First civilian drone missions off an aircraft carrier (new vid)!

Here's a new video from our flights from the USS Hornet at the Nerd Night science festival last week. We think this is the first time a civilian drone has taken off and landed on an aircraft carrier (albeit a retired one).

These were all fully-autonomous missions, from takeoff to landing, with both ArduPlanes and ArduCopters. All missions went without a hitch, and all autolandings were right down the center of the landing strip.

Also includes autonomous 3D mapping of the carrier! Here's a video from that:


Views: 1061

Comment by Harry on November 9, 2013 at 4:36pm

Looks like you had quite an audience, tell more about the occasion.

Comment by Joshua Johnson on November 9, 2013 at 4:59pm

Amazing!! Congrats!  You folks are cutting edge when it comes to Civilian Drones I'm glad to see you working with the military in non military type applications.  

Comment by John Hestness on November 9, 2013 at 7:52pm

Very cool. Did you have to take any precautions or make special adjustments because of the somewhat large pieces of metal in the vicinity? Any problems with compass, GPS, radios, etc? 

3D Robotics
Comment by Brandon Basso on November 9, 2013 at 9:09pm

@Harry, Nerd Night is a great event that is exactly what it sounds like--lots of cool science and engineering at a completely unique venue!  We had the entire upper deck of the Hornet and did 5 plane missions, all fully auto, and 5 copter missions, all auto as well.  The copter missions were focus on creating the map you see in the image and the plane missions were focused on showing bungee launch and landing on the deck of a carrier.  We flew plane 2.75 with airspeed and it worked great.

@John, we knew the height of the surrounding structures and operated about twice as high. Landing the plane took some thinking because the largest crane was in the approach path. We had no comm problems--LOS the entire time--I don't think I saw it much below 95% on the 3DR radio. The compass and GPS all appeared to work fine as well. We recalibrated everything on site for both plane and copter.

Comment by Gerard Toonstra on November 10, 2013 at 7:50am

Very nice. Just subscribed to the 3DR channel to see more good examples of applications for this technology. This could be a great and inexpensive way to generate accurate models of warships for 3D games. The detail won't be there, but the general shape is already a great thing to start from.

Comment by Luca Brizzi on November 11, 2013 at 1:17am

Any hint on the auto landing procedure?

We have some issue with auto landing 

Thanks in advance for your suggestions


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