While it's cold and windy outside, the best way to test our UAVs may be simulations. As best as I can tell there are at least two ways to do this, but I can't say I really understand either of them well enough to implement:
- Generate synthetic GPS data with your PC's serial port, see what the autopilot does as a result. Here's