Pictured above is a twin tail boom Pusher Composite UAV made by Paramount Advanced Technologies. It was fitted with our autopilot and flight control software and we spent a few weeks flight tuning the system and implementing full auto takeoff and auto landing modes.

About 4m wingspan, pusher prop, 4 flaps, split elevator, flies like a dream!

These two modes used the Lightware SF10 Laser Rangfinder as the source of height above ground for the Wheels up detection, and for the landing approach and landing flare modes. Still a little work in getting touchdown closer to the target point - but landings are smooth and safe..

The SF10 performs flawlessly, giving cm accurate height data from 60meters AGL and has enabled the auotlanding function to be easily implemented.  This airrcaft in its test guise weighs 25kg, with electric motor drive. For those interested in more info on the UAV, contact Paramount Advanced Tech. in South Africa - they are on the web..

Here are two videos of the landing, approach and touchdown. You will notice that the UAV approaches the landing strip, and flies on a ways if the touchdown would have been short, and then does finals with the flare and a smooth touchdown.

Nice and Slick!

The videos are low res - takes too long to download for viewing here in Darkest Africa!



Thanks Laserman for the SF10! ( see www.lightware.co.za)

The Nampilot

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  • Ok, then I put Lightware on the top of my LRF product list because i'll probably need this kind of sensor for a future project. They are relatively cheap compared to the 8K one and with a decent range

  • 100KM

    I'm currently completing a Mini Mugin (2.6m) for a client. If it works well he'd like to upgrade to a larger platform. There's the 3m mugin and the 4.45m one, but I'm very keen on a locally produced one. Budget is around 30k for the airframe itself.

    350kph cruise speed!! You always seem to be a generation ahead. Well done. Keep posting and inspiring us all.

  • Hello Julien, 

    No I have not tried other LRF's , for the simple reason that there are many pitfalls in LRF design, and the un-initiated fall foul of not having spent the required school fees! One of the big issues related to how the LRF responds to various surface type, textures, etc. Lightwave have a lot of experience in this regard ans we trust them now....FLIR have a great LRF, works over 'any' surface ( they say) , and up to 500meters - around $8K US...


  • Hello Hein,

    I guess the UAV would be 'purchasable' but not at DIY budgets....We are presently upgrading the autopilot to our latest version hardware, a much more powerful processor, sort of 800mips, with FPU, etc - the reason being we are planning to fit the autopilot to a Rhomboid wing UAV ( 350kmh plus cruise speed...) for Paramount in the near future. Need very fast cycle times for that plane!


  • Ok, great, thanks a lot for feedback!

    SF02, right, nor RF.

    This cheaper one would be interested for developping because crashes are common during alpha testing phasis and it's better to minimize the cost until a working system.

    BTW, do you know other laser range finder suitable for UAV, have you tryed only lightware ones?

  • 100KM

    Beautiful machine! Is the UAV version available to buy? Obviously Nampilot has better contacts than us hobby folks :)

  • For those people in the rest of the world that do not know...

    The aircraft in question is the Ahrlac. A totally South African designed and built aircraft. If not mistaken the first for SA by Aerosud and the Paramount Group

    I've seen the aircraft during some of the stages and it's awesome. Love the design.. Just wondering what happened to the fancy pusher prop. 

    And here you go...



  • Hi Iskess, The autopilot and flight control software is our own product.


  • Hi Julien,

    Yes I have. Of the many autolandings done with this aircraft during testing, half were with SF02 ( I presume you meant SF, not RF??) and half with the SF10 - We have standardized on SF10 because it is much smaller and lighter - well suited to our SurVoyeur aircraft of 5kg..Both work very well


  • Very interesting post!!

    Have you tested the cheaper RF02/F?

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