Modular Airborne Real-Time Testbed (MART)
"MART" stands for Modular Airborne Real-Time Testbed, and describes our multicopter fleet that was built to provide a challenging and realistic application to benchmark our research activities. Multicopters are an excellent application domain, because they are tightly resource-constrained and meanwhile safety-critical, as well as real-time systems. We are using several quadcopter and hexacopter configurations which are completely open for modifications and extensions in both hardware and software.
In 2013, our first testbed named MART-i completed its maiden flight. It is a quadrocopter configuration with approximately 15 minutes flight time, depending on payload. The technical specifications are given on that page (click here).
This platform uses state-of-the-art COTS components, and was used to learn about challenges of multicopters, and to identify research topics. In particular, we identified shortcomings in the areas of safety and security.
In 2014, we inaugurated our second testbed named MART-ii. It is a hexacopter configuration with extended payload capacity, longer flight time and high-end onboard computers. It features in-house technology addressing the shortcomings identified in MART-i, such as a cutting-edge crypto upgrade and an automatic emergency recovery system. Currently MART-ii is actively being used as a platform in research and teaching activities.
Our Developments in Detail
- an "automatic emergency parachute" for all electric-type multicopters: a plug-and-play solution for your copter, which automatically deloys a parachute in case things get out of control
- a post-flight analysis software for flight logs: merges and displays different data sources (e.g., official MavLink protocol), computes additional data, such as total flight time, allows storing and retrieving from a database
Theses and Internships
- More topics are coming soon...
- Robust Real-Time Tracking of Micro Air Vehicles in RGB-D Video Streams
- Development of a Software-Defined Real-Time Control Interface for MAVs
- Design and Integration of an Emergency Recovery System for Micro Air Vehicles
- Development of an FPGA Carrier Card for the MART-ii Payload Computer
- Real-Time Operating System Selection and Application Development for the MART-i Payload Computer
- Camera Selection and Interface Design for the MART-i quadcopter
- Development of an Telemetry Encryption Module for the MART-i quadcopter
- Approaches for Software Verification of an Emergency Recovery System for Micro Air Vehicles, M. Becker, M. Neumair, A. Söhn, S. Chakraborty, In 34th International Conference on Computer Safety, Reliability and Security (SAFECOMP) Companion, Delft, NL. [Preprint PDF]