The Manufacturing Electronic Technician is a key player in the production of Manna’s scaling fleet. Reporting to the Lead Manufacturing Technician, this is a hands-on role in manufacturing and maintaining our aviation-grade drones, ensuring that consistency and safety are at the heart of what we do.
At Manna, our mission is to improve the world by making high-speed suburban deliveries affordable, green, and safe. We design and build our own aviation-grade drones to deliver food and other items directly from restaurants, centralized kitchens, and local stores to consumers’ homes. With a widely dispersed workforce across many sites, you will be joining a company with a great culture for collaboration, lots of learning and even more fun!
THE JOB IN 2 BULLETS
Hands-on role building and maintaining our aircraft in our manufacturing centre at Moorock, County Offaly.
A key player in a team responsible for maintaining the existing fleet and building new craft, as well as the rigorous safety checks that come with it.
Our Manufacturing Technicians are key to what we do at Manna. Without the MT’s attention to detail and hard work, we wouldn’t have the fleet of craft ready to fly across our locations live in Ireland. As a Manufacturing Electronic Technician, you will be involved in supporting Manna’s manufacturing and maintenance programs, requiring hands-on maintenance of our current and production of new craft. Your primary focus will be to get the aircraft flying safely. Your day will consist of various technical and electronic tasks with a detailed procedure that needs to be followed. Training on tasks will be required.
WHAT YOU WILL BE DOING
Directly involved in building new aircraft and upgrading Manna’s current fleet of aircraft.
As a crucial part of the team, you will carry out heavy electrical maintenance and inspection of aircraft from Operational sites.
Work with Software and Engineering teams to troubleshoot and resolve issues on the aircraft.
Follow assembly, maintenance and quality check procedures for all work that takes place on drones.
Assist in the commissioning process where new aircraft move from the production line, through verification and flight testing.
Constantly contribute to, and improve, the procedures and checks used to work on the aircraft.
Constantly learning on the job
Ad hoc other projects at our manufacturing site as is reasonably required
Personal attributes + key qualifications expected for this role
You are electronically/mechanically/technically minded and love building, soldering, wiring, creating and fixing things!
Must have 5 years of experience in PCB board and electrical system bring-up, test, debug, troubleshooting, repair
Exceptional attention to detail and ability to follow procedure without error
You love creating documentation
Whatever the task – big or small, you understand that even the tiniest task in manufacturing is incredibly important and take excellent care with all your work.
You can work well with limited supervision – you’re never idle and always find something that can be improved
You must have a genuine desire to work in a fast-paced start-up, where the goalposts shift with the wind.
You work well in chaos but are eager to apply organisation to the wide range of tasks that fall to you.
You are an exceptional team player and love working with people in a busy environment
Housekeeping is a key priority and you strive to keep your area in tip-top shape.
Evidence of technical ability would be a plus – but not a necessity. This could be a level 6/7 technical degree or some type of extracurricular work in a technical field
Electronic Warfare (shorten as EW) is the use of electronic and technological activity with the purpose of determining, exploiting, reducing, or avoiding hostile use of the energy spectrum by adversaries and, at the same time, keeping the use of the spectrum safe for one’s own benefit.
What Kind Of Electronic Actions Exists?
Due to the complexity of Electronic Warfare, it is helpful to distinguish the levels of action:
Electronic Support (ES): This includes all the actions required to search, identify, and locate irradiated electromagnetic radiation in order to recognize threats.
Electronic Protection (EP): This group of measures are geared towards ensuring the use of the electromagnetic spectrum despite its use by hands of the enemies in Electronic Attacks. This may be achieved using attack suppression measures or designing a system ready to detect, analyze, and initiate responses to known and potential threats.
Electronic Attack (EA): This is the use of electromagnetic energy to degrade or eliminate the enemy capabilities. Some of these actions are widely known, for example, signal jamming or spoofing, radio frequency (RF) weapons, etc.
UAV Navigation And Electronic Warfare
UAV Navigation’s flight control solutions have been designed to optimize the trade-off between robust and reliable operation and tailored to the demands and requirements of UAS in classes I & II. This manufacturing process and high-quality electronic design enables the FCC to overcome a wide variety of malicious or accidental electronic interferences that can occur during flight.
