To perform ground static and dynamic flight tests, a dedicated "Test Platform" has been developed, the AdaCopter-5. It was specifically designed for an extremely rugged airframe and to be highly modular, with a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of about 5 kg. This MTOW should allow the AdaPilot to be tested with a variety of agriculture, inspection and media sensors and payload options, and still to remain within the simple takeoff rules of countries like Germany. A second version with a MTOW of about 10kg will be available after the first succesful flight test campains with the AdaCopter-5.
AdaCopter's airframe structure is build on light glass reinforced nylon tube connectors, carbon fiber or aluminium tubes and a carbon fiber sandwich panel. With the glass reinforced nylon tube connectors, AdaCopter offers a cost-effective and versatile range of tube connectors for the positive connection of tubes in the 5 kg MTOW load range. The ready detachable connections make assembly easier and faster, helping to reduce costs. Structures can be altered or disassembled at any time and reassembled as desired. The AdaCopter glass reinforced nylon connection system guarantees utmost flexibility thanks to the design of its reducing bushes. This design enables the clamping of the most tube sections and –diameters. The change to other diameters or sections (round and square tube) requires only the change of the reduction bush. The basic element remains the same.They therefore represent an extremely flexible alternative to self-made constructions.
The landing gear height can be dimensioned easily using different tube lengths, permitting various payload sizes to be installed on the belly payload support mount.
Particolary attention was given to the quality of the propulsion system. The AdaCopter is equipped with four brushless motors, ESC´s, solid state power switches, 100 amps power bus bars and up to two 6s lithium-polymer battery chemistry flight packs that combines high performance, low power consumption and very easy maintenance. A new generation Battery Management System will be integrated on a future step. The entire powertrain has been dimensioned for a maximum of 100 amps continuous power, this will exeed the required lifting power for a MTOW of 5 kg giving more safety during testing activities.
Payload & Sensor Mounts
The use of standard 15mm rails on the top and belly airframe make it possible to add electronic sub units directly in the field using quick snap fittings. A nose payload can also installed on the modular AdaCopter system.
Command & Control Data-Link
Standard configuration requires a R/C transmitter and receiver system. A Futaba system with S.BUS has been selected as the default configuration. However, other systems supporting S.BUS and PPM can be used.
Advanced data-link options with telemetry, video and CANaerospace support are based on 2.4 or 5.8 GHz FHSS, OFDM or COFDM wireless systems.
Ground Mission Management Software
For advanced flight tests with waypoint settings and telemetry feedback, the use of a consumer or rugged laptop computer will be necessary. Until the community self-developed mission management software is available, other open-source applications with MAVLink protocol support will be used.
Other open-source and closed-source mission management software developers are welcome to contribute in the AdaPilot initiative.