This Saturday at DronesLab we achieved an important milestone in the final steps towards the public release of the DeltaQuad: A 100KM autonomous mission carrying a 1KG payload. This marks the achievement of the most important goal we have set when we started the development of this vehicle over a year ago.
The DeltaQuad is an electric VTOL flying wing capable of fully autonomous operation. It is driven by either the PX4 or AirRails flightstack in combination with proprietary safety and performance software. It is controlled through a tablet and streams telemetry (and optionally video) over an encrypted VPN using the cellular network. Most notably it flies without the need for an airspeed sensor. This improves reliability, usability and performance.
After extensive testing and hundreds of flight hours we knew it could achieve this goal in theory. But as with any theory it needed to withstand the test of reality. So we we started preparing for a mission that would do just that.
The mission was flown in a square pattern. It was setup to autonomously take off vertically to an altitude of 22m, complete 20 laps on a 5km circuit at an altitude of 30m, and land vertically near it's takeoff point. It cruised at approximately 15m/s. The mission took 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete. It was outfitted with a 23Ah 4s lipo and consumed 20.7A of which 19.3 was used for fixed wing flight and 1.4 for vertical takeoff and land.
The payload consisted of a 1KG box filled with dummy weight. The total distance was confirmed through a KML export of the mission loaded in google earth as you can see in the image above.
The full log of the mission can be found here: http://logs.uaventure.com/view/QEofXUiC5dwm9zh7B3vXgk
The DeltaQuad will be publicly available this summer under a new label that we will soon announce together with the full specs and pricing. Additional options and modules will be released shortly after that. Although we can not yet release any more details we are confident that it will be one of the most reliable, scalable and affordable VTOL UAV's that is suitable for commercial applications.