One of the most critical data sources for a flight control system susceptible to interference is the GNSS signal. Most of the autopilots available on the market are highly dependent on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), being drastically affected by signal loss or malicious interference, both in the form of jamming or spoofing.
The improvement and reinforcement of the FCC in this field has bween one of the main focus areas of UAV Navigation developments in the last years. This way, the system has already shown its advanced capabilities on attitude estimation without GNSS and, therefore, GNSS-denied navigation and dead reckoning operations. Additionally, the company has also released dedicated products that enhance the system performance in the case of having unstable GNSS signal, such as the MG01 magnetometer which complements the DGC01 dual GNSS compass for heading estimation, during GNS-denied operations. On top of that, it highlights the Visual Navigation System, the peripheral system that allows the flight controller to reduce accumulated inertial navigation errors by combining terrain image processing techniques.
The attack using external energy sources, such as ”anti-drone guns”, UAV Navigation has already tested its autopilot against a third party system shows that it was able to detect the interferences and continue operating without any major issues. When facing attacks to radio links, the autopilot has shown its capabilities to operate independently. The FCC electronic design includes protected memories with advanced internal algorithms allowing the control of failures or memory corruptions. Additionally, the system affords the use of encrypted radios and uses an internal architecture and interface privately owned by the company in order to increase flight safety against external attacks. This makes the system capable to fly and continue the flight plan even if the data links are unstable or have been disabled. In this sense, the ground control station software allows visualization of the link real-time status and automatically activates SAFE mode or alternative actions if the datalink has been attacked.
In case of electromagnetic nature attacks, UAV Navigation has worked in making the system resistant to EMI/EMC, being certified by MIL-STD 461.
Last but not least, in the case of hacking attacks, UAV Navigation’s system counts on different techniques that ensure there is no external and unauthorized intrusion protecting the source code against modifications. The most relevant example of these protection methods are the encryption mechanisms.
The use of Electronic Warfare techniques is growing so having a reliable flight control solution ready to face new-generation attacks has become vitally important. UAV Navigation has foreseen the evolution of customer needs and developed different features and tested the system to create a robust system ready to work at hard environments.
Contact us to rely on a system ready for electronic warfare.
Currawong is excited to announce the release of its smallest Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) to expand upon its world-leading range of aerospace-grade motor controllers. The Velocity XS ESC is the smaller sibling to the HS, HT and HC, with a weight of approximately one-quarter of the HS, but packing an extremely high power density – Currawong’s highest.
Weighing just 75g, the Velocity XS provides the same field-proven reliability and comprehensive feature set of the highly successful H-Series in a much smaller package. Operating at voltages up to 14S (58V) and delivering over 4kW continuous power, the Velocity XS is engineered specifically to meet and exceed the particular requirements of airborne operation.
The XS brings all of the features of its larger siblings, including an isolated CAN interface, with advanced telemetry and protection features. To assure serviceability for a wide range of customers, the autopilot integration capabilities include DroneCAN, PiccoloCAN and PWM.
As a leader in UAV power electronics, the XS will enable Currawong to service the smaller UAS market by providing a significantly smaller and lighter alternative to the existing ESC range. This addition to the product line-up ensures that Currawong continues to provide best-in-class solutions for the UAS markets.
Currawong is dedicated to test-driven development, and the new Velocity XS has passed an exhaustive suite of validation tests prior to release. For more information including technical specifications, please contact Currawong Engineering.
About Us Currawong Engineering sells complete engine systems, electronic speed controllers and servos for unmanned aerial vehicles and offers a range of professional services related to advanced engineering products and systems. These services include engineering consulting, OEM manufacturing and EFI engine development and testing.
Currawong utilises its own team of engineers, machinists and technicians to undertake projects across a wide range of industries.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) completed a series of Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT), and Link 16 payload flight test events near Palmdale and Edwards Air Force Base in California in preparation for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 exercise. The sensors were integrated onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian® Unmanned Aircraft System, which will be featured at RIMPAC 2022.
RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise involving more than 40 ships and 150 aircraft from 27 partner nations. The 2022 exercise will take place late June to early August in Hawaii and Southern California.
