Autopilot GPS and IMU


Hi Guys,


 i am working to develop my own autopilot system for my RC aircraft. i have read many project reports about designing UAV autopilot systems and after searching about that all, i got some question which are listed below...


  1. In many auto pilot systems, i saw IMU with GPS as apart of autopilot system. my question is that, why we use IMU with GPS. i think GPS is enough for UAV autopilot system. Please breifly explain role of IMU and GPS in autopilot systems.
  2. Autopilot only control rudder servo or also other control surfaces like ailerons, flaps etc? please explain?




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  • you can google autopilot system and you will find dozens of project reports, thesis etc
    i will send you some pdf files if you tell me your email adress.
    zeeshan haider
  • Hi Zeeshan,

    Can you send me some links or PDF of the thesis about building autopilot systems?



  • Zeeshan I am no expert and I may be wrong but I think you missed the point of Thomas.


    True GPS will give you the vector heading, alt with respect to sea level, long. and lat all about the physical location of your UAV but it will not give you the orientation of the UAV. your UAV can be locked by GPS but it might me upside down. IMU will help correct/align you UAV with horizon i.e pitch/yaw/roll your navigation will be dependent on your orientation. Think of it this way GPS unit in a car is the GPS on UAV and IMU is the driver of the car in a sense that he know where he is heading and if the car is pointed to that as well as when to put the pedal. (worst comparision but I think you can relate). I think what this means is that they work hand in hand. Again I am no expert

  • Admin


    The IMU provides platform stability in Pitch, Yaw, and Roll. The GPS obviously cannot do that.

    Just a thought.



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