Unmanned Vehicles

Semestr: Summer

Range: 2P+2L


Credits: 4

Programme type: Master

Study form: Fulltime

Course language: Czech

Time table at FEE


Course is focused on area of unmanned systems. The focus will be primarily on unmanned aerial systems, but topics will cover unmanned surface and ground vehicles as well. Course will in details cover structural design, propulsion, sensors for navigation, stabilization and control and telemetric systems. Topics will cover modern methods for navigation, flight control, including trajectory following and target tracking. Besides this students will gain knowledge about trajectory planning and areas of application from the perspective of user payload. Legal issues related to unmanned systems operation will be discussed as well.


Unmanned systems, design, propulsion, sensors, control algorithms, trajectory planning, regulation

Course syllabus:

1. History of unmanned systems development. Presentation of unmanned aerial systems, sensors and payload.
2. Unmanned systems specifics from the material and structural design point of view. Laminates, composites, fiber-lass. Issues related to stiffness and elasticity.
3. Propulsion units for unmanned systems. Small combustion and jet engines, electric motors. Discussion of selection of propulsion unit suitable for specific projects.
4. Sensors for unmanned systems - measured properties, principle, data processing and fusion. Energy balance.
5. User view on GNSS localization, INS and aerometric system. Redundancy and system safety.
6. Basic control loops, autopilot modes. Take-off, trajectory following, holding patterns above ground target, tracking of mobile ground target. Final approach, landing.
7. Advanced algorithms for control system design - optimal and robust control algorithms.
8. Specifics of unmanned systems communication - suitable radio frequencies, problematics of signal propagation and interference. Communication devices, interfaces, protocols, antennas. Securing communication.
9. User payload and additional equipment - stabilized gimbals, electro-optical systems, sighting devices, LiDARs, rangefinders, CBRN sensors, image processing.
10. Flight trajectory planning, no-flight zones, optimization criteria - energy consumption, prioritization, goal satisfaction.
11. Systems for autonomous collision avoidance - cooperative and non-cooperative methods.
12. Legal issues related to operation of unmanned systems in Czech Republic, Europe and worldwide. Laws and regulations related to UAS operation, insurance, airspace classes.
13. Integration of unmanned aerial systems into shared airspace.
14. Commercial applications of unmanned systems, projects in Czech Republic.

Seminar syllabus:

Seminars will be practically oriented with focus on work with small unmanned aerial vehicles. Students will have an opportunity to verify stabilization and motion control methods, navigation and trajectory planning. Students will form small teams and within this teams independently solve tasks and presents results they achieve. Visits of several specialized laboratories (material lab, wind tunnel) will be organized during the seminars.


Barnhart R. K., Hottman S. B., Marshall D.M., Shappee E.: Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Systems, CRC Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-4398-3520-3
Nonami K., Kendoul F., Suzuki S., Wang W., Nakazawa D.: Autonomous Flying Robots: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Micro Aerial Vehicles, Springer, 2010, ISBN: 978-4-431-53856-1