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Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Calibration of the Precision Approach Path Indicator System

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Use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) has increased exponentially due to its flexibility, maneuverability and reduced costs. Technological advances such as improvement of stabilization systems, GPS (Global Position System) and first-person view cameras have enabled the introduction of these platforms into different sectors. However, current regulations prohibit autonomous flights at airport environment, which leaves many business opportunities non-explored. Since approach is one of the most difficult flight phases, this paper presents an onboard autonomous algorithm solution for visual approaches called AVVAS (Autonomous Verification for Visual Approach System). AVVAS reports the current calibration status and the necessary calibration to be reached for PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) system. To optimize and validate the algorithm, a simulation is performed on a FFS (Full Flight Simulator). This algorithm provides the following benefits: reduction of maintenance costs and reduction of the calibration time increasing the runway availability.
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UAV; Drone; Calibration; PAPI; Airport

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