UAV-Logo-strip-2

                                              .

Mount Desert Lodge, Lee Rd, Cork
Tel: +353 86 253 5285
Email: Paudie(at)baselinesurveys.ie

Ascending Technologies Approved Falcon 8 Training

This course has been designed in order to provide trainees with the skills, knowledge and attitude to fly an Ascending Technologies Falcon 8 according to the manufacturer’s manual.

Course modules and learning objectives:

 

Limitations of Falcon 8 RPAS

 On completion Students will be able to…

System limitations:

  • State the Maximum distance RPAS must be from ground station
  • State the Maximum safe operating Altitude above sea level
  • State the flight endurance of the falcon 8 with various payloads
  • State the minimum safe take off and landing area
  • State the minimum radio link strength
  • State the minimum amount of satellites signal for a safe GPS mode operation
  • State the max and min voltage of RPA
  • State the max and min voltage of ground station

Weather Limitations:

  • State the minimum operating temperature
  • State the maximum operating temperature
  • State the maximum operating wind speed
  • State if it is unsafe to operate in turbulent conditions and know what causes turbulence
  • State the weather conditions that the Falcon 8 should not be flown in

 

2. Safety features of Falcon 8

On completion Students will be able to…

Operator safety commands

  • State that the Falcon 8 operates in manual/Altitude/GPS modes
  • Know how to command the Falcon 8 to hover at a specified point
  • Know how to command the Falcon 8 to fly to HOME position and land
  • Know that it is safer to fly the falcon 8 in height mode if the wind exceeds the safety limit while flying
  • Know that it is safer to keep the falcon 8 10m from obstacles in flight
  • Know what causes GPS signal shadow/multipath
  • Know that sources of magnetic interference are dangerous to fly near
  • Know that the falcon should not be operated in dusty, rocky or sandy environments
  • Know that the take off/landing surface should allow all blades to operate freely
  • Know that operating around people, livestock and birds is dangerous
  • Know that the falcon 8 should be operated within line of sight at all times
  • Know that an awareness of battery strength throughout the entire flight is safe practice
  • Know that flying against the sun may cause loss of  visual contact with the RPAS

System safety features

  • Know that loss of communication results in the Falcon 8 automatically flying to home position and landing
  • Know that loss of GPS will result in it the pilot having to fly the RPAS in height mode
  • Know that at a predefined low battery level the falcon 8 and RC transmitter will give an acoustic warning
  • Know that at an extremely low battery level the Falcon 8 will be unable to maintain altitude
  • Know that with a motor failure the \falcon will still be able to land safely

3. Falcon 8 flight planning

 On completion Students will be able to…

Google Earth

  • Create a google earth image file
  • Create a (dot) ini file

Asctec Autopilot Software

  • Open a google earth image in Asctec autopilot software
  • Set the grid start position point
  • Set the options –flight AGL, line spacing, yaw heading and camera pitch angle
  • Create a flight plan
  • Determine the flight time of the flight plan and determine how many flights are required

Falcon 8 Flight Modes

 On completion Students will be able to…

Manual Mode

  • Know that flying the Falcon 8 in manual mode is extremely difficult and should never be attempted

Height Mode

  • Know that in height mode the Falcon 8 has pitch, roll, yaw and altitude assisted control
  • Know that in height mode there is no positional control
  • Know that the Falcon 8 will drift with the wind in height mode
  • Know that compensation for the wind has to be done by the pilot
  • Know that the falcon 8 flies at a max speed of 6m/s in height mode
  • Know that in wind strengths that overcome GPS control, height mode may be used to fly the RPAS to its landing position
  • Know that it is good practice to increase piloting skills using height mode

GPS Mode

  • Know that in GPS mode the Falcon 8 is altitude, attitude and position assisted in flight
  • Know that wind up to 12m/s is completely compensated for
  • Know that the Falcon 8 flies at a maximum speed of 3m/s
  • Know that GPS mode is not fail safe
  • List the issues that affect GPS quality
  • Know that they should have the option to switch to height mode at any time during the flight
  • State the accuracies of GPS in both urban and open areas

