Custom Drones

Asteroid Inspection with Drones

A custom drone was developed specifically for mapping in an asteroid inspection project, testing space exploration methods.

Application

Asteroid Inspection with Drones

The undeniable achievement of the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars truly demonstrates the potential and promise of autonomous UAVs in space exploration. While Earth drones cannot directly be used in space, they play a crucial role in testing and advancing the technology needed for future missions.

One area where drones can contribute is in the study of asteroids. These celestial bodies have long been a focus of planetary researchers, as they hold valuable insights into the early solar system. Drones could be deployed to explore and analyze asteroids up close, providing valuable data that can help us better understand our cosmic origins. Drones can also contribute to planetary protection efforts and play a vital role in surveying asteroids, identifying suitable mining targets based on their composition and abundance of precious materials. While Earth drones may not fly directly through space like Ingenuity did on Mars, their capabilities are instrumental in advancing our understanding of asteroids.

Asteroid Inspection

Drones can serve as devices to analyze asteroids up close.

Solution

Custom Drone for Fast Deployment and Mapping from Fly4Future

Fly4Future participated in the space navigation and observation project known as the KaNaRiA-NaKoRa project at the University of the Bundeswehr Munich, Germany. This project aimed to develop and validate autonomous near-field navigation for cooperative spacecraft specifically for landing on small planetary bodies.

The main objective of the project was to develop hardware for navigation and landing units specifically designed for small planetary bodies, such as asteroids, comets, and moons. During the final stages of the project, the team tested the methods and algorithms in the landscape of Pag Island in Croatia. Its surface morphology serves as an analog for the rocky surfaces found on asteroids and moons.

 

Asteroid Inspection

A drone flew over an area resembling the landscape of an asteroid. Image source: University of the Bundeswehr Munich

The team at the University of Bundeswehr Munich used the custom drone from Fly4Future as the necessary testbed for their developed methods. The platform was equipped with powerful 3D Lidar and 3D cameras. In addition to an open-source autonomy engine, it also includes a standalone system specifically designed for quick deployment. This reduces the time spent on configuring hardware and software systems before deployment, enabling the team to focus on the task at hand.

The mobility of the drone provides an additional advantage, as its sensors can be easily repositioned into different configurations or tight spaces, a task challenging for humans or even other robots.

Asteroid Inspection

A specialized 3D mapping drone is ready to be deployed. Image source: University of the Bundeswehr Munich

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What We Do

Custom Drone Builder

Custom Drones

We custom-build ready-to-fly fully autonomous drones that can be adjusted for any application and industry.

Development and prototyping

Development & Prototyping

We design and develop advanced autonomous aerial systems to meet the particular needs of our individual clients.

Research projects

Research Projects

We participate in many projects in various fields financed by the EU and Czech Republic, as well as private research institutions.