Laser Rangfinder for Auto takeoff and Landing - 25kg Composite Pusher UAV Project

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

The Nampilot

Views: 2717

Comment by Gary Mortimer on August 3, 2014 at 11:18am

That's what they want to make manned is it not??

Comment by Gisela & Joe Noci on August 3, 2014 at 11:48am

Yes Gary. This is the small scale model of the manned one - used for wind tunnel evaluations and verification, and since there are molds for the scale model, it has now become a UAV.


Comment by iskess on August 3, 2014 at 12:04pm
You have your own propriatory flight controller, or is it based on APM?

Comment by Gary Mortimer on August 3, 2014 at 1:50pm

I thought they would from the get go.  They probably won't like the idea but I bet the unmanned one will be more viable....

Comment by Justin Martin on August 3, 2014 at 3:27pm

Gary, Although I agree in numbers they will probably outsell the full scale model, I doubt they will outsell the full scale version in profit. For a quick example, look at how widely used the OV-10, T-6 texan 2, PC-21, and Embraer Super Tucano are in both light attack, and patrol.

Specifically, the OV-10 is used quite often for forest fire "spotting." Many of these planes are in need of replacement, and this might just be the perfect aircraft.

Comment by Hein du Plessis on August 3, 2014 at 9:32pm
Wow spookily smooth! Well done. I'm so keen on getting this working on the apm. Nice airframe.
Comment by Justin Martin on August 3, 2014 at 9:35pm

+1, can't wait to see APM with successful landings. I personally feel this is one of the only things holding APM back from playing with the big dogs (IE, Piccolo.)

Comment by Quadzimodo on August 3, 2014 at 10:55pm
Thanks Gisela & Joe, your posts are always fantastic!
Comment by Julien Dubois on August 5, 2014 at 4:39pm

Very interesting post!!

Have you tested the cheaper RF02/F?

Comment by Gisela & Joe Noci on August 5, 2014 at 11:29pm

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



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