Equipment

  • Multivehicle testbed

Indoor testbed for the assessment and validation of air traffic automation techniques and multivehicle systems (both coordination and cooperation). This testbed is based on an indoor positioning system that uses 20 VICON cameras. This system can calculate the position and attitude of any moving object within the volume of the testbed (15x15x5 cm) in real time (with an update rate of up to 500 Hz). CATEC has 10 light unmanned quadrotors that can be used to emulate the trajectory of any type of aircraft. These rotorcrafts can carry up to 500 g of payload. In addition, CATEC has 4 coaxial quadrotors with significantly higher payload capacity up to 2 kg which are used to test aerial manipulation techniques. Finally, the testbed is integrated with a software development environment which allows the simulation of the algorithms before they are tested in within the testbed.

 

  • GNSS and inertial sensors emulator

This system allows emulating the signals from GPS (L1 and L2), Galileo (E1, E5ab and Safety of Life) and GLONASS (L1) at a RF level. The system is controlled using the SimGen software and a wide variety of parameters can be modified (antenna patterns, multipath, ionospheric and tropospheric propagation models, etc). The software SimInertial can simulate the inertial and barometric sensor data including their typical errors. The complete system can be run in real time and remotely which makes it a good choice for Hardware in the Loop (HIL) tests of aerospace navigation systems.

 

  • Giroestabilized System

Gimbal 300 Triple from SWESYSTEM that includes a visual camera, a thermal camera and a LIDAR. This gimbal has four axes, two for pointing and two for stabilization. The thermal camera (FLIR SC620) has a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels and filters for high temperature (up to 1500 oC). The system has already been installed and tested in a manned helicopter performing real flights and it includes a data acquisition system has been developed by CATEC.

 

 

  • Software Defined Radio (SDR) Development Platforms

CATEC has two Lyrtech SFF SDR DP development platforms with RF boards operating in the 200-800 MHz and 2.4 GHz. These platforms can be used for developing a complete SDR radiolink using the model-based design methodology based on Simulink. CATEC also has a USRP N200 platform which when connected with an external PC forms a complete SDR system. This last platform is particularly suitable for open source SDR development architectures such as GNU Radio but can also be used in other environments such as Simulink.

 

  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

CATEC has a NanoSAR Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) which weighs only 1 kg and has reduced dimensions. These features make it the ideal SAR for light UAVs. The SAR range is 1 km and its resolution is 1 meter. In addition it can send the generated images to the ground station with video format in real-time.

 

 

  • Multispectral Camera

Multispectral camera TETRACAM Mini-MCA6 can capture monochromatic images of 1280x1024 pixels in 6 different frequency bands simultaneously using its 6 optical blocks. The bandpass filters that select the frequency band that are captured by each sensor are user selectable which is an important improvement with respect to other multispectral cameras. Multispectral cameras can be used to identify soil types, recognize where fertilizers or insecticides are being used, detect organic inert fuel, etc.

 

  • Mid Wavelength Infrared (MWIR)

High performance infrared camera FLIR MCT1500 which includes a “Cooled MCT” type sensor and a range between 3.6 and 4.9 µm. The camera has a resolution of 640x512 pixels and a frame rate of 50/60Hz. It includes two integrated optics (30 and 150 mm) which can be swept in real time. The camera is very compact when compared with other MWIR cameras and weighs only 3.8 kg.

 

 

  • Long range 2D LIDAR

The RIEGL VQ-480 2D LIDAR has been designed to be used by aerial systems for mapping tasks. Measurements are obtained from the flight time and a real-time analysis of the received waveform. The LIDAR has high accuracy (25 mm), a high update rate (up to 150000 samples per second) and a long range of operation (up to 1000 m). This LIDAR can operate at altitudes of up to 5000 feet and has a LAN interface for data acquisition.