I'm delighted to announce the release of the ArduPilot 2.0 software, now in public beta. This software uses the current ArduPilot hardware but handles the FMA Co-Pilot stabilization function itself, without the need for a separate stabilization unit. It is, in short, a complete integrated autopilot. That little ArduPilot board can do a lot!
- All the ArduPilot 1.0 functions: programmable 3D waypoints; return-to-launch mode, in-flight reset ability, fully programmable actions at waypoint and totally expandable board.
- Now integrates the stabilization and navigation functions, eliminating the need for a FMA Co-Pilot and vastly improving waypoint tracking
- Controls elevator and ailerons/rudder. Throttle control coming in 2.1
- "Fly-by-wire" mode stabilizes the aircraft in RC mode, duplicating the function of the FMA Co-Pilot
- Stores home waypoints and sensor calibration in EEPROM, so they are retained even in the case of a system restart
- Controls altitude with the elevator, vastly improving performance in wind
- Currently optimized for the three-channel EasyStar. Versions have also been tested on Funjet and four-channel Superstar (code coming soon)
- Simple in-field calibration process
- Can use any thermopile XY sensors (default settings are for the FMA sensor, but Paparazzi, AttoPilot and custom sensors can also be used)
- Currently supports the EM406 GPS. Support for Locosys and Ublox GPS modules coming soon
- Uses "chained PID loops" to combine the stabilization and navigation functions seamlessly
What you need (if you already have an ArduPilot and FMA Co-Pilot you don't need anything else):
Instructions for modifying the FMA sensor cable to use it with ArduPilot are here.
Instructions for in-field calibration and setup of ArduPilot 2.0 are here.
(Note: ArduPilot 2.0 put the EM406 GPS module into binary mode, which disables its onboard LED. That means that if you try to use the same GPS module with ArduPilot 1.0, it won't work (unless you program back into NMEA mode with a utility such as this one). However, if you let it sit for a few days without power, the onboard capacitor will run out and it will return to its default NMEA mode and will work with ArduPilot 1.0 again)
The next version, 2.1, is now in private alpha. It will include the following:
- Uses Z sensor for self-calibration in the field
- Uses small desktop app to load ArduPilot settings and waypoints, without having to work with code
- Adds throttle to altitude control, improving accuracy and wind performance