Header Overview

This page shows the steps to prepare your AscTec UAV and AscTec equipment to get ready to fly. It is in the first place addressed to our new customers, but also includes a lot of interesting information for our existing customers.

If you want to use equipment which we do not standardly deliver, please also have a look at the Technical Documentation and Custom RC.

Reassemble your flight system

As default, our AscTec UAVs are completely assembled and ready to fly. In some situations it is necessary to first reassemble your flight system before you are ready for take-off. This can happen if the flight system is e.g. too large for the transport case. If that is the case, please have a look at the following instructions.

Mount your AscTec Laser Scanner Mount V2

The AscTec Pelican can be equipped with a laser scanner mount. For safety reasons during the transport, it needs to be disassembled. To get ready to fly, you need to follow the instructions in the AscTec Laser Scanner Mount V2 manual.

Mount your propeller protection

For indoor flights we recommend to use a propeller protection, which allows gentle contacts with surrounding objects. We offer a large and a small propeller protection for the AscTec Hummingbird and the AscTec Pelican. The AscTec Firefly only comes with a small propeller protection.

Pelican and Hummingbird:
The screws of the propeller protection also fix the motors on the motor booms. If you remove the propeller protection, do not use the same screws to fix the motors on the motor boom, because they are too long and can damage the motors!

To mount the propeller protection on your flight system, please follow the instructions in the respective manual:

AscTec Firefly propeller protection

AscTec Pelican / AscTec Hummingbird propeller protection

Charge your batteries

Our standard batteries are specially modified for your AscTec UAV. For safety reasons, please read the Battery Instructions before you use them the first time. They are standardly delivered in storage condition, that means they are charged half-full.

As our standard battery chargers we offer two devices from Graupner, which come with the respective charging adapters for our standard batteries and standard remote controls. Both chargers can be powered by 100~~240V AC or 12V DC (e.g. car battery).

  • The Graupner Ultra Duo Plus 60 lets you charge two individual batteries at the same time and comes with a preprogrammed memory function, which lets you choose the respective charging settings.
  • The Graupner Ultramat 16S lets you charge only one battery and does not have a memory function.

 

 Futaba T8J Remote Control

The Futaba T8J remote control is delivered with a separate charger. It is shown in the picture below.

To charge the T8J:

  1. Plug the charger into a wall socket
  2. Wait until the red LED on the charger turns green.
 Graupner Ultra Duo Plus 60

The next instructions show how to charge your batteries with the Graupner UDP60. For all further functions and questions, please read the instructions in the manufacturer manual.

The Graupner UDP60 has two LCD screens, but only one key control for both outputs.

Basic operations of the charger:

  • To switch from output 1 to output 2, or vice versa, please push OUTPUT SELECT. A flashing LED at the output socket shows that this output is selected.
  • To move through the display menu, turn the red dial.
  • To select a menu function, push the red dial.
  • To get to a higher menu or stop the charging, push ESC.

Charge your UAV battery

The next steps show how to charge your LiPo batteries at OUTPUT 1. If you want to charge two batteries at the same time, please do the respective steps for OUTPUT 2.

  1. Connect the battery charger with a power source. (e.g. INPUT 100~~240V AC).
  2. Plug the balancer adapter to the balancer connector 1, which is on the left side of the charger. Make sure that the jack of the balancer cable fills the "0 pin" of the balancer connector.
  3. Plug the power cable (with red and black connector) to the power socket (red and black slot) of OUTPUT 1. Depending on your battery it comes with a green MPX connector

    or a red gold connector.

    Make sure to plug the red cable to the red slot and the black cable to the black slot. Otherwise you short circuit the battery!
  4. Select the desired output socket by pushing OUTPUT SELECT until the LED at OUTPUT 1 is flashing.
  5. The settings for our standard batteries are already programmed in the MEMORY function. To select the appropriate setting, please first have a look at your battery. There you will find the information about the battery type (LiPo), the voltage (11.1V) and the capacity (e.g. 2100mAh, 4900mAh, 6100mAh).
  6. Go to the MEMORY function (with the red dial) and find the respective setting by turning the red dial. To select it, just push the ESC button. After that you can see the selected setting on the bottom of the screen (MONITOR OUTPUT 1).
  7. Connect the black jack of the battery to the balancer adapter.

