APM:Plane 3.3.0 released

The ardupilot development team is proud to announce the release of version 3.3.0 of APM:Plane. This is a major release with a lot of changes. Please read the release notes carefully!

The last stable release was 3 months ago, and since that time we have applied over 1200 changes to the code. It has been a period of very rapid development for ArduPilot. Explaining all of the changes that have been made would take far too long, so I've chosen some key changes to explain in detail, and listed the most important secondary changes in a short form. Please ask for details if there is a change you see listed that you want some more information on.

Arming Changes

This is the first release of APM:Plane where ARMING_CHECK and ARMING_REQUIRE both default to enabled. That means when you upgrade if you didn't previously have arming enabled you will need to learn about arming your plane.

Please see this page for more information on arming:

http://plane.ardupilot.com/wiki/arming-your-plane/

I know many users will be tempted to disable the arming checks, but please don't do that without careful thought. The arming checks are an important part of ensuring the aircraft is ready to fly, and a common cause of flight problems is to takeoff before ArduPilot is ready.

Re-do Accelerometer Calibration

Due to a change in the maximum accelerometer range on the Pixhawk all users must re-do their accelerometer calibration for this release. If you don't then your plane will fail to arm with a message saying that you have not calibrated the accelerometers.

Only 3D accel calibration

The old "1D" accelerometer calibration method has now been removed, so you must use the 3D accelerometer calibration method. The old method was removed because a significant number of users had poor flights due to scaling and offset errors on their accelerometers when they used the 1D method. My apologies for people with very large aircraft who find the 3D method difficult.

Note that you can do the accelerometer calibration with the autopilot outside the aircraft which can make things easier for large aircraft.

Auto-disarm

After an auto-landing the autopilot will now by default disarm after LAND_DISARMDELAY seconds (with a default of 20 seconds). This feature is to prevent the motor from spinning up unexpectedly on the ground
after a landing.

HIL_MODE parameter

It is now possible to configure your autopilot for hardware in the loop simulation without loading a special firmware. Just set the parameter HIL_MODE to 1 and this will enable HIL for any autopilot. This is designed to make it easier for users to try HIL without having to find a HIL firmware.

SITL on Windows

The SITL software in the loop simulation system has been completely rewritten for this release. A major change is to make it possible to run SITL on native windows without needing a Linux virtual machine. There should be a release of MissionPlanner for Windows soon which will make it easy to launch a SITL instance.

The SITL changes also include new backends, including the CRRCSim flight simulator. This gives us a much wider range of aircraft we can use for SITL. See http://dev.ardupilot.com/wiki/simulation-2/ for more information.

Throttle control on takeoff

A number of users had problems with pitch control on auto-takeoff, and with the aircraft exceeding its target speed during takeoff. The auto-takeoff code has now been changed to use the normal TECS throttle control which should solve this problem.

Rudder only support

There is a new RUDDER_ONLY parameter for aircraft without ailerons, where roll is controlled by the rudder. Please see the documentation for more information on flying with a rudder only aircraft:

http://plane.ardupilot.com/wiki/ardupla ... udder_only

APM1/APM2 Support

We have managed to keep support for the APM1 and APM2 in this release, but in order to fit it in the limited flash space we had to disable some more features when building for those boards. For this release the AP_Mount code for controlling camera mounts is disabled on APM1/APM2.

At some point soon it will become impractical to keep supporting the APM1/APM2 for planes. Please consider moving to a 32 bit autopilot soon if you are still using an APM1 or APM2.

New INS code

There have been a lot of changes to the gyro and accelerometer handling for this release. The accelerometer range on the Pixhawk has been changed to 16g from 8g to prevent clipping on high vibration aircraft, and the sampling rate on the lsm303d has been increased to 1600Hz.

An important bug has also been fixed which caused aliasing in the sampling process from the accelerometers. That bug could cause attitude errors in high vibration environments.

Numerous Landing Changes

Once again there have been a lot of improvements to the automatic landing support. Perhaps most important is the introduction of a smooth transition from landing approach to the flare, which reduces the tendency to pitch up too much on flare.

There is also a new parameter TECS_LAND_PMAX which controls the maximum pitch during landing. This defaults to 10 degrees, but for many aircraft a smaller value may be appropriate. Reduce it to 5 degrees if you find you still get too much pitch up during the flare.

Other secondary changes in this release include:

  • a new SerialManager library which gives much more flexible management of serial port assignment
  • changed the default FS_LONG_TIMEOUT to 5 seconds
  • raised default IMAX for roll/pitch to 3000
  • lowered default L1 navigation period to 20
  • new BRD_SBUS_OUT parameter to enable SBUS output on Pixhawk
  • large improvements to the internals of PX4Firmware/PX4NuttX for better performance
  • auto-formatting of microSD cards if they can't be mounted on boot (PX4/Pixhawk only)
  • a new PWM based driver for the PulsedLight Lidar to avoid issues with the I2C interface
  • fixed throttle forcing to zero when disarmed
  • only reset mission on disarm if not in AUTO mode
  • much better handling of steep landings
  • added smooth transition in landing flare
  • added HIL_MODE parameter for HIL without a special firmware
  • lowered default FS_LONG_TIMEOUT to 5 seconds
  • mark old ELEVON_MIXING mode as deprecated
  • fixed 50Hz MAVLink support
  • support DO_SET_HOME MAVLink command
  • fixed larger values of TKOFF_THR_DELAY
  • allow PulsedLight Lidar to be disabled at a given height
  • fixed bungee launch (long throttle delay)
  • fixed a bug handling entering AUTO mode before we have GPS lock
  • added CLI_ENABLED parameter
  • removed 1D accel calibration
  • added EKF_STATUS_REPORT MAVLink message
  • added INITIAL_MODE parameter
  • added TRIM_RC_AT_START parameter
  • added auto-disarm after landing (LAND_DISARMDELAY)
  • added LOCAL_POSITION_NED MAVLink message
  • avoid triggering a fence breach in final stage of landing
  • rebuild glide slope if we are above it and climbing
  • use TECS to control throttle on takeoff
  • added RUDDER_ONLY parameter to better support planes with no ailerons
  • updated Piksi RTK GPS driver
  • improved support for GPS data injection (for Piksi RTK GPS)
  • added NAV_LOITER_TO_ALT mission item
  • fixed landing approach without an airspeed sensor
  • support RTL_AUTOLAND=2 for landing without coming to home first
  • disabled camera mount support on APM1/APM2
  • added support for SToRM32 and Alexmos camera gimbals
  • added support for Jaimes mavlink enabled gimbal
  • improved EKF default tuning for planes
  • updated support for NavIO and NavIO+ boards
  • updated support for VRBrain boards
  • fixes for realtime threads on Linux
  • added simulated sensor lag for baro and mag in SITL
  • made it possible to build SITL for native Windows
  • switched to faster accel sampling on Pixhawk
  • added coning corrections on Pixhawk
  • set ARMING_CHECK to 1 by default
  • disable NMEA and SiRF GPS on APM1/APM2
  • support MPU9255 IMU on Linux
  • updates to BBBMINI port for Linux
  • added TECS_LAND_PMAX parameter
  • switched to synthetic clock in SITL
  • support CRRCSim FDM backend in SITL
  • new general purpose replay parsing code
  • switched to 16g accel range in Pixhawk
  • added FENCE_AUTOENABLE=2 for disabling just fence floor
  • added POS dataflash log message
  • changed GUIDED behaviour to match copter
  • added support for a 4th MAVLink channel
  • support setting AHRS_TRIM in preflight calibration
  • fixed a PX4 mixer out of range error

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this release. We have a lot of new developers contributing which is really great to see! Also, apologies for those who have contributed a pull request but not yet had it incorporated (or had feedback on the change). We will be trying to get to as many PRs as we can soon.


Best wishes to all APM:Plane users from the dev team, and happy flying!

Views: 14813

Comment by T.Samma on July 27, 2015 at 5:50am
I'm install Arduplane 3.3.0 on APM 2.5&2.6 and found that it's must plug GPS&Compass. If not, it's has two BLUE Led Blink and one YELLO Blink and can't connect. I'm try another FW Version (prev & early) it can start up and connect.

Is it normal funtion or not?

Developer
Comment by Grant Morphett on July 27, 2015 at 11:34pm

I just put Plane 3.3.0 on my pixhawk and started it up and its blinking yellow.  I then connected via MP over Radio to the pixhawk no problem.  So yes I believe its normal function.

Thanks, Grant.

Comment by Jean-Marie PRIGENT on August 9, 2015 at 5:12am

Has anybody successfully connected APM/Pixhawk to Xplane through mission planner with this last firmware because it's seems we are a few to have issue with this ? Thanks

Comment by Leon DeBell on August 13, 2015 at 3:21am

Hey folks, back again to pester for some advice.

I can't seem to get my aircraft to work using waypointed auto missions. Auto takeoff works, but as soon as the craft has reached it's desired height, it then just starts flying off into the distance. No mode change, i.e it's not jumping to RTL or guided etc, just fly's off. The other auto modes such as circle and guided are working brilliantly...it's just auto.

I've tried on two different Pixhawk equipt airframes; one bixler2 and one xuav skua. Both the same.

I've included a link to a bin file and I'll put the param file in there too, if anyone can offer a second pair of eyes to go over them I'd really appreciate it, because I'm at a loss.

Cheers,

Leon

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7GNsZlbn9gPfk5ZSVRXNFpweVV6RThEc...


Developer
Comment by Andrew Tridgell on August 13, 2015 at 9:05pm

@Leon, you have the AUTO_FBW_STEER option enabled:

http://plane.ardupilot.com/wiki/arduplane-parameters/#use_fbwa_stee...

if you disable that you will find it will fix the issue.

In general it is not a good idea to enable a parameter without first reading the documentation for it.

Comment by Leon DeBell on August 14, 2015 at 6:48am

Righto cheers. Yeah, bit of confusion on my part as I thought this was a function we'd used last year on a different set up that allowed FBWA input when the aircraft was in Auto and not that it overrides Auto...yep, always RTFM.

Thanks again. 

Comment by Justin on September 18, 2015 at 8:07pm
How is the do set land command supposed to work when planning a fully autonomous mission. If I hit RTL at any point will the plane come back home and autoland. How do I set this up in mission planner.

Developer
Comment by Tom Pittenger on September 18, 2015 at 8:10pm

RTL will jump you to DO_LAND_START and resume AUTO mode when RTL_AUTOLAND > 0


Distributor
Comment by Felix Meissner on September 22, 2015 at 12:31am

How can I see from the LOG files, if the Pixhawk did reboot in mid-flight?
http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/pixhawk-reboot-in-flight-how-to-r...

Cheers, Felix

Comment by Jean-Marie PRIGENT on February 20, 2018 at 2:27am

@Andrew Tridgell 

following this answer from you

"If you need NMEA on an APM1 or APM2 then let me know and I can show you which line of code to change to add it back it for your own build.

Cheers, Tridge"

Hi, I would like to reactivate NMEA in arduplane 3.3 and/or 3.4 build instead of u-blox because I'm flying with a micro gps (8g)  that is NMEA only for this fully APM 270g (rtf). Could someone help line witch part of code must be modified ? 

Comment

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