Safety

Revised: 2/20/08

I. Introduction

Our Team Members are our most valuable assets and their health, safety and welfare as members of the UAV team are our top priorities. This Safety Plan strives to help every team member have a safe and accident-free environment.

Some of our Basic Rules of Safety are

  1. Think about what you are going to do before you do it.
  2. Follow established Safety Procedures.
  3. Ask for help or training before you do something that you are not familiar with.
  4. Always wear personal protective equipment when required.
  5. Look out for your fellow team members at all times.

II. Flight Line Safety

Rules:

  1. On each flight day, everyone present will discuss the hazards before the flight begins.
  2. The only people allowed across the flight line during a flight are the Pilot, the Co-Pilot, and the Kill Switch Operator.
  3. The Helicopter is not allowed to cross the flight line during flight.
  4. A First Aid Kit will be available on site on all flight days.
  5. If a Safety Hazard is observed by anyone, all operations will stop until the safety hazard is discussed by everyone and a safe procedure is found to mitigate or solve the hazard.

 

 

III. Flight Hazards

Hazard

Analysis

Spinning Blades

•  Wait until the blades have stopped turning before approaching helicopter

•  Do not come within 30 feet of helicopter when engine is spinning blades

Servos

•  Keep hands and fingers out of areas where servos could pinch them.

•  Hold Helicopter by landing gear or top of rotor head.

Sharp Edges

•  Stay aware of Sharp Edges.

•  Hold Helicopter by the landing gear or the head assembly.

Gas

•  Keep all open flames away from gas.

•  Do not set gas in direct sunlight

•  Keep Gas in a Safe container

•  Keep gas away from electrical equipment

•  Wipe up any spilled gas when filling helicopter or generator. Dispose of rag in fire proof bucket

Loss of Communication

•  Helicopter should return to its origin.

•  If helicopter is doing unexpected behavior, then the pilot takes control.

Loss of Auto Pilot

•  Pilot will take control of the Helicopter.

Loss of Manual Control

•  If the helicopter is a safe distance away from the flight crew and flight line, the kill switch operator will let the helicopter crash.

•  If the helicopter is too close to flight line or flight crew, the kill switch operator will kill the helicopter.

Helicopter Approaches Flight Line

•  Pilot will take over with manual control and fly helicopter away from flight line.

•  If the pilot cannot take control of the helicopter then the kill switch operator makes the call to kill the helicopter.

Weather

•  If a lightening storm approaches then all operations will stop till the storm passes.

•  If sight of the helicopter is lost due to fog or clouds. The helicopter will be allowed to fly unless the base station operator sees unexpected flight pattern. Then the kill switch operator and the base station operator decide whether to kill the helicopter.

Cables

•  Watch for cables on the ground.

•  Keep them out of main walking areas

•  Notify each other of cable placement.

•  Step carefully when walking across cable area

 

IV. Helicopter Startup Procedure

  1. Kill Switch Operator holds the Blades from turning.
  2. Pilot Checks throttle settings.
  3. Co-Pilot Pull starts the helicopter.
  4. Once Helicopter is running, the Pilot and Co-Pilot back 30 feet away from helicopter.
  5. Kill Switch Operator releases blades and quickly moves away from the helicopter, joining the Pilot and Co-Pilot at the 30 feet distance.
  6. Allow the Helicopter two minutes to get up to operating temperature before taking off.
  7. Check with Pilot, Co-Pilot, Kill Switch Operator and Base Station Operator that all systems are Go for Take Off.
  8. The Helicopter can now leave the ground.

V. Helicopter Shutdown Procedure

•  Once Helicopter has landed, allow the engine to cool for one to two minutes.

•  Shut the Helicopter off by turning down the throttle and killing it, or use the kill switch.

•  Keep 10 feet away till blades have slowed to a safe speed.

VI. Red Tag

Vehicles that have problems during flight day or at anytime will be red tagged. The tag will have written on it the problem and name of person that found the problem or witnessed the problem. Red Tags will not be removed until the vehicle is fixed. Any vehicle with a red tag cannot be flown until it is fixed.

VII. Training

Training is essential for all team members. Members must go through training before they are allowed to take control of any equipment. Every member that is training for either helicopter or SERV pilot must keep a log of all their flight time and be ready to present it on testing days.

1. Helicopter Pilot Certification Training

Training for the helicopter consists of three stages. A log will be kept by each member training for helicopter pilot.

Stages:

    1. Stage 1 Fly simulator on one of the training helicopters for 16 hours or more. Trainee must be able to hold a stable hover on the simulator with a 10 mph wind.
    2. Stage 2 Fly training helicopters for 16 hours or more. You must be able to hold a stable hover and maneuver the aircraft around a designated field. You must be a co-pilot for 4 flight days. You must be a certified kill switch operator before you can advance to stage 3.
      1. Note: Training Helicopters are T-Rex or Logo fight systems.
    3. Stage 3 Fly the Mongoose for 2 hours with a certified pilot.
    4. Stage 4 - Simulate multiple Autonomous flights via the trainer module.