    We recommend to always use a balancer connection while charging your batteries. The balancer reads out the battery information and takes care that the battery does not get overcharged.
  8. Connect the MPX connector / the gold connectors of the battery to the power cable of the charger.
  9. Switch to the "CHARGE"-mode by turning the red dial.
  10. Start charging by pushing the red dial.
  11. When the battery is fully charged you will be noticed by a sound signal and the display shows "END". If so, it is very important to first unplug the MPX connector / the gold connectors.

    Do not unplug the power cable from the battery charger while a battery is still connected with the green MPX connector or red gold connectors ! The two jacks of the power cable are not shielded and hence can be easily short circuited!

  12. When you are finished with charging your batteries, just unplug the battery charger from the power source.

Charge your R/C battery

To charge your remote control at OUTPUT 1 of the Graupner UDP60, please follow the next steps:

  1. Connect the battery charger with a power source. (e.g. INPUT 100~~240V AC).
  2. Connect the R/C power cable

    (with one black connector) to the power socket of OUTPUT 1.

    Make sure to plug the red cable to the red slot and the black cable to the black slot. Otherwise you short circuit the battery!

    If you are using FF7 and Spektrum R/Cs simultaneously: Be careful and make sure to use the correct charging cable for each of them ! They look similar, but they are not! A wrong charging cable can damage your R/C. For more information, please contact team@asctec.de.

  3. Select the desired output socket by pushing OUTPUT SELECT until the LED at OUTPUT 1 is flashing.
  4. Go to the MEMORY function and find the respective setting (FF7/Spektrum) by turning the red dial. This setting is used for both, FF7 and Spektrum R/Cs. To select it, just push the ESC button. After that you can see the selected setting on the bottom of the screen (MONITOR OUTPUT 1).
  5. Connect the R/C power cable with the remote control.
  6. Switch to the "CHARGE"-mode by turning the red dial.
  7. Start charging by pushing the red dial.
  8. When the battery is fully charged you will be noticed by a sound signal and the display shows "END". If so, it is important to first unplug the remote control from the R/C power cable, otherwise it can lead to a short circuit which can damage the remote control.
  9. When you are finished with charging your batteries, just unplug the battery charger from the power source.
 Graupner Ultramat 16S

The next instructions show how to charge your batteries with the Graupner Ultramat 16S. For all further functions and questions, please read the instructions in the manufacturer manual.

Basic operations of the charger:

  • To switch to the next battery program, push and hold the PROG/MODE button for 3 seconds.
  • To change the mode within a battery program, push the PROG/MODE shortly.
  • To switch between two parameters within a mode, push the ENTER/START button shortly.
  • To change a parameter, push INC to increase the value or push DEC to decrease the value.

Charge your UAV battery

  1. Connect the battery charger with a power source (e.g. INPUT 100~~240V AC) and wait until it is booted up (after the third beep).
  2. Plug the balancer cable to the balancer connector, which is on the front side of the charger.
  3. Plug the power cable (with red and black connector) to the power socket (red and black slot) at the front of the charger. Depending on your battery it comes with a green MPX connector or a red gold connector.
  4. Select the program for the UAV batteries by holding the PROG/MODE button each time for 3 seconds until you are in the LiPo program.
  5. In the LiPo program push the PROG/MODE button shortly to switch between the functions. The "Lithium type" needs to be set to 4.20V/C. If not, change it with DEC/INC.
  6. In "LiPo manual"-mode change the charging rate and the capacity according to your battery. (Change the value with DEC/INC and switch between charging rate and capacity by pushing ENTER/START shortly)
    • Info on your battery: 11.1V, 2100mAh -> Setting in the charger C: 2.1A 2100mAh
    • Info on your battery: 11.1V, 4900mAh -> Setting in the charger C: 4.9A 4900mAh (AscTec Powerpacks can also be charged with 2C, that means you can also set C: 9.8A 4900mAh for quick charge)
    • Info on your battery: 11.1V, 6000mAh -> Setting in the charger C: 6.0A 6000mAh
    • Info on your battery: 11.1V, 6100mAh -> Setting in the charger C: 6.1A 6100mAh (AscTec Powerpacks can also be charged with 2C, that means you can also set C: 12.2A 6100mAh for quick charge)
    • Info on your battery: 11.1V, 8000mAh -> Setting in the charger C: 8.0A 8000mAh
  7. Connect the black jack of the battery to the balancer adapter.

