get close support for these tasks. This work will provide you with a good insight into how unmanned aerial systems and satellite communications work and give you a glimpse to what the future U-space will look like.


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