Innovative Electric Aircraft

Design study of the volocopters (Image: e-volo)

e-volo's volocopter is controlled by a pilot and has two seats. Unlike a traditional helicopter, the volocopter is powered by 18 rotors. Another difference is the energy source: the volocopter works with electric energy. This makes the aircraft silent, environmentally friendly and reduces flight costs. The batteries are laid out for a flight time of about an hour. With a total weight of 450 kg and a maximum altitude of 2000 m, the volocopter can reach a top speed of 100 km/h. It is also a very safe product: even with the failure of several motors, the volocopter can still land safely. For emergency situations there is a parachute installed. The volocopter has won the Charles Lindbergh 2012 award at the AERO aviation fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

A new kind of navigation system is developed at the IAF for the aircraft with the following features:

  • Deep coupling of raw sensor data.
  • Sensor redundancy.
  • Free leverarm and sensor-orientation design.
  • Robust parameter estimation.
  • On-the-fly and pre-calibration parametrization of the sensors.
  • Coupled-georeferencing of external sensors (e.g. scanners and cameras for landing maneuvers and assistance).