    We recommend to always use a balancer connection while charging your batteries. The balancer reads out the battery information and takes care that the battery does not get overcharged.
  8. Connect the MPX connector / the gold connectors of the battery to the power cable of the charger.
  9. To start charging push and hold the ENTER/START button for 3 seconds.
  10. When the battery is fully charged you will be noticed by a sound signal and the display shows "END". If so, it is very important to first unplug the MPX connector / the gold connectors.

    Do not unplug the power cable from the battery charger while a battery is still connected with the green MPX connector or red gold connectors ! The two jacks of the power cable are not shielded and hence can be easily short circuited!

  11. When you are finished with charging your batteries, just unplug the battery charger from the power source.

Charge your R/C battery

  1. Connect the battery charger with a power source (e.g. INPUT 100~~240V AC) and wait until it is booted up (after the third beep).
  2. Connect the R/C power cable

    (with one black connector) to the power socket.

    Make sure to plug the red cable to the red slot and the black cable to the black slot. Otherwise you short circuit the battery!

    If you are using FF7 and Spektrum R/Cs simultaneously: Be careful and make sure to use the correct charging cable for each of them ! They look similar, but they are not! A wrong charging cable can damage your R/C. For more information, please contact team@asctec.de.

  3. Select the program for the R/C battery by holding the PROG/MODE button each time for 3 seconds until you are in the NiMH program.
  4. Change the charging rate in the automatic mode to <= 1.5A by pushing the DEC/INC buttons.
  5. To start charging, push and hold the ENTER/START button for 3 seconds.
  6. When the battery is fully charged you will be noticed by a sound signal and the display shows "END". If so, it is important to first unplug the remote control from the R/C power cable, otherwise it can lead to a short circuit which can damage the remote control.
  7. When you are finished with charging your batteries, just unplug the battery charger from the power source.

Prepare your AscTec UAV

All AscTec UAVs are standardly delivered "ready to fly". That means, they are completely calibrated and already bound to the delivered R/C. Shortly before delivery, we fly-test them intensively to ensure our high quality standards. If you intend to use any individual equipment together with our AscTec UAVs, please refer to the Technical Documentation and Custom RC. To get your AscTec UAV ready for take-off, you just need to connect a charged battery:

  1. Insert the AscTec battery into the battery tray of your AscTec UAV. Depending on your battery, there is a recommended orientation how to insert it.
    • AscTec Powerpack: These battery packs come with a "THIS SIDE UP"-sticker, which tells you the orientation of the battery.
    • TP 6000 / TP 8000: On one side of these battery packs are running the power cables within the black mantle. It is recommended to choose the orientation of the battery that these power cables are pointing downwards, i.e. away from the magnetic compass. (This leads to a minimum magnetic disturbance of the compass)
    • TP 2100: No special orientation recommended.
  2. To keep the balance of the flight system, make sure to position the battery approx. centered in the AscTec UAV.
  3. Connect the battery with the respective power connector of your AscTec UAV (green MPX connector / red gold connectors).

Prepare your remote control (R/C)

The remote control (R/C) which is delivered with your AscTec UAV is already set up and bound to your flight system. Therefore you just need to switch it on and wait only one or two seconds until it is connected to the receiver on your AscTec UAV. If it is connected properly, the status LED on your Futaba or Spektrum receiver will be constantly on. It is not recommended to change any settings of the R/C. For information about further functions, please refer to the manufacturer manual.

