Arducopter 50 is our first fully Software in the Loop tested version. Special thanks to Tridge for developing the test suite!
Here is a quick video of the testing in action:
You can see the copter takes off, flies a simple square in manual and records the square with CH7 toggles at each corner. It then loiters and switches to AUTO to fly the recored WPs.
Once that's done it lands and loads a mission via mavlink. The mission is intended to test all commands including conditional commands and the jump command. The last two commands are RTL and land.
What else else is new:
More aggressive Alt hold control - You can now achieve rapid ascents & descents in alt hold. The throttle acts like a large dead zone with the upper and lower 20% being a proportional control. Adjusting the throttle resets the new target altitude.
Added the ability to log arbitrary data for better debugging.
Recording WP in normal flight with Channel 7. This is a great way to get WPs recorded in the field. Just toggle ch7 High for 1 sec and it will save the WP to memory building a WP list on the fly. Switching to AUTO mode will fly the WPs. Rebooting will allow you to start over on a new mission.
Added separate Acro PIs for people to tune Acro mode.
Z dampening - Alt hold now has an optional Z accelerometer dampening system. You need to compile it yourself to test. I'm eager to hear user's feedback on this so we can make it on by default. You can enable it in APM_Config.h by changing the '0' to a '1' like this "#define ACCEL_ALT_HOLD 1"
Y6 now has top and bottom missing ratio enabled. It's 1.0 for the top by default, but many users set it to 0.9.
Crosstrack correction is now enabled for WP navigation. Thanks to the SIL, we could test this properly. This makes the copter hold a very tight line to the next WP. The default gain is 4.0.
RTL now defaults to return at the current altitude.
Improved Circle mode performance.
Changed the Mission scripting execution order to be more intuitive. Conditional commands now execute after navigation commands are complete, not just loaded.
Various mission scripting bug fixes.
Removed some tests in the CLI for memory savings to fit the 1280.
Added precautionary safety preventing the user from entering flight modes that require GPS lock. If home has not been set you will get a stabilize mode instead of Loiter, or Auto, etc.
There were also many small bug fixes and code cleanups performed - too many to list.
If no one has any major issues, I'm going to call this the final stable release!
What's next in version 2.1 (target release early January):
- complete Mavlink 1.0 upgrade, ensure better Mission planner support.
- exploration of learning algorithms for auto-tuning.
- sensor/register level software simulation for testing more code.
- expanded test suite with more scripted scenarios
- secret cool stuff regarding the DCM
If you run into any issues, please post them to the issues list.