Falcon 8 UAS GeoEXPERT - Basic Training : Operation/Conducting a flight Mission

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Falcon 8 UAS GeoEXPERT - Basic Training : Operation/Conducting a flight Mission

Take Off Preparation

  • Take Off – Preparation 
    • Things to consider when flying an AscTec Navigator waypoint flight mission:
      • A take-off and landing area free of obstacles.
      • The pilot must have unobstructed view of the complete area of operation and retain visual line of sight with the UAV. 
      • The space in which the UAV will be flying in, must be free of obstacles.
      • A good GPS signal (≥ 4 bars) is required in the complete area in which the UAV will fly in. 


Starting (and stopping) the motors

  • Starting (and stopping) the motors
    • To start or stop the motors keep the LEFT CONTROL STICK completely down.
    • While holding above, push the START/STOP switch upwards for at least one second for the motors to start.
    • While the Falcon 8 is on the ground with running motors, always keep the left throttle, which controls the height, in the fully downward position to avoid any unintentional take-off.


Taking Off - Operation

  • Taking Off - Operation
    • To take off, move the LEFT CONTROL STICK from the fully downward position to fully upwards in one, swift movement and ascend to a safety height.
    • Keep the RIGHT CONTROL STICK centered during this time (controls for pitch and roll). 
    • The Falcon 8 UAV will lift-off quickly.  
    • Be aware that it may drift a little and correction could be required.



  • Flight
    • General operating tips— Try to avoid situations such as:
      • Strong wind or turbulences 
      • Signal interference (2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz)
      • Loss of data links 
      • Weak or shadowed GPS signal
      • Narrow flight areas
      • Heights above 1,500 meters above sea level


  • Flight 
    • With the Falcon 8 UAV airborne, positioned at a safe altitude and away from any obstructions, perform a quick and simple flight control check of the system before transmitting an autonomous flight plan.
    • 1. Gently using the LEFT CONTROL STICK, ensure that the Falcon 8 UAV responds accordingly to altitude and heading/yaw adjustments.
    • 2. Gently using the RIGHT CONTROL STICK, confirm that the Falcon 8 UAV responds accordingly to positional adjustments.


Transmitting Flight Plan

  • Transmitting Flight Plan
    • 3. If the flight control checks result correctly, ascend to the approximate position of the first waypoint.  
    • 4. Within AscTec Navigator, click START.  The button will change to Stop and the software will begin transmitting waypoints to the Falcon 8 UAV, and it will begin flying the programmed flight plan.   A flight plan can always be interrupted by taking over controls with the MGS or by pressing STOP
    • 5. At the end of the matrix, the status will show “FINISHED” and the UAV will stop automatically. 

Interruption of a mission

  • Interruption of a mission
    • A planned flight can be interrupted at all times, for example: to change the batteries during a larger survey mission.  There are two possibilities to interrupt a flight manually:
      • Clicking on STOP in the AscTec Navigator software.  The upload of new waypoints will be stopped, but the UAV will only stop after the currently yellow marked waypoint is approached.
      • Taking over manually and give the UAV a command from the MGS.  This will stop the UAV immediately, as well as the mission in the AscTec Navigator.


Resuming a mission

  • Resuming a mission
    • During a mission, the AscTec Navigator software automatically increments the “Start with Waypoint” value.  If a mission was interrupted, it can be continued by simply clicking START again.
    • To continue a mission later or to only fly parts of a mission, each flight plan can be started and stopped at any waypoint.  Using the right preferences and information pane:
    • Set the Start with Waypoint: value to the desired starting waypoint
    • Check the Stop with Waypoint: checkbox and set the desired end-waypoint


Disconnecting AscTec Navigator from MGS

  • Disconnecting AscTec Navigator from MGS
    • When the mission has been completed, select FILE → DISCONNECT to close the connection between the laptop and the MGS.
    • At this time, the USB cable can also be disconnected from the laptop and MGS if desired to allow the pilot in command to move freely away from the laptop for landing.  

During Flight

  • During Flight
    • During the autonomous flight, the AscTec Navigator software will display details such as:
      • Estimated Flight time 
      • Battery level
      • Radio link status
      • GPS quality
      • Height above starting location
      • Distance to Home position 



  • Landing
    • After the mission has been completed, manually fly the Falcon 8 UAV to the desired landing area at a safe height of at least 3 meters.
      • Descend slowly to 1.5 meters height and wait a few seconds until the UAV has stabilized.
      • Once stabilized, keep the RIGHT CONTROL STICK centered, while carefully moving the LEFT CONTROL STICK about half way down.
      • Before touching down (approx.) at 0.2 - 0.3 meters, move the LEFT CONTROL STICK progressively down until the UAV has touched down. Once landed, keep the LEFT CONTROL STICK completely down to keep the Falcon 8 UAV seated on the ground.
      • To stop the motors, continue to hold the LEFT CONTROL STICK down while pressing/holding the START/STOP SWITCH for at least one second.  


Finishing the Mission

  • Finishing the Mission
    • Switch off the camera.  Wait 10 seconds for the camera to fully power down and store its data.
    • Switch off the UAV using the ON/OFF switch on the Central Unit of the UAV.  
    • Switch off the Mobile Ground Station and the video receiver of the MGS.
    • Unplug and remove the battery from the UAV.
    • Fold all antennas on the UAV and MGS for safe transportation.
    • Unplug the video receiver battery.
    • Place everything safely back into the transport case/Backpack.


Post-Flight Checklist

  • Post-Flight Checklist
    • In addition to this guide, please refer to the Falcon 8 post-flight checklist for a full list of post operational items.