Comparing Precision of Autopilots for Survey Missions - PX4


Hi, everyone, this is the fifth part of our autopilot precision series in which we test the different drones and autopilots by flying them on a photogrammetry route created in UgCS.

So far we have published the results for DJI Phantom 4, DJI Naza-M V2, Mikrokopter Quad XL and DJI A2. This week we finally put the PX4 autopilot through the test. For this we used a 3DR IRIS with PX4 firmware and flew it on our photogrammetry route using straight trajectory.

Here are the results:



Download the KML files and take a look at them yourself in Google E...


Get the newest version of UgCS here:
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Safe flights,
UgCS Team

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Comment by Marc Dornan on April 13, 2017 at 6:09pm

Interesting -- maybe not surprising. So will you be trying the other flavor of firmware on the Pixhawk? Arducopter? I would expect similar if not better results.

Comment by Mateusz Sadowski on April 13, 2017 at 11:30pm

Really nice analysis. I agree with Marc, it would be quite interesting to compare it against Arducopter! Any chance you could do that at some point?

Comment by Kristaps Brass on April 14, 2017 at 12:29am

Yes, we plan on testing ArduCopter (on Pixhawk) as well!

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 14, 2017 at 6:27am

This is actually a pretty good result for PX4, I have to say, I'm surprised.

We should discuss the settings to be used on Ardupilot for best results.

Set it to have a 1 second stop at every waypoint, and it should have virtually no error/overshoot at all.

Comment by Jason Franciosa on April 14, 2017 at 7:05am

How much of this is effected by the GPS used? The Phantom 4's dual band GPS can get close to 30 satellite locks at times which should increase it's precision considerably over a pixhawk with a UBLOX 7 series which struggles to get more than 12 sats.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 14, 2017 at 4:02pm

By itself, not really relevant.  There are many many factors which go into this.

Comment by Auturgy on April 14, 2017 at 10:11pm
I hope px4 and arducopter are tested on the same airframe: take variables out of the comparison
Comment by Olivier on April 14, 2017 at 10:47pm

Flying with the ubiquitous u-blox M8 GPS does make more sense, very few fly with the older 7 series single GNSS only these days.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 15, 2017 at 11:35am

I can predict what will happen, if they run Ardupilot with a very simple un-optimized mission.  It will cut the corners very badly.  They need to put a 1 second pause at each waypoint.

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