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FAQs and Technologies
The FAQs and technology notes below may help you understand our approach to design and development.
Frequently Asked Technology Questions
Why are Digital Aerolus drones the best choice for rugged and GPS-challenged environments?
All Digital Aerolus drones are designed to be rugged and reliable, and can fly stably in locations where GPS is denied or untrusted. GPS is unavailable, for example, indoors – or under the girders of a highway bridge, or in an enclosed space like a cave or the inside of a cooling tower. Our UAVs deploy advanced mathematics and codesets to achieve stable flight in the absence of GPS. This makes them ideal to use for tasks in risky or challenging environments.
Most Aertos™ products are designed with protected blades or ducts. These design strategies minimize the opportunity that bumps or collisions will impact the flyability of the aircraft.
What is the Folded Geometry flight code?
Our proprietary Folded Geometry (FGC™) flight code is based on advanced mathematics.
In essence, we apply math techniques to continually predict a unified, consistent model of the drone’s local environment. We call this the drone’s Theory of World.
DA’s approach considers multiple dimensions of the drone’s view and the world view, and uses them to construct a unified multi-dimensional model of the world that maintains all perspectives across all times. It’s predictive rather than reactive: rather than simply reacting to a stream of information and using it to calculate what comes next, FGC™ manages and unifies numerous multidimensional vision system inputs and continually adapts and reconstructs its mathematical model to project what is likely to happen next.
For more about FGC™, you can read our PDF white paper that explains our approach to flight stability in more detail.
What are the advantages to ducts over open propeller designs?
Many Aertos™ products feature ducted designs. Here’s why:
Safety: Most UAVs have exposed propellers. Digital Aerolus rotors constrained within ducts won’t injure flesh and won’t be damaged by collisions or rough landings (within reasonable limits, of course). This design excels in risky environments, like in narrow or closed spaces such as culverts or water towers, or near bridges or towers.
Aerodynamics: Designing UAVs with ducts instead of open propeller blades offers solid aerodynamic advantages in efficiency and stability.
In a simplified nutshell, the following physics apply:
- Like an airplane’s wing, propeller blades create 2 pressure regions. These combine to generate lift: a Bernoulli low pressure area across the top surface, and a Newtonian high pressure area on the bottom surface.
- Centrifugal force resulting from the spinning blade tends to move the bottom surface high pressure region away from the propeller’s center of rotation.
- At the propeller’s tip, these 2 pressure areas mix chaotically, and this can reduce efficiency. Adding a duct wall to isolate these 2 pressure regions can increase efficiency.
- Similarly, the curved top surface of the duct creates 2 pressure regions that also provide lift as the propeller forces air to flow into the duct, and as the aircraft moves forward in the air.
- In combination, these lift forces tend to stabilize the aircraft into a horizontal orientation that is perpendicular to the direction of forward motion, because high attack angles cause portions of the duct to approach stall, increasing aerodynamic drag.
- Thus, the curved surfaces of the 4 ducts increases the aircraft’s hovering stability, as long as the efficiency increase provided by the ducts overcomes the additional weight of the duct material.
- In this way, ducts increase efficiency and stability. But, this increase arrives at the expense of forward flight speed. Since our operational objectives emphasize optimizing stability over forward flight speed, the DA duct design offers our UAVs a distinct aerodynamic and efficiency advantage.
What's cool about your gimbal? How controllable is it? Can I point the camera straight up or down?
Yes. Our gimbal and controller allow you to look in any direction.
Getting the right shot can be a challenge. Every flight mission is different, and only you and your team know what video and still shots you need in order to complete your job. Sometimes you’ll be looking up, sometimes straight ahead, and sometimes directly down. Some situations might require video with a compound path that crosses from up to down or back. The right combination of gimbal control and rotating the drone allows the drone’s camera to point in any direction and move through any visual path.
Aertos model UAVs deploy a Garmin VIRB camera, mounted on a custom gimbal that is fully controllable in 3 dimensions (left/right; up/down; forward). This allows the camera to automatically remain horizontally stabilized with respect to gravity even if the pilot rolls or pitches the aircraft to maintain position or to follow a scene. This “2-axes servo” stabilization method removes mechanical jitter from the video stream and provides smooth imaging as the drone maneuvers.
The operator has further control to point the continuously-stabilized camera up and down – from all the way straight up to all the way straight down. To point in different horizontal directions, the pilot yaws the drone. So, the gimbal allows the camera to image any portion of the visual scene around the drone – all with excellent stability and minimal still smearing.
The gimbal in Aertos drones provides you these combinations of movement, flexible functionality, and stability. For teams doing inspections, surveys, or even precision photogrammetry work, our design approach is optimal, giving you and your team the flexibility to quickly and easily “get the right shot”, and maximize your productivity and the quality of your results.
Digital Aerolus Drones Deliver Six Key Features
Stable indoor and outdoor, even in GPS-challenged areas. Predictable flights indoors and out – even if the UAV strikes an object.
Safe ducted & protected-blade designs reduce risk and prevents injury to your workforce, and damage to nearby objects and even the UAV itself.
Simple to start, simple to launch. Deploy rapidly – from carrying case into your airspace in a matter of seconds.
High-resolution video telemetry and still images – with broad visual view both horizontal or vertical – even in darkness.
Rugged design and strong materials means that Digital Aerolus drones can handle your challenging day-to-day work environment.
Compact designs – the perfect tools for tight and confined spaces and places other drones can’t even imagine going.