If you have purchased the Telemetry Package for the Futaba FF-7, you need to mount the Jeti Box Pro on top of your Futaba. Please make sure, that the cable on the back of the RC is also plugged in correctly. In delivery condition the Jeti Box is already bound to the receiver on your flight system, so you should directly see the telemetric information after switching on the UAV and the RC. 

In delivery condition, the battery of the R/C is half-full. We recommend to charge your battery completely (>11.0V) before your first flight.

If you want to bind your standard R/C to a different AscTec UAV or somehow the bind between your standard R/C and your AscTec UAV was lost, you can bind it by the following steps:

Bind your R/C to your AscTec UAV

Our standard R/Cs are Futaba and Spektrum.

 Bind Futaba FF7/TC7
  1. Switch on your AscTec UAV.
  2. Switch on your Futaba transmitter.
  3. Press the "Link" button on the receiver for approx. 5 seconds.
  4. Now check the LED on the Futaba receiver. If it is constantly on, it is connected successfully. If not, check the cables of the receiver and try the bind process again.
 Bind Spektrum DX7

To get the Spektrum receiver in "bind-mode" you need to use the AscTec Research Upgrade tool.

  1. Connect your AscTec UAV to the AscTec Research Upgrade and skip forward (by clicking "NEXT") until you reach the Remote Controller Setup.
  2. Click on "Spektrum Bind".
  3. Switch off your flight system.
  4. Switch off your Spektrum transmitter.
  5. Switch on the flight system again.
  6. While pressing the "bind" button on the back of the transmitter, switch on your Spektrum transmitter.
  7. Now check the LED on your Spektrum receiver. If it is constantly on, it is connected successfully. If not, check the cables of the receiver and try the bind process again.

Trim settings

You can find the trim sliders in the display of your R/C.

There are 4 sliders, one for thrust, yaw, pitch and roll commands. A slider can be used to increase or decrease the respective R/C command stepwise. The sliders are operated with the 4 trim levers on your R/C.

Trimming can be used, to correct the drift of the UAV in the Manual- or Height mode. Before you take-off, you should reset all sliders to the middle position. Look at the trim instructions to see how you can trim your UAV during the flight.

AscTec UAV orientation

You can recognize the front of your AscTec UAV with the help of the red markers.

All AscTec Hummingbirds and AscTec Pelicans are standardly marked with one or two red flags at the motor boom.

In the '+'-configuration, only one red flag is attached. In this case, the red marked motor boom points to the front of the UAV.

In the 'x'-configuration, two red flags are attached. In this case, the front is exactly in-between the two red marked motor booms.

 

The orientation of the AscTec Firefly can be recognized by the LED fin. The LED fin is pointing towards the back of the AscTec Firefly.

You can change the stick parameter with the AutoPilot Control Software.

Connect your flight system via XBee pair.
Hold the "shift" key on your keyboard and click "Tools" -> now you will find the "parameters" menu.

In the "parameters" window:

  1. click on "Get Values"
  2. change the GPS stick mode to 2 (for X-configuration) or 0 (for +-configuration)
  3. click on "transmit values"
  4. click on "write to flash"

After that, please carefully check the reaction of your UAV to the remote control.
Please do not change any other parameters nor do any calibrations without knowing the procedure.

R/C commands

Our standard remote control is the Futaba FF7. It can be used to fly your AscTec UAV manually and is also the interface for the safety pilot to activate and deactivate the control of the UAV by your custom code. It is mandatory to provide a safety pilot during the tests of your control algorithms. This is to avoid accidents with your AscTec UAV, since it´s quite unusual that any new code is bug free during the first tests. For further information about the serial interface, please have a look here.

The R/C contains two 2-axis control sticks and several switches. The right control stick is used to control the horizontal position of your UAV. The left control stick is used to control the height and the orientation.

The following image also shows the Mode switch, which lets you select between the flight modes (pushed completely away from the pilot -> Manual Mode). And the Serial interface switch, which lets you activate/deactivate the serial interface (pushed away from the pilot -> serial interface disabled).

