The SearchWing Project has the following work groups

SearchWing Workgroups

Fuselage and Wings

The fuselage and wings group is responsible for the waterproof compartment and the wings. Everything at the outside of drone is the job of this group. If there needs to be an opening through the fuselage, then this group decides how to do it. All electric parts outside the fuselage like motor, servos and servo cables are also part of this group.

  • Development of the fuselage including waterproof sealing and options to open the fuselage for battery access and maintainance
  • Attachment of the wings and the v-tail to the fuselage
  • Waterproof sealing of the servos
  • Waterproof connector for the wing servos.

Interior mechanical and electrical design

This group is responsible for the interior design inside the fuselage. Mechanical placement of the electrical components like the autopilot, the battery, camera processor, motor controller is done by this group. Also the electrical design and the autopilot firmware is under the responsibility of this group. The interior group also takes care for the camera processing hardware. The image processing software is developed in the image processing group.

  • Mechanical placement of components like autopilot, ESC, GPS, Telemetry, battery
  • Sealing / Housing of the components (protection barrier against salt water)
  • Electronics development to reduce number of connections and components
  • wireless data transfer of logfiles and images via WLAN and telemetry
  • Camera integration

Software and Ground Station

The software and ground station group takes care all parts which are not flying. This is the remote control configuration, the QGroundControl software, the maintainance of the laptop and the telemetry transmitter.

  • Develop and Release QGroundControl ground station software with modifications
  • QGC: Return to Ship feature – Drone returns to moving home (ship)
  • QGC: Easy flight plan creation – Flight plan can be moved with respect to ship position
  • QGC: Predefined search pattern adapted to drone capabilities
  • Laptop and Tablet maintainance
  • Installation and integration of Image Recognition software from image processing group

Camera and Image recognition

The image processing group is developing image recognition software that can either run on the ground station laptop or the raspberry Pi computer in the drone. Image processing development is organised by Petrosilius in Berlin.

  • Image processing algorithms for laptop for ship detection
  • Image processing algorithms for embedded processor on drone
  • Image transfer via mavlink to ground station

Flight and integration

The flight group is responsible for flight tests and verification. They know how to operate the drone, can check how far you can go with one battery load. The group tests water landing procedures and endurance flights. They collect images over water for the image processing group and check the precision of the drone, e.g. for precision landing approaches.

Public Relations

The public relation group takes care for internal and external communication via web site, social media and mailing list.


The training group provides flight trainings for the people who will operate the drone on the ships.


The logistics group is responsible for the transport of the drone to the ship.