 

5. Dealing with Emergencies

On completion Students will be able to…

Low Battery

  • Know that a “low battery” warning gives approximately 5 minutes of remaining flying time
  • Know that an “Empty Battery please land now” warning prompts the pilot in command to land the RPAS quickly, safely and calmly.
  • Know that the falcon should only be launched with a battery strength of greater than or equal to 12volts
  • Know that an acoustic warning will sound when the R/C transmitter battery is low and the pilot should land the system within 5 minutes
  • Know that the video receiver battery is low when 3 LEDs in middle of the display start flashing

Excessive Wind speed

  • Know that good weather forecasting will avoid most excessive wind issues
  • Know that if the wind is too strong then the PRAS will no longer be able to hold its position in GPS mode
  • Know to descend immediately in excessive wind speeds
  • Know to switch to height mode to fly back to landing area if current area is unsafe for landing in excessive wind speeds

Distance too far

  • Know what to do if the falcon 8’s orientation is no longer recognisable

GPS Signal Loss

  • Know that an acoustic warning “GPS LOST” indicates GPS signal disruption
  • Know that the system switches to height mode automatically when “GPS LOST” warning is issued

Magnetic Interference

  • Know what caused magnetic interference and plan to avoid this type of system malfunction
  • Know that magnetic interference affects the onboard compass, which is required for directional assisted control
  • Know that this may cause the Falcon 8 to drift temporarily in GPS mode while taking off
  • Know that changing the take off area or to start in height mode may rectify the effect of magnetic interference

Loss of Communication

  • Know that an acoustic warning “LINK LOST” means loss of communication between the Falcon 8 and the ground control station
  • Know that aligning antenna direction may re-establish the communication link
  • Know that emergency mode will be activated automatically and the Falcon 8 will fly “HOME” and land

Mechanical Defects

  • Know that if the Falcon 8 vibrates conspicuously then the operator must check all moving parts
  • Know that it may be necessary to change propellers with defects

Motor Failure

  • Know that the acoustic warning “MOTOR FAILURE, LAND NOW” means that a motor has failed
  • Know that the falcon 8 has redundancy and will continue to fly safely
  • Know to land the Falcon 8 immediately with small and constant inputs

 

Flight Training

On completion Students will be able to…

Pre Flight

  • Know how to choose a suitable launch and landing area
  • Know that there is a pre-flight checklist to follow rigorously before every launch
  • Know how to insert the battery
  • Know how to extend the antennae
  • Know how to turn on the camera
  • Know how to turn on the Falcon 8
  • Know how to turn on the transmitter
  • Know how to switch to GPS mode
  • Know how to switch to Autopilot Mode
  • Know how to switch to height mode
  • List the emergency modes
  • Set the appropriate emergency mode
  • Know how to read the falcon 8, transmitter and video link battery levels
  • Know the max and min levels of each battery
  • Know the payload limitations
  • Know that a different payload changes the centre of gravity, thus flight stability

In Flight

  • Know how to increase and decrease altitude
  • Know how to fly forwards/backwards
  • Know how to move left/right
  • Know how to yaw the Falcon 8
  • Know how to hover the Falcon 8
  • Know how to read the altitude of the falcon 8
  • Know how to read the GPS signal strength
  • Know how to read the flight time
  • Know how to read if the Falcon 8 is in GPS mode or height mode
  • Know how to read the flight time
  • Know how to pitch the camera and trigger the camera
  • Know how to adjust the antennae to increase radio signal strength
  • Know how to initiate an emergency landing
  • Know how to land routinely
  • Know how to turn off the camera, falcon and transmitter in that exact order

           

7. Maintenance of Falcon 8

On completion Students will be able to…

Battery Charging

  • Know how to connect the BID an to  connect the power leads to charge the Falcon 8/video link batteries
  • Know when the falcon 8/video link batteries are fully charged
  • Know how to charge the transmitter
  • Know that all other maintenance should be carried out by the manufacturer