Hi, Ardupilot 2.6 (still with thermopiles) did a pretty good job in handling our solar drone (seriously, http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/lusa-low-cost-unmanned-solar?id=7...), now we bought APM2.0 to improve the results thanks to the ultra-precise IMU and other things such as the built in compass that can help controlling such a weird-handling plane like that.
But we also noticed that ardupilot code&hardware has grown so much in complexity, and this is kinda scaring us, since it will be in charge of a $1000+ 2000hrs of labor plane...
All what it will be required to do is to keep the plane loitering with excellent precision, nothing else for the moment, our main concerns are:
- Are there some timers or counter that may overflow or something causing errors after a long period of continuative use? It will probably be around 4 hrs?
-Are there known issues for APM2.0 operating in a pretty hot enviroment? (around 50 / 60 celsius)
-Are there known issues with partially-configured autopilots? (we will not explore, at least for a while, the ardupilot`s advanced functions)
-Are there any known failsafe failures? I keep the radio in my hand for the whole flight, ready to swith to manual mode if somethings goes wrong, but is the failsafe chip really bombproof or if the APM starts rebooting or something I`m screwed?
-What other things should we take great care of to ensure the APM will work realiabily?
No longer with the APM2.
Signal chain is Receiver->PPM Encoder->APM2->Servo/ESC, so there is no longer a signal mux for manual control. This might not be the ideal solution for a plane that you can control manually, but the mux no longer makes sense when you also want to fly a multicopter where manual control is impossible.
Is there a reason the signal mux was removed? I understand it doesnt make sense for multicopters but for fixed wing it could be useful. This is probably beyond the scope of most users but I think the FAA would like to see a way to switch to manual if the autopilot "locked up." I know there are some external ways to bypass the autopilot so it's not a big deal either way.
My personal opinion: I would not yet put an APM on an airplane that I spend 2000 hours building. Or on a helicopter that cost $1000+. It's just not there yet. I'm using it on Hobby King helis, and $200 ARF airplanes.
You really make no sense at all. You Opine on a solution you clearly know nothing about, then point to a full-size autopilot that isn't certified and uses MEMS Gyros, exactly the same as most RC Autopilots. Oh, which also costs the same as an Attopilot.
You are way off base here with your AttoPilot assessment, I’m not sure what your experience is with the AttoPilot Autopilot systems, however I think you might need to take a little time out to see what the system offers, how it is put together and the testing and calibration that each and every system passes through before it can leave the factory. Can you tell me the amount of hours the APM gyros are calibrated for before leaving the factory to the end user? I know on each AttoPilot it’s about 70 hours of calibration….. I also know that you can place an AttoPilot in water for hours on end, pull it out and then just go fly it as if it had never seen a drop! AttoPilot is the “PRO” option in most peoples budget, while the APM is the DIY option in everyone’s budget, I guess it’s the same as the DJI WKM Vs. the ACM posts you see here from time to time, DJI is the “PRO” Multi Rotor option which works time after time after time, AttoPilot is the same, time after time after time…... I sell all of these systems, APM, Attopilot and DJI so have a good understanding of each and everyone of them, I will choose the best tool for the job, AttoPilot is the tool here!
I would say that the Atto is the solution here, the cost of the build and the man hours invested is way too high to leave it to an open source controller, while the APM in a plane is “good”, and I build and use the APM on many projects, the AttoPilot is just “outstanding” and the additional costs of the unit over that of an APM is more than justified. I would not work on this project, spend the money and time to then install an open source controller, I would not advise my customers to either!
@ Ludovico / Monroe
I will just leave this final thought on the AttoPilot, if it’s “immature“ then I can’t wait to see what comes next from the Atto Team, they have already proven the AttoPilot is the Autopilot of choice to hunt Whaling Fleets in the Southern oceans of out planet, which I doubt I will see anyone disagree, taking off from a ship and then coming back home is not an easy task in this environment…… More can be read here on the AttoPilot doing the whale protection w...
APM is a work of art. I have had countless flights and luckily no accident than sorry. I have invested more than 5 thousand dollars in equipment and accessories do not regret. aeroquad since the beginning of this guy I fell in love. my first girlfriends were Canadian, I have been with Chinese and German but I married a mix of Mexican American. and as every marriage has its ups and downs. and a lifetime to learn. thanks to all
My first girlfriend (Draganfly vti). a Data I had very interesting, I wonder why not to add to apm. when the battery voltage down to levels of failure. the quad down the height. The same was true when he lost the radio signal down gently to the ground. It may put this function in the apm?.
I looked up attopilot and yes that seems to me a notch up from ardupilot as regard reliability BUT it costs more than 10 times more, which is waaay too much for my budget, so I still stick with Ardupilot because I love its incredible price to functions ratio and the fact that its open source.
I think I`ll make, using some simple cheap and small cmos logic ports, an external bypass thing in order to be able to cut out ardupilot from the control line and gain manual control of the solar drone that, by the way, I never send out of range of sight.
I`ll keep you updated with my progress and eventually make the bypass board design open source :-)