Scenario 2: Rotary-wing landing on a mobile platform using tether


EC-SAFEMOBIL program scenarios 1 and 2 are devoted to rotary wing UAV landing at mobile platforms. Those are highly interesting for Indra; as UAV operational envelopes could be extended to areas in which nowadays this operation is not possible. Moreover, these developments are implemented taking into account safety considerations which would facilitate UAV integration in non segregated airspaces.


Scenario development is based in a combination of experimentation and flight control system strategy improvements. Experiments include a concept demonstration in small rotary wing platforms. Flight control system improvements include tether system information management so the situation awareness of the UAV is increased. Three main scenario aspects are the following:


  • Automatic landing in mobile platform in bad weather conditions.

      The scenario 1 objective of rotary wing UAV landing on mobile platforms is extended so the manoeuvre is performed also with high speed winds and landing platforms movements.

  • Tether solution application for tactical UAV.

      The adaptation of a solution used in manned helicopters is used in this scenario. Dealing with reduced inertia of the UAV, and a high level of relative movement between the UAV and the platform are ones of the challenges expected.

  • Increasing safe operational availability.

      Deep integration of the system within the rotary wing UAV flight control system is needed in order to maintain the normal operation safety levels. This leads to an expansion of the operational flight envelope of the UAS.


Within the consortium, Indra leads this scenario working closely with the University of Seville for the implementation of the autopilot algorithms, and with FADA-CATEC for the implementation of the tether system monitoring and control.

Scenario 2: Rotary-wing landing on a mobile platform using tether