Depending on the selected flight mode, the sticks have different effects on the UAV (e.g. climb/sink rate if height control is enabled and absolute thrust if height control is disabled). Please have a look at the different flight modes for further information.

There is no separate switch to start the motors. This is done by giving a "minimum thrust + full yaw" command for approx. 2 seconds. Before you switch on the motors the first time, please read through this complete "First steps" section.

Flight modes

The AscTec AutoPilot provides preinstalled attitude control-, height control- and position control algorithms (on the LLP). These algorithms are all tested and well proven but closed source. The pilot can choose between 3 flight modes to control the AscTec UAV manually. In all 3 flight modes, also a heading hold algorithm is activated, which uses the yaw-gyro (together with the compass, if it is connected). It lets the UAV keep its actual heading (as long as no yaw rate command is received).

 GPS Mode

In this mode, all control algorithms (attitude, height, position) are active. If there is no valid GPS lock, your AscTec UAV will automatically switch to the Height Mode, even if you selected the GPS Mode.

If both control sticks are completely centered, the UAV will keep its GPS position, its height and orientation automatically. That means it will compensate the wind (up to 10m/s) automatically.

  • The position of the thrust stick corresponds to a climb/sink rate. (centered stick: 0m/s; full stick command: approx. 2m/s)
  • The position of the yaw stick corresponds to a yaw rate. (centered stick: 0°/s; full stick command: approx. 200°/s (Hummingbird 300°/s))
  • The position of the pitch stick corresponds to a forward velocity. (centered stick: 0m/s; full stick command: approx. 3m/s over ground)
  • The position of the roll stick corresponds to a sideward velocity. (centered stick: 0m/s; full stick command: approx. 3m/s over ground)

The wind is also compensated while commanding a horizontal velocity. That means it does not matter if the wind is coming e.g. from the front or the back, the absolute velocity of your UAV will be the same for both cases.

Do not use the GPS Mode if the wind speed gets faster then 10m/s. In this case, your AscTec UAV can not compensate the full wind speed anymore and might not be able to keep its position automatically. If that happens, the safety pilot needs to switch to the Height Mode and land as soon as possible.

This limit of 10m/s comes from a limitation of the attitude angle to approx. 23°, which is implemented to avoid a too steep angle of the GPS module. If tilting the GPS module for more than 23°, the risk of loosing the sight of the surrounding satellites increases tremendously. Loosing too many satellites can lead to an inaccurate GPS position/velocity measurement. If these measurements get too inaccurate, the AscTec UAV will automatically switch to the Height Mode.

FYI, it is very unusual to get a valid GPS lock inside of a building, but in rare situations, e.g. if there are big windows, you can get a GPS lock inside. In this case, the GPS quality will be very bad.

To avoid an unwanted drift of your AscTec UAV, do not switch to the GPS Mode while flying indoors!
 Height Mode

In this mode, the attitude and the height control are active.

If both control sticks are completely centered, the UAV will keep a horizontal attitude, its height and orientation automatically. This means, it does not automatically compensate the wind, but drifts with the wind.

  • The position of the thrust stick corresponds to a climb/sink rate. (centered stick: 0m/s; full stick command: approx. 2m/s)
  • The position of the yaw stick corresponds to a yaw rate. (centered stick: 0°/s; full stick command: approx. 200°/s (Hummingbird 300°/s))
  • The position of the pitch stick corresponds to a pitch angle. (centered stick: 0°; full stick command: approx. 52°)
  • The position of the roll stick corresponds to a roll angle. (centered stick: 0°; full stick command: approx. 52°)

Since there is no GPS used in this mode, the maximum attitude angle is limited to 52°. This angle corresponds to a relative velocity of approx. 15m/s. This means, in this mode the pilot only needs to do very little stick movements if there is no wind. Furthermore the flight system can get very fast if it is flying with the wind, because then the absolute velocity is the result of wind speed and relative speed. E.g. if there is a wind speed of 10m/s: max. speed with the wind is 25m/s, max. speed against the wind is 5m/s.

