UAV Missions

Multiplex Twinstar in autonomous flight



Autonomous Vehicles

Vehicles using iFR ROCSThe iFR operates a variety of autonomously flying vehicles including multirotor aircraft as well as fixed-wing aircraft providing an easily adaptable research platform. This way, algorithms developed as part of our own research can be quickly demonstrated and projects on behalf of third party institutions are rapidly realized.

All of our vehicles rely on the Research Onboard Computing System (ROCS) which has been developed at iFR. This offers the advantage of keeping the hard- and software of multiple systems interchangeable and easily maintainable while providing the necessary computational performance needed.

Some of our fixed-wing aircraft are also used within the scope of the Aerobotics Seminar, offered to our graduate students. This way, it is possible to demonstrate a complete development workflow from concept to a algorithm, working in-flight.






CanSat with Parachute CanSat before Take-Off

The Institute of Flight Mechanics and Control supported the student association “KSat” by providing a UAV for a student competition. In this competition the students were tasked with designing and building a small “CanSat”, which consists of a regular soda can, a payload, a parachute and some electronics. These CanSats were then dropped from an altitude of about 300m.

The parachute is automatically opened by the electronics once the can drops below a certain altitude. In this contest the payload consisted of an egg, which should safely be brought down to earth as quickly as possible. So to win the parachute should be opened as late as possible.



Photogrammetry Missions

Photogrammetry Mission at Kühroint Alm, Austria

Apart from our own research applications, we offer to operate the system for research applications that require an airborne platform. Fixed-wing and rotorcraft UAVs are operated by iFR in cooperation with the Institute of Photogrammetry (IfP) at the University of Stuttgart. By processing aerial images a detailed 3D map or an orthophoto can be derived.

As an example, a photogrammetry mission at Kühroint Alm, Berchtesgaden is presented here. Driven by the objective to accurately determine the depth of snow, aerial photos were taken in the hard-to-reach area. The image on the left and the video at the bottom may give some insights into how photogrammetry scientists benefit from our onboard computer system.

Besides from supporting researchers, the Insitute of Flight Mechanics and Control also takes part in an academic course for photogrammetry students by operating an automatically flying multirotor UAV to take aerial images.




Aerobotics Seminar

Picture showing the take-off of a UAV Position Vectors and Flight Path Angles

The Institute of Flight Mechanics and Control offers a hands-on Aerobotics Seminar to aerospace graduate students. The participants develop and implement different high-level-control algorithms for waypoint tracking. After verifying functionality and correct implementation within a hardware-in-the-loop environment, the algorithms are tested in real flight.

Students get to know the course of developing a control algorithm. The whole process from theoretical design to practical implementation and verification is run through.



Partner Research Facilities

We are proud that several german research facilities make use of our Research Onboard Computer System. The following list may give an impression of the purposes our system is used for by our partners.

Logos of Universities using ROCS
  • University of Tübingen, Department of Geosciences:
    Several aircraft of the Environmental Physics group are controlled by ROCS.
  • Braunschweig University of Technology, Institute of Flight Guidance:
    The fixed-wing UAV "ALADINA" used for in situ aerosol detecting is controlled by ROCS.
  • Dresden University of Technology, Insitute of Automation:
    Octocopters controlled by ROCS are used for terrain mapping.


@2015 iFR - Flight Mechanics and Controls Lab


Flight Mechanics and Controls Lab
Pfaffenwaldring 27
70569 Stuttgart


Phone:   +49 711 685-67061

Fax:        +49 711 685-66670