MIIIRO provides three control modes for operating the UAVs: autonomous, manual, and shared control.
In autonomous control, the UAV flies according to a submitted flight plan and executes tasks at the specified locations. The flight plan is composed of a sequence of commands (see the Plan section). One of the commands is the FlyTo which has parameters of a waypoint and the speed flying to that waypoint. There are other UAV flight commands: ReturnToBase which flies the UAV back to its base location, and Loiter which has parameters of a location and radius for the UAV to loiter around a location. The flight plan is shown is the TSD by connecting the waypoints with lines to form a path. The ReturnToBase is shown by connecting the last waypoint to the base location, while the Loiter is shown with a circle around the loitering location.
The task command ProsecuteTarget prosecutes the specified target according to the type of target. For image capture target, MIIIRO can capture the image of the target with still picture, video sweep and laser designate. In the TSD, a target is shown as a icon with a link connecting the target to the waypoint at which the command will be executed.
Manual control uses inputs from either the joystick or the GUI controllers to teleoperate the selected UAV. MIIIRO detects the availability of the joystick device when it starts. If a joystick is available, manual control is assumed to have its inputs coming from the joystick. Otherwise, the GUI Controllers Panel will be opened whenever the operator selects the manual control mode. The operator can also choose to use the GUI controllers even if a joystick is available.
The Instruments Panel helps the operator to control the UAV under manual control. The indications include the air speed indicator, attitude indicator, altimeter, turn coordinator, heading indicator, and vertical speed indicator, For resource planning and monitoring, the Instruments Panel also shows the current fuel level and the elapsed time.
Shared control is the mixing of inputs from the operator and the autonomous system during flying a UAV. Shared control is useful in many situations, such as (1) maneuvering to avoid an attack, which requires adding perturbation to the current flight path, and (2) flying the UAV at a low altitude temporarily in order to capture closeup images, without changing its course.
The Shared Control Panel allows the operator to select (1) the axes to be controlled autonomously according to the current flight plan, and (2) the axes to be controlled manually.