 Manual Mode

In this mode, only the attitude control is active.

If both control sticks are completely centered, the UAV will keep a horizontal attitude and its actual orientation automatically. A centered thrust stick means 50% thrust -> depending on the payload of your UAV, it will climb or sink. Similar to the Height Mode, it does not automatically compensate the wind, but drifts with the wind.

  • The position of the thrust stick corresponds to a thrust rate. (centered stick: 50% thrust; full stick up: 100% thrust; full stick down: 0% thrust)
  • The position of the yaw stick corresponds to a yaw rate. (centered stick: 0°/s; full stick command: approx. 200°/s (Hummingbird 300°/s))
  • The position of the pitch stick corresponds to a pitch angle. (centered stick: 0°; full stick command: approx. 52°)
  • The position of the roll stick corresponds to a roll angle. (centered stick: 0°; full stick command: approx. 52°)

As in the Height Mode, the maximum attitude angle is limited to 52°.

minimum thrust of 0% means, the UAV will fall like a stone. A maximum thrust of 100% means, the UAV will climb with approx. 4 to 5m/s depending on the payload.

This mode is for experienced pilots. It is the only mode, which can lead to an overload of the AscTec UAV. E.g. if you would let a fully loaded UAV drop like a stone for 100m, it might not be able to speed up the propellers again to stop the fall.

Take-off location

For all flights the pilot must take care, that there is enough space around according to his flight experience and talent. For first flights, we recommend e.g. an open area with a soft and flat ground like a football field. When you are getting more experienced, you can fly in smaller areas. If you master the Manual Mode, you can even fly in indoor areas. For all flights, please pay attention to the following notes:

  • Make sure there is enough room free of obstacles and people around your take-off spot.
  • Make sure all rotors can spin freely on the ground (avoid high grass or other objects). For safety reasons you should turn off the motors immediately, if one of the propellers touches the ground or any other obstacle, and hence the vehicle is not able to take off.
  • The take-off area should be approx. horizontal (±10°).
  • Avoid dry surface with sand or dust, which can be blown up by the propeller downwash. Dirt in the motors and electronics can lead to failures.
  • Avoid (electro-)magnetic fields at the take-off spot, e.g. do not take-off from a car roof or above subterranean high voltage power lines.

Environmental conditions

Please choose the environmental conditions regarding the following limitations:

  • Do not fly in rain or snow. Moisture can lead to defects of the electronics.
  • If you are flying in fog, make sure to choose the max. distance that you can always operate the flight system respecting the rules of flight in line of sight.
  • Try to avoid flying in sandy or dusty areas. Mechanical parts may deteriorate rapidly.
  • Flying in high altitudes above the sea level encounters several problems. The air density will decrease, the temperature will decrease and the wind can get quite strong.
    If you want to operate your AscTec UAV in higher altitudes, please note that the flight time and wind stability will be reduced.
    • Starting at 1500m above sea level -> Reduced flight time and wind stability.
    • Up to approx. 2500m above sea level -> Flyable in calm conditions with drastically reduced flight times.
    • Over 2500m above sea level -> Critical wind stability, due to tremendous reduced thrust by thin air density.
  • Very cold temperatures lead to reduced flight times. Do not fly in temperatures below 0°C. Notice that the flight time will already be reduced below 5°C. Use heated batteries if you fly below 5°C (put them on a heater with e.g. 30°C shortly before your flight).
  • Hot temperatures (above 35°C) will also interfere with the batteries. The voltage level is slightly increased, but will drop rapidly at the end of the flight. Always have an eye on the battery voltage and the flight time to avoid an empty battery during the flight.
  • Furthermore the temperature effects the sensors on the AscTec UAV. They are calibrated with the temperature, but if the system is operated below 0°C or above 35°C the calibration will get more inexact. Hence the flight performance might be reduced in temperatures beyond the operation limits.
  • All AscTec UAVs are designed to be able to fly automatically in wind speeds of up to 10m/s. The maximum velocity of the flight systems is approx. 15m/s in Height or Manual Mode. Hence do not try to fly in wind speeds above 10m/s in GPS Mode, or in wind speeds above 15m/s in Height or Manual Mode! As written above, these max. wind speeds are also reduced by the absolute altitude.