After completing Stage 3, the trainee is tested for knowledge of flight and ability. Once the trainee has completed the training, the Team Captain or the Chief Engineer will approve the training at the trainers request. The trainee is now a certified helicopter pilot.

2. SERV Pilot Certification

Training for the SERV consists of three stages. A log will be kept by each member training for pilot.

Stages:

    1. Stage 1 Fly simulator on one of the training helicopters for 16 hours or more. Trainee must be able to hold a stable hover on the simulator with a 10 mph wind while holding a nose left and nose right orientation for SERV training purposes.
    2. Stage 2 Apprentice one of the certified SERV pilots flying the SERV for at least one hour. Trainee must be comfortable with the start up and shut down procedures and it is mandatory that trainee knows of all of the fly day safety rules set forth previously in the safety document.
    3. Stage 3 A certified SERV pilot will now allow you to train on the SERV under strict supervision. Some flight patterns you will practice are low altitude hovering, left and right translations at low altitude, and forward and back low altitude translations. After proving ability to fly these flight patterns, trainee will do the same patterns at a 3ft 5ft altitude.

After completing Stage 3, the trainee is tested for knowledge of flight and ability. Once the trainee has completed the training, the Team Captain or the Chief Engineer will approve the training at the trainers request. The trainee is now a certified SERV pilot.

3. Base Station Training

Training for the base station consists of four stages. A log will be kept by each member training for base station operator.

Stages:

    1. Stage 1 Training will consist of reading the Rotomotion manual, an introduction to the software, setting up a fly route and a presentation on how it communicates with the helicopter.
    2. Stage 2 Training will consist of running through the flight checklist and overseeing operations from the base station during a flight.
    3. Stage 3 Training will consist of learning to send commands to the helicopter. Commands will be sent to the helicopter as it sits on the ground.
    4. Stage 4 Training consists of sending commands while the helicopter is airborne. They must show how to make different box sizes and then program in a coarse using GPS points.

After completing Stage 4 the trainee is tested for ability to run the base station. They will be tested by a certified base station operator. Once the trainee has completed the training, the Team Captain or the Chief Engineer will approve the training at the trainers request. The trainee is now a certified Base Station Operator.

4. Battery Charging Training

Training for the Battery chargers consists of two stages. The stages must be done at least 3 days apart.

Stages:

    1. Stage 1 Trainee will receive instruction on how to charge each of the batteries that the UAV Team owns and operates.
    2. Stage 2 Trainee will charge the batteries under the supervision of a certified battery charging member.

Note - While charging batteries, never leave the charging area. Li-Po's are extremely dangerous and require constant attention.

** Li-Po's should be balanced whenever possible. Never charge and balance at the same time. Balancing takes aprox. 45 min.

After completing stage 2 the member is tested for ability to recharge batteries. Once the trainee has completed the training, the Team Captain or the Chief Engineer will approve the training at the trainers request. The trainee is now a certified Lithium Polymer battery charger.

5. Kill Switch Operator Training

Training for the Kill Switch Operator will consist of two stages. Before training will start, trainee must be mentally aware that if anything during the flight procedure goes wrong, it is the Kill Switch Operators duty to bring down the UAV. This is an extremely important duty that is crucial to the safety of the team.

Stages:

    1. Stage 1 Trainee will have a meeting with one of the certified helicopter pilots. This meeting will consist of going over times during flight where you would be required to kill the helicopter. It will also cover trainees knowledge of fly day procedures and safety rules.
    2. Stage 2 Trainee will be required to apprentice a certified kill switch operator on a fly day.

Note - While charging batteries, never leave the charging area. Li-Po's are extremely dangerous and require constant attention.

After completing stage 2, the Team Captain or the Chief Engineer will approve the training at the trainers request. The trainee is now a certified Kill Switch Operator.

V. Certified Members

  1. Helicopter John Heiberger, Brian Jensen, Justin Williamson
  2. SERV - Mason Pluimer, Brian Jensen, John Heiberger, Justin Williamson
  3. Base station John Heiberger, Brian Jensen, Raunaq Bhushan
  4. Battery Charging Justin Williamson, John Heiberger, Raunaq Bhushan, Brian Jensen, Jake Oursland, Mason Pluimer, Adam Helmers
  5. Kill Switch Raunaq Bhushan, Justin Williamson, Brian Jensen, John Heiberger, Adam Helmers
  

Sept 2014

Competition Results: 1st in student division, 4th overall
read more

June 2014

We have a functional Hexcopter!

We have working computer vision code

Video of flight and CV test