Subject description - B9M36BEP

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B9M36BEP Unmanned Vehicles Extent of teaching:2p+2l
Guarantors:  Roles:PO Completion:Z,ZK
Responsible Department:13136 Credits:4 Semester:L


Course is focused on area of unmanned systems. The focus will be primarily on unmanned aerial systems, but topics will cover unmanned surface and ground vehicles as well. Course will in details cover structural design, propulsion, sensors for navigation, stabilization and control and telemetric systems. Topics will cover modern methods for navigation, flight control, including trajectory following and target tracking. Besides this students will gain knowledge about trajectory planning and areas of application from the perspective of user payload. Legal issues related to unmanned systems operation will be discussed as well.

Study targets:

Goal of the course is to introduce to students specifics of UAS design and operation. Although UAS belong among aircraft, which is an area students will become familiar with during other courses, field of unmanned systems brings specific problems related to their size and especially their control. After completion of the course student shall be able to independently design parts of UAS system, or the system as a whole.


Area of unmanned systems undergoes a fast development nowadays. Due to improvements in miniaturization of electronic devices in recent years it is possible to design and construct small unmanned systems which are powerful enough to carry out tasks which were only achievable by manned vehicles in the past. Primarily the reasons are improvements of embedded computers with high computational power, miniaturization of sensory equipment, increased range and bandwidth of modems and increased battery capacity. This all allows to run control algorithms onboard and transmit sensory data to ground control station in online mode. Operation of unmanned systems brings several advantages compared to manned ones, especially lower purchase and maintenance costs. Another advantage is a possibility of their deployment in areas where it is not possible to use manned vehicles, e.g. inside buildings or in contaminated areas. For some types of missions it is even possible to use several unmanned vehicles simultaneously and thus lower the time to complete the mission or improve situational awareness. This course will cover wide range of above mentioned problems related to design, assembly, control and operation of unmanned systems.

Course outlines:

1. History of unmanned systems development. Presentation of unmanned aerial systems, sensors and payload.
2. Unmanned systems specifics from the material and structural design point of view. Laminates, composites, fiber-lass. Issues related to stiffness and elasticity.
3. Propulsion units for unmanned systems. Small combustion and jet engines, electric motors. Discussion of selection of propulsion unit suitable for specific projects.
4. Sensors for unmanned systems - measured properties, principle, data processing and fusion. Energy balance.
5. User view on GNSS localization, INS and aerometric system. Redundancy and system safety.
6. Basic control loops, autopilot modes. Take-off, trajectory following, holding patterns above ground target, tracking of mobile ground target. Final approach, landing.
7. Advanced algorithms for control system design - optimal and robust control algorithms.
8. Specifics of unmanned systems communication - suitable radio frequencies, problematics of signal propagation and interference. Communication devices, interfaces, protocols, antennas. Securing communication.
9. User payload and additional equipment - stabilized gimbals, electro-optical systems, sighting devices, LiDARs, rangefinders, CBRN sensors, image processing.
10. Flight trajectory planning, no-flight zones, optimization criteria - energy consumption, prioritization, goal satisfaction.
11. Systems for autonomous collision avoidance - cooperative and non-cooperative methods.
12. Legal issues related to operation of unmanned systems in Czech Republic, Europe and worldwide. Laws and regulations related to UAS operation, insurance, airspace classes.
13. Integration of unmanned aerial systems into shared airspace.
14. Commercial applications of unmanned systems, projects in Czech Republic.

Exercises outline:

Seminars will be practically oriented with focus on work with small unmanned aerial vehicles. Students will have an opportunity to verify stabilization and motion control methods, navigation and trajectory planning. Students will form small teams and within this teams independently solve tasks and presents results they achieve. Visits of several specialized laboratories (material lab, wind tunnel) will be organized during the seminars.


Barnhart R. K., Hottman S. B., Marshall D.M., Shappee E.: Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Systems, CRC Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-4398-3520-3 Nonami K., Kendoul F., Suzuki S., Wang W., Nakazawa D.: Autonomous Flying Robots: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Micro Aerial Vehicles, Springer, 2010, ISBN: 978-4-431-53856-1


Basic prerequisities to successfully finish this course are knowledge of measurement of electric and non-electric variables, basics of control theory and knowledge of state space search methods from area of AI.


Unmanned systems, design, propulsion, sensors, control algorithms, trajectory planning, regulation

Subject is included into these academic programs:

Program Branch Role Recommended semester
MPLAK_2016 Avionics PO 2

Page updated 26.7.2017 12:03:00, semester: L/2016-7, Z,L/2017-8, Z/2018-9, Send comments about the content to the Administrators of the Academic Programs Proposal and Realization: I. Halaška (K336), J. Novák (K336)