There is a wide need for powerful, efficient and economical working airplanes for various uses: Geo exploration, environmental protection, surveillance of coastlines and fishing, boarder control. The airplanes have to follow given flight profiles very precisely, and fly safely in little distances to the ground and other barriers.
Current working airplanes are too large, including multiple crew members that cause high costs. specialized working airplanes with only one engine and a weight of about 1 ton are more suitable for this kind of surveillance. The aviation company STEMME develops such airplanes. The required flight control system (high reliability, automated) is not available yet.
Existing Flight control systems of business or military airplanes do not fulfill the requirements or they are too heavy and expensive.
Autopilots for light aircrafts do not fulfill the system requirements regarding dynamics, functionality, reliability and precision.
It is the objective to develop and demonstrate a reliable and precise automated flight control system for working airplanes. It should have a modular design and be tolerant regarding errors. For a better adoption towards new utilisations, it should be a scalable system.
These technical requirements should be achieved in a cost efficient manner regarding market conditions.
The project plan consists of seven fields of work:
- Formulation of the requirements
- Airplane development and flight measures
- Development of models regarding flight mechanisms and Software engineering
- Computer basis: Hardware and Software development
- Hardware and Software verification
- Integration and flight test
- Evaluation of the results
The automated and high precision flight regulation system was implemented into a modified Stemme S15 aircraft and was thoroughly tested with over 40 hours of flight time after it has passed substantial simulator and laboratory testing. The LAPAZ project could be implemented very successfully and thus could releave the work load of pilots significantly.
Findings of the study are published by a final report (German only), which is available online via the Technical Information Library (TIB) of the Hannover University:
press release: https://www.fmra.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/fg162/Dokumente/Nachrichten/TUB_Pressemitteilung_LAPAZ_2010-09-30.pdf