The system consists in a ground station and an air vehicle.

The ground station

Before the flight, it is used to prepare and download a flight plan in the aircraft. During the flight, it allows monitoring and recording of flight parameters, video stream, sensors data, as well as interactions like manual and assisted control, parameters setting and flight plan reconfiguration. After the flight, recorded data can be plotted and replayed. Last but not least, the ground station allows to adapt the software to different airframes and to simulate (hardware in the loop and full software) the result.

The aircraft

We use small ready build electric powered commercial airframes. The total added weight over a standard radio control setup is less than 50g. It consists in a custom controller board, a video camera and its transmitter, a GPS receiver and an infrared sensor. The aircraft is able to perform autonomous takeoff ( hand-launch or bungee ), accurately follow a flight plan and even do some sort of rough landing. At any time it is switchable to manual or assisted control, for example to increase landing precision.


We can imagine thousands applications for MAVs and the biggest limit stays in airspace regulations. Due to its low cost and source availability, we think Paparazzi is well suited for the following applications :