For our research UAV (25kg, 5m wingspan) we descided to change from the papparazi to the ardupilot platform.
After the first test and tuning flights (we are very happy how great this thing works) we are implementing our research patterns for our missions.
There is one main pattern:
The pattern looks like a "funnel", 600m to Ground with 50m intervals, the aiplane should fly one full circle on every altitude interval but should reduce the radius form 400m (top) to 50m (ground)
I thought the easyest way to do this, is to let loiter the plane around the center waypoint, then i have to change the altitude (no problem) but also the radius... Is it possible to change the loiter radius from the waypoint file automatically?
Or do you have other sugestions for this problem...
We are useing the APMMissionplaner 1.1.59 with the new Arduplane v2.4
Thanks for yout suggestions!
In theory, yes. In practice using the existing code base, no.
Here are some recommendations:
* Update your Mission Planner. You want to be using 1.1.93 Mav 1.0 with ArduPlane 2.40
I will attach an example missions script. Manual take off in simulation from airport TX35. Then turn on auto. It will run the task, and auto-land.
Now, why "yes" and "no?" - Well, MAVLink supports specifying the loiter radius in the message type we are using, it is the third parameter. However, it does not seem to be implemented in Mission Planner or ArduPlane 2.40. If I find some time, I'll look into why that is. You can load the attached mission script, and push it up the the plane. It will fly the circuit, but the radius does not change. And if you download the mission from the APM, it will strip out the third parameter, suggesting that it is not implemented somewhere. Maybe at Mission Planner, or maybe in AP2.40.
It should not be a major feature to add, I'll see if I can take a hack at it.
Here is a better script, it includes an auto take off. Also launched from airport TX35 (if you don't already have it, I recommend getting X-Plane 9 - update to version 9.70, and run your missions in HiL first)
In a few minutes, the video should be done getting processed, then you can see the mission, including auto landing, in this video. (It does speed up at parts, the original flight is about 14 minutes, designed to be well within even small battery life, but the video is only 5 minutes.) You will notice that there is no radius control (yet) in this mission, but it is specified in the mission script. If you load the mission to the APM, then download it again, the radius (3rd parameter in the loiter directives) get stripped out.
PS. I'm sure it would have landed on the run way, if I had put the last waypoints on the runway :o
I was just putting together a quick example, and dropped the WPs on while I was zoomed way out, so they are not lined up right. I'm sure you are going to translate this to your flight area anyways, so I was not really very careful about that.
Here we are. I've got a little bit of work to do yet on it, and some testing, but this is running Mission Planner 1.1.93 Mav 1.0 (production release) and ArduPlane 2.40 + my changes running in HiL mode on an APM1, and X-Plane 9.70. Isn't this fun? Err. And quick. Enjoy!
BTW, the entire mission is autonomous. The only thing I did manually was: 1) release the wheel break in X-plane 3) flip the switch on my transmitter to auto and 2) move the camera around during the video. It takes off and lands all by itself, and all the navigation is done from within the mission script running on the APM, no scripted ground station controls.
Thank you very much for your eplanations! It's a pitty that the loiter radius is supportet by the MAVLink Protocoll but not possible to change it from the MissionPlaner for each Waypoint...
I will test your file on the simulator and asap on the plane itself... will report you my experiences!
I'm working on testing the code I changed; if it all works out well, I'll point you to a custom copy for your project. I don't know how long, if ever, it might take me to get this feature into the ArduPlane code. There are issues I'm still working through that would impact other people, so I'm uncomfortable approaching the devs about this change until I figure out those issues.