Presentation 30 x 40 mm Autopilot based on ATMEGA 1280 in an aircraft with 490 mm wing span

Hi all,


I would like to present my new UAV project based on the ATMEGA 1280 and Arduino language. On the autopilot there is the ATMEGA 1280, a 5V and 3.3V regulator, 4 low pass filters for the IMU, 4 connectors to motor/servos and connectors to the telemetry module. The RC - receiver is connected to one interrupt, this interupt reads the sum - signal from the receiver. I presented this autopilot as proposal last year here in this forum.


Name of the Aircraft: "Lerche 500" (Lark)
Wingspan: 490 mm
Take off weight: 250 Gramm
Control: Motor, Aileron, Pitch, Payload - Dropping

Motor: MFLY 180
Controller: Hype 6A (similar to Turnigy 6 Ampere)
Accumulator: 2 cells LiPo 800 mAh
Servo: 2 x Dymond D 47 + 1 x MC 10
Telemetry modul: Radiotronix 868 Mhz
RC - receiver: ACT sum - signal 35 MHz
IMU (Sparkfun modules): 2 x ADXRS610 + 1 x ADXL322
Camera: 380 lines, view upright, 2.4 GHz
GPS: 4 Hz
Autopilot: 30 x 40 mm based on ATMEGA 1280


On the fuselage there is the programming socket and the accumulator load socket. With the first button I can switch the electronic on (autopilot, telemetry, IMU, RC - receiver and GPS). The other button switchs the motor, servo motors and the wireless camera on. Now I work on the software. The basis in the vehicle is Arduino language and on the ground station I will use Borland C with OpenGL and GLUT library. The electronic block is embedded in a safety box, so I hope I can avoid to much damage during the "learning phase". And when all tests are sucessful, then I will use this set up and this aircraft on the competition in Braunschweig (Germany). We will see...


Best regards from the northern part of Germany






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Now I performed the first flights, every thing works. I was flying automatically 4 turns, each 1 km. The dropping point will calculated by the flight altitude and the wind. The wind will updated permanently. Now I optimize all closed loop controller.

Regards Tumba

Wegpunkt= way point
Abwurf= dropping location (in flight altitude)
Ziel= target (on the ground)

Now with the flight video from the International Micro Air Vehicle Conference IMAV 2010

Best regards
Very nice Tumba, Congrats for the third position @ IMAV2010. Was the landing autonomous too ? Impressive if it is.
I just noticed , you a aileron on one wing only !!! . Any perticular reason for it and how did you handle the non linear turns? Any more details and videos? thanks
Thanks Morli,

the first landing in the competition was not autonomous. I had not an exact altitude (I used only GPS altitude, the error was about 10 meter). So I decided to have a manual landing, to get some points. But there I lost a lot of competition points.
The second landing (bonus demonstration flight to the people) was autonomous. There was no need to reach an exact landing position.
If the aircraft has a good gliding angle, then the error in altitude is important. A possible solution is a pressure (altitude) sensor or a bad gliding performance. :-)

Best regards Tumba
thanks Tumba,
any perticular reason for choosing one side aileron only ? were your turns all left handed only( are these only choice since you have aileron on the right wing alone? How would this airframe perform if the WP sequence would have been clock wise? Will those over shoots worsen or improve as per your perseption? In any case , it is still impressive. Thanks once again for all the info and feed back.

the aileron topic is not easy, there are a lot of correct opinions. I think you need two ailerons for acrobatic flights only. Then you have an exact rolling axis located on the symmetry line of the aircraft. I made some experiments with controllable vertical tail planes, one and two ailerons (on stable aircrafts!). At the end I was not able to see differences. The Lerche 500 with the single aileron is flying only "large" circles. When you fly a 50 meter circle, then the clock wise / anti clock wise flight direction is not important. At the end the reason for one aileron was to have a minimum of parts on the aircraft.

My design policy is: "When the part is not present, then it is not able to fail." :-)

Best regards
Fair enough , thanks Tumba.

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