Category Archives: Research

First flights of the hybrid vehicle Cyfoam with Chimera board

The Cyfoam is a hybrid vehicle developed at ENAC Drone Lab. The aircraft is a foam, with a 3D printed fuselage, version of the composite-made Cyclone.

The vehicle is powered by the new autopilot board Chimera! which executes the control algorithms developed by Ewoud from Delft MAV Lab. We are currently aiming at a total autonomous mode, e.g., auto take off and auto landing.


Flying Parrot’s Disco aircraft with Paparazzi

The Disco from Parrot is a fixed-wing aircraft designed for FPV with all the feature already available on their Bebop2, plus some extra things, like airspeed sensor, SBUS input and PWM outputs.

The autopilot itself is all integrated in a box called C.H.U.C.K. and it allows nice and easy flights with the SkyController2 and the Cockpitglasses, connected via Wifi.

Just like the Bebop and ARDrones, it is now possible to fly this drone using Paparazzi. Just connect to the plane, upload your code and you’re ready to go! Here is the video of the maiden flight:

More information are available on the wiki:

Special thanks to ArduPilot and Andrew Tridgell who implemented the driver for PWM output on this plane and his tips for debugging the Paparazzi version.


Circle formations of fixed-wing aircraft

We have recently developed and tested a formation control algorithm for fixed-wing aircraft in Paparazzi at ENAC. The position of an arbitrary number of vehicles can be controlled in a circular path. In fact, we are not restricting ourselves to circles but to any closed orbit, such as ellipses, thanks to the guidance vector field that guides the planes.
The algorithm is under more tests, but it should be soon available for the general public. It is quite easy to employ, the user has to declare only the IDs of the planes, the communication topology (neighbors’ relationships) and the desired inter-angles. A detailed explanation will be posted soon in the wiki.
In the following video the planes exchange positions every second. Delays, out-of-date positions (GPS delays), packet losses, etc are expected to be (and actually they are) present. It is quite interesting to remark how robust the algorithm is. According to our calculations the impact of such nasty things are not very important (ofc up to a certain point) for the convergence of the algorithm.



The International Micro-Air Vehicle Conference and Competition was held last week in Beijing, China, organized by the Beijing Institute of Technology and the National University of Singapore.

As usual, the level of the teams involved in the competition is higher year after year and we had a great show. The team from the MAVLAB of TUDelft was participating to both indoor and outdoor session. During the outdoor, they unfortunately couldn’t show their best due to many communication issues, preventing them to fully use their RTK Bebop2 (and also some regressions in Paparazzi code, hum hum… ūüôĀ ).

The next day, the indoor team did its best to perform well. And despite the difficult tasks to pick up and drop objects, they tried hard until the end. It was worth the effort as they reached the 3rd place of the competition, a few points ahead the Spanish team of Madrid (CVG-UPM)! We could almost call it a draw as both team really did their best with great spirit.


But, this was not their only great achievement. The paper Control of a hybrid helicopter with wings by Christophe De Wagter and Ewoud Smeur received the Best Paper Award of the conference for their work on the control issues raised by the novel design of the Delftacopter and the solution they found to solve them. Congratulation to them and all the team involved in the Delftacopter!



Flights at the ISARRA2016 conference

Last May, the ISARRA conference (International Society for Atmospheric Research using Remotely Piloted Aircraft) was held in Toulouse, France (

The week before the conference, a few teams of researchers gathered to share experiences and fly their drones at the Atmospheric Research Center of Lannemezan near the Pyrenees. Among them was some of the oldest users of Paparazzi: Martin Muller (, the team of Joachim Reuder from the Geophysical Institute of Bergen, the UAV Lab of ENAC and the French Meteorological Research Center who was hosting the event.

Many flights have been done, including for the ENAC lab, the first flight using ChibiOS v3 implementation and some autonomous catapult takeoff.



Lisa/S Nano Quadcopter featured on sUAS News

LadyLisa_Assembled_Kit_5_adjusted_1024x1024In the light of the recent FAA registration limits, the great guys at sUAS News wrote an article featuring the Paparazzi UAV powered Lisa/S nano Quadcopter. This platform was developed by 1BitSquared in collaboration with the TU-Delft MAV lab team, provides all the autonomous capabilities while being way below the FAA regulated limits for registration. The Lisa/S nano Quadcopter weighs only 39g while the FAA requires all aircraft above 250g to be registred.

Check out their article for more information.


Multi-UAV flights for simultaneous meteorological measurements

ENAC UAV Lab team and Meteo-France (CNRS-GAME and ENM) teams have spent several days at the Atmospheric Research Center of Lannemezan (in the south of France) in order to perform experiments for simultaneous meteorological measurements through multi-UAV flight.

This was part of a research project called VOLTIGE aimed at studying the formation of cloud and fog events. One of the planes is measuring the turbulence near the ground, a second plane is flying above the cloud or the fog with a radiation sensor and the last one is making a vertical profile of temperature, pressure and humidity up to 1500 meters AGL.GCS screenshot multi-uav

All the planes were controlled by Paparazzi UAV Apogee boards, with on-board logging on SD cards and navigation patterns triggered by sensors readings.


BACCHUS Meteorological Project

BACCHUS Research GroupResearchers from the GMEI/MNPCA have recently returned from a one month field measurement campaign at the weather
station of Mace Head in Ireland.
Their report was very positive with more than forty scientific flights, up to 3350m above sea level, some of them synchronized with a
meteorological satellite overpass, for the study of interactions between clouds and aerosols.
Several unmanned aircraft, equipped with the Paparazzi UAV
systems, have been used, carrying meteorological, aerosol, cloud and 3D wind sensors.
A bungee was used for taking-off, while a big net was needed in
order to recover the planes, since the ground was not suitable for traditional landings.
This campaign was part of the BACCHUS project (Impact of
Biogenic versus Anthropogenic emissions on Clouds and Climate: towards a Holistic UnderStanding).

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