Horizon sensing attitude stabiliser trials

October 23, 2002

Photography - Prof. John Bird and Dr Russell Naughton

Monash University Research Associate Brian Taylor has devised a horizon sensing attitude stabiliser suitable for a wide variety of UAVs.

For the purpose of trialling he is flying a traditional methanol glow plug engined model aircraft but the system is applicable to tactical UAVs, fast delta wings, flying wings or electric sailplanes.

Conventional gyro and accelerometer systems cannot sense the absolute attitude of an aircraft, they can only sense the rate of change in pitch, roll or yaw.

Gyro systems are relatively slow to recover from a bad attitude launch or an in-air software reset.

The horizon sensing attitude stabiliser calculates the exact position of the horizon, whether the UAV is flying inverted or normally or stationary in a few milliseconds.

It can very quickly command any aircraft back to straight and level flight, or a programmed balanced turn in less than 20 milliseconds.


Loading stabiliser data


Calibrating the system before flight


Fully automatic take off
The aircraft climbs out at a programmed angle with wings level. Landings are also automatic and need no pilot input once lined up with the landing area.


Flying under stabiliser control

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Last updated December 1, 2001