Pre-flight check

We highly recommend to do a pre-flight check before operating your AscTec UAV. Therefore you can orientate at the following checklists. If you have modified your AscTec UAV, also check and avoid that this modification affects the functionality of the UAV:

Before the first flight of the day

  1. Is the flight system free of defects?
  2. Are all propellers in good condition and firmly mounted to the motors (move the propellers gently while holding the motor)?
  3. Are all UAV batteries fully charged?
  4. Is the battery of the R/C fully charged?

Before every flight

  1. Is the wind speed within the operational limits (maximum 10m/s or 20knt)?
  2. Is there enough space to take-off and land (>10m radius free of objects for the home position)?
  3. Are there no obstacles around which could shadow the GPS satellites (good GPS quality at the ground)?
  4. Are there no other flight objects around?
  5. Is the battery of your AscTec UAV inserted centered and with the correct orientation?

  6. Is the battery power cable firmly plugged into the UAV?
  7. Make sure the system has a fix stand while switching it on. Uneven ground is okay. The flight system must not be moved during the start up process (double beep)!

After switching on your AscTec UAV and your R/C

  1. Pay attention to the acoustic and visual information of your AscTec UAV. If warnings occur, follow the instructions in the Troubleshooting section. Before starting the motors, wait for a valid GPS lock to set the home position and be able to fly in the GPS Mode. In rare cases this might take up to 3 minutes, depending on the shadowing and the satellite constellation. You might even not get a valid GPS lock, if the shadowing of the GPS satellites is too strong.

  2. When no warnings occurred and you have a valid GPS lock you can start the motors. The motors are started by the following stick command: Minimum thrust + full yaw
    The same command will also stop the motors. 

    This command was chosen, because it is a very unusual flight command. Anyway, do not command "Minimum thrust + full yaw" during the flight!

After starting the motors

  1. Do all motors run correctly?
  2. Does the system react accordingly to your inputs?
    1. Switch to Manual Mode.
    2. Hold the UAV on the ground by pushing it gently downwards.
    3. Check if the system reacts properly to your inputs (e.g. give a roll command to the left, and the motor on the right side should increase its speed).
  3. To check if the attitude control is working:
    1. Switch off the motors.
    2. Switch to the Manual Mode.
    3. Hold the UAV carefully and firm in your hand above the ground with a horizontal attitude. Make sure you can not get in touch with the propellers.
    4. Switch on the motors.
    5. Set the thrust to approx. 20%.
    6. Move the system out of its horizontal attitude. The UAV should counter this movement and try to stay horizontally by itself.
    7. After this check, switch off the motors and position your UAV on the ground of your starting spot. Now you are ready for take-off. If it is your first flight, please read the First flight instructions.

Position of the pilot

After finding an appropriate take-off spot and doing the pre-flight checks, the pilot should find his own position regarding the following notes:

  • Make sure that you will have a clear view on your flight system during the complete flight. (E.g. tell people around to stay behind you during the flight)
  • Position the UAV and yourself that the front of the UAV is pointing exactly away from you. To find out where the front is have a look at AscTec UAV orientation.

  • Choose your position, that the UAV is at least 3m to 4m away from you.
  • At the same time, try to avoid too big distances between the pilot and the UAV. The pilot must always be able to react to the rules of "flights in line of sight". Therefore he can also change his position during the flight.
  • Avoid a position that forces you to look into the sun during the flight. It also helps to wear sunglasses!
  • Choose your position, that the wind does not blow the UAV in your direction during the take-off.
  • Watch for dogs or birds, that might try to play with or even attack your UAV.

If you are at an appropriate area and your AscTec UAV is ready for take-off (after following the steps in this manual and doing the pre-flight checks) have a look at the first flight instructions to learn flying.