We have made a few revisions to the precision landing system that will allow our drone to lock on to the landing area and land precisely on target every time. Our original plan was to use an infrared tag which the cameras on the drone would locate and then use to align the aircraft for landing.
This system would work most of the time but we wanted to make it even better. We are going to test out an infrared beacon as opposed to a tag. This will give us even more accuracy and make a landing in difficult conditions easier.
The environment won’t always be perfect, there could be fog, rain, or simply be at night when cameras wouldn’t be able to locate the landing zone. Even in “good” conditions, things like glare from the sun could affect a camera system so these IR beacons will send out an infrared signal to the drone that will be able to pass through things like fog, rain, and darkness and won’t be affected by glare.
Since the system works with infrared rays, the beams coming from the beacon won’t be visible to the human eye but the sensors on the drone will be able to spot them quickly and easily. This system will allow the drone to land with an accuracy of possibly less than one centimeter, so it is very precise and reliable.
This system will also allow us to track and land on a moving target like if the landing pad was mounted on a smaller boat that was moving with the waves. The AI system on the drone will be able to locate the IR beacon, fly to it, and then track it through the landing process to ensure a safe landing.
We will be receiving the rest of the parts to test this system very soon so we will get everything mocked up for testing to see how it goes. We are hoping that this system will work sufficiently and we are already pretty confident that the additional cost will be worth it with all of the benefits that come along with IR beacons.