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Automatic Landing with a Diamond Aircraft DA42: "Eyes" for the autopilot

In the project "C2Land", Technical University of Munich (TUM) researchers have partnered with Technische Universität Braunschweig to develop a landing system which lets smaller aircraft land without assistance from ground-based systems. The TUM team developed the entire automatic control system of TUM's own research aircraft, a modified Diamond DA42.

The aircraft is equipped with a Fly-by-Wire system enabling control by means of an advanced autopilot, also developed by the TUM researchers.

In order to make automatic landings possible, additional functions were integrated in the software, such as comparison of data from the cameras with GPS signals, calculation of a virtual glide path for the landing approach as well as flight control for various phases of the approach.

Successful landing in Wiener Neustadt
In late May the team was able to watch as the research aircraft made a completely automatic landing at the Diamond Aircraft airfield. Diamond Aircraft Austria test pilot Thomas Wimmer is completely convinced by the landing system: "The cameras already recognize the runway at a great distance from the airport. The system then guides the aircraft through the landing approach on a completely automatic basis and lands it precisely on the runway's centerline."

Read the full article of TUM.

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