Bachelor/Master Thesis: Active Safety Suspension (ASS) for Drones

Roland Jung
Mar 27, 2019 · 2 min read


The Networked Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (NAV) group of the Karl-Popper-Kolleg (KPK) is focusing on a realistic application scenario in autonomous 3D reconstruction. The algorithms in such projects are usually first tested indoors guaranteeing a controlled environment.


As it is in the nature of prototypes, algorithms can fail and cause expensive crashes. Therefore a safety suspension is used to allow the drone to operate in a safety volume. Currently the drones are attached to a “safety rope” hanging from the ceiling, preventing the drone to ground in case the safety pilot uses the “kill switch” in critical situations. As the drones are getting bigger and faster, the operator needs to stay focused the whole mission time. Another drawback is, that the drone can freely fly toward the ceiling or the safety fence. A solution to that would be a second rope attached from the floor. This would limit operation volume to a spheroid. Optimally the drone should operate in a cylindric volume. To achieve this, one can make use to the ground truth position of the drone, provided by the motion capture system, in combination with two engines tightening the safety ropes hanging from the ceiling and the floor.


The Student Researcher will first investigate on related work to get expertise in the field of control theory and 3D printing.

Then a prototype of the ASS needs to be designed and implemented. The operational volume should be a configurable in an application running in the Robot Operating System (ROS) using the position information provided by the motion capture system.

Milestones and Extensions

M1: Implementation of the control algorithm in MATLAB
M2: Implementation of the prototype and control software in ROS
E1: Evaluation of the implement


  • Good knowledge in MATLAB, Linux, GIT
  • Knowledge in Catkin build environment, Robot Operating System (ROS)
  • Self-driven motivation to learn new topics
  • For BA students the proposed topic can be tackled in a group of 2–3 students.

Period and Contacts

Time period: 6–9 months, beginning SS19/WS19
Internal supervisor(s):
* Roland Jung (
* Stephan Weiss (


Theory: ##
Simulation: ##
Implementation: #####

Dronehub K

A multidisciplinary team at University of Klagenfurt and…

Roland Jung

Written by

Senior Scientist | PhD Candidate @ Networked Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (NAV) Karl Popper Kolleg, University of Klagenfurt

Dronehub K

A multidisciplinary team at University of Klagenfurt and Lakeside Labs performs research on networked autonomous aerial systems.

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