AscTec Firefly


/// Highest testing safety & usability.*


The AscTec Firefly is the most advanced UAV of the AscTec Research Line. The hexacopter is redundant and offers the researcher vibration damped slots for various payloads. High quality production standards ensure that our products are reliable and safe.


/// Essential characteristics.


  • The inertial guidance system provides highest precision through advanced sensor components and two ARM7 microprocessors.
  • The control unit offers highest flexibility. Latest interfaces simplify the implementation of your own c-code algorithms.
  • The Low Level Processor (LLP) ensures a highly stable flight behavior of your flight system: The LLP is the data controller, processes all sensor data and performs the data fusion of all relevant information with an update rate of 1 kHz!
  • The High Level Processor (HLP) controls your flight system according to your C-code: Take control over the flight system with your control algorithms.
  • Safe testing thanks to the Safety Switch function: While testing your control commands and maneuvers, you can simply switch back into safe mode and the proven AscTec AutoPilot takes over.

/// Key features.


  • Made in Germany. Innovation and manufacturing from Bavaria. We develop and produce in-house – essential hard- and software is made by Ascending Technologies.
  • Maximum performance & safety. The redundant 6-rotor propulsion system is very robust and guarantees a stable flight.
  • Minimum of weight & size. Highest precision and controllability.
  • Transportable fully assembled and ready to receive your code.
  • Low-noise, emission-free and environmentally friendly operation. The energy-efficient engines work with only 100 Watt per motor.
  • Great reliability: The AscTec Firefly is proven and tested as a useful research tool in challenging conditions.


/// The Frame-in-frame concept.


It was engineered for highest safety and easy handling; hence it is perfect for your automated flight experiments. Besides the small nonhazardous propellers and low takeoff weight, it comes with a patented redundant propulsion system, which allows a controlled flight with only 5 rotors. The modular structure enables fast component exchanges in case of a crash or modification during integration and testing. The “frame-in-frame” concept is designed to decouple the fixed connection of payload and IMU from the vibration-inducing motors. This concept raises the quality of the sensor and camera data and prevents dynamic misalignments.


/// Manual:


http://wiki.asctec.de/display/AR/User+Manual


/// Specifications:


http://wiki.asctec.de/display/AR/AscTec+Firefly


/// UAV onboard computer FAQ:


http://wiki.asctec.de/display/AR/Onboard+Computer


/// Fields of research:


  • Computer Vision.
  • Automated flight experiments.
  • Optical distance measurement (LiDAR – Light Detection And Ranging & LaDAR – Laser Detection And Ranging).
  • Autonomy and automation of outdoor navigation.
  • Autonomy and automation of indoor navigation.


/// Available payloads & options:


  • AscTec Mastermind + Camera Mount Option 1 or 2
  • AscTec Atomboard + Camera Mount Option 1, 2 or 4 + Laser Scanner Mount
  • 3D sensor for SLAM
  • Propeller protection

/// Wireless connection:


  • 2.4 GHz XBee link 10–63 mW
  • WiFi (optional)


/// See for yourself …


You can find numerous application examples on YouTube. Please use our Wiki to learn more about the AscTec Research Line.



* Programming and flight technique knowledge are required for the practical operation of our research flight systems. Please notice that some substantial information is only available in English.