“GA-ASI is proud to be participating in the U.S. Navy’s RIMPAC exercise,” said GA-ASI Vice President of DoD Strategic Development, Patrick Shortsleeve. “SeaGuardian is the ultimate unmanned system for maritime security, with its multi-domain Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), targeting Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), and sonobuoy monitoring and control. The Edwards AFB test flights helped ensure and enhance the accuracy of our systems ahead of the exercise.”
The flight tests near Palmdale and Edwards AFB were conducted April 20-June 9, 2022. The ELINT payload on SeaGuardian is supplied by Sierra Nevada Corporation and the COMINT payload is made by L3Harris Technologies.
SeaGuardian is the maritime version of GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian®. The MQ-9B line of UAS provide industry-leading endurance and interoperability with allied partners. What differentiates SeaGuardian is its advanced maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability, which features a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities, and a High-Definition, Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras.
General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than seven million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas.
Regardless of how careful we are in this connected world, we may misplace our electronic devices, from time to time. We have Smartwatches, Apple Pencils, Earbuds, Headphones, Smartphones, Tablets, and ultra-portable Laptops and Hybrids. All easy to lose, it would seem.
Thankful, many, if not all of these, have some sort of software tracking. If you have Apple devices, then the Apple “Find My” app will locate all the above items, within a few feet of their location.
You know something else we don’t want to get lost? Our beloved drones.
DJI’s “Find My Drone” feature uses the last recorded location of the drone prior to the drone and remote controller disconnecting.
The accuracy of “Find My Drone” will be more accurate based on how close to the ground you were flying or hovering when a disconnect occurred. If you lost connection with the drone high in the air at speed, pinpointing the drone’s location will be less than accurate.
Variables that affect the accuracy of “Find My Drone”
As mentioned, there are a few different variables that cause the accuracy of Find My Drone to deteriorate and ones that assist in it being more accurate.
The positive scenario
So, you are having a great day of flying, the wind is at a minimum, no gusts. You are in a flat and open field or meadow. The sky is clear and bright. (You can almost see harps playing and deer frolicking). You decide to take a picture of something scenic a few hundred yards away. You fly to the location, frame up the picture, all while at a hover.
Everything is going well until there is some sort of interference. The screen freezes then goes black and white. The drone simultaneously appears to lose power and drops from the sky; however, the battery does not disengage or pop out when it hits the ground.
To find the drone, all that would need to be done is enter the Find My Drone option under the safety tab.
In this case, on the map, you’ll see yourself as a blue circle and the approximate, last known location of the drone as a blue triangle.
Because there is possibly brush and trees in the vicinity of the drone and the battery is still on and in the drone, for added assistance in quickly finding the drone, you could initiate the Start Flashing and Beeping option.
You begin walking towards the on-screen triangle and hear and see the drone in almost the exact location within the boundaries of said triangle.
In this scenario, the drone was easy to find and almost exactly where it should be based on its last known location, prior to disconnecting from the controller. This is because the drone fell relatively, if not almost exactly, straight down.
This would also be the case if you were flying slowly, such as in Cine or tripod mode, while framing up your shot. The drone would not have the momentum to crash-land much further than where the app showed its last location.
The negative scenario
This is where things get a bit more disagreeable. Instead of being in a scenic field, on a beautifully calm and bright day, you are flying in the woods, in hilly terrain. The wind is slowly kicking up, with alarming gusts. Top that off with it being overcast and dreary.
The drone has been flown out a few hundred yards at about 300-400 feet up, while in sport mode. Then the screen freezes, and the drone disconnects from the RC. RTH (return to home) kicks in.
However, because the drone is far away, the drone operator is stressed out and unfocused and the visual line of sight is momentarily lost. The unthinkable happens: you never hear or see the drone return to home. It went down somewhere “out there”.
I know this scenario sounds over the top; however, this is something that has indeed happened to a fellow drone operator.
All the proper steps were initiated in the Find My Drone option, however, after hours of looking, the drone is not located, although the blue triangle says the drone is about a quarter of a mile out.
What variables contributed to Find My Drone not being accurate in this scenario?
Return to Home.
Because all these actions and conditions were in play, simultaneously, when the drone lost connection to the controller, the drone would have traveled well outside of the initial vicinity of the last known location at disconnect.
If speed and height were the only factors, the drone could have flown quite a distance in RTH and then lost power and continued a fair distance while plummeting to the earth, due to inertia. In this case, both wind speed and return to home were also contributing factors.
As was demonstrated in these two polar-opposite scenarios, the accuracy of Find My Drone is based on quite a few things:
Return to Home initiation
The find my drone option is more accurate if you are moving slowly at a conservative height above the ground. If you are moving fast and at higher speeds, the accuracy when finding your drone is that much less, unfortunately.
Thankfully, there are alternate ways to track one’s drone, outside of just the find my drone option in the DJI Go and DJI Fly apps.
Useful tracking alternatives
One of the great things about drones is their ability to carry light items on their airframe. Because of this ability, there are indeed additional/alternative means to track your drone safely and preserve your investment.
These tracking methods are usually small and lightweight devices that use a GPS or Bluetooth signal, in conjunction with some sort of auditory feedback as means for pinpointing the location.
GPS drone trackers
As the name suggests, GPS Drone Trackers use a GPS signal that can be detected anywhere in the world. The tracker itself is a small, lightweight device that’d you’d attach to your drone. The tracker is displayed in live view on that GPS tracker’s mobile or desktop app, allowing you to easily locate the device with high accuracy.
While these are the better, if not best, tracking alternatives, there are a couple of things to be aware of.
Firstly, like with anything GPS driven, the signal can be scrambled or degraded if there is a lot of metal located in the immediate area. A parking garage, in particular, comes to mind, due to the large amounts of steel and rebar used to construct them.
These can and will interfere with the GPS signal. Have you ever tried to launch your drone from a parking garage? It’s an exercise in patience, as you’ll receive quite a few GPS errors until you locate an area on or around the structure without so much interference.
Secondly, GPS trackers require a cellular service plan, as a cellular signal is used to send the drone tracker’s position to your mobile device.
An example of a GPS tracker can be found below:
Again, the positive of using a GPS tracker is its accuracy. If you can look past the added expense of an additional cellular plan, then using a GPS tracking device might be the best additional solution to find my drone for you.
Most likely we have all heard of Apple AirTags. These are little Bluetooth trackers that you attach to the items you might regularly lose. These are Bluetooth devices, run by standard, onboard batteries, that you can locate via the Find My app on Apple and iOS devices.
Like Apple Airtags, the Bluetooth Trackers one would use to affix to their drone are small, lightweight, and trackable. One would not need to necessarily purchase a drone-specific Bluetooth tracker, as any tracker should do.
The thing with Bluetooth Trackers is that they are only useful if you know the general location of the drone, as many Bluetooth Trackers will only display tracking information when within 60-70 feet of the downed drone, and Apple AirTags even less than that.
This does come in useful, though, when you are in the general vicinity of your downed drone.
Some of the more popular Bluetooth Trackers are:
One of the great things about modern Bluetooth trackers like the CUBE and the Apple AirTag is that, even if you are not in the vicinity of your property (in this case, your drone), the app will show you the last known general location of said tag. Pretty much like the find my drone feature.
Also, the batteries are replaceable. Long gone are the days of the old TILE where you’d have to buy a new Bluetooth tracking device once the batteries were depleted.
However, unlike the drone that might have had the battery disengage (eject) or die after going missing, the Bluetooth trackers can be activated to make audible notifications when you are within range if their internal batteries are still charged.
Each Bluetooth tracker has its own set of bells and whistles. It’s advisable to research all the options the tracker you like has to offer if you decide to go that route.
The Find My Drone feature is a great option for anyone that has a downed drone, although the accuracy of the feature depends largely on how you were flying the drone, prior to it going missing or crashing.
Thankfully, there are alternatives or additional devices available to assist in finding a lost drone. The most accurate and expensive (in the long run) are GPS trackers but sworn by many.
It is hoped you will never have to use the find my drone feature, however, if you find that you do, hopefully, you will be able to recover it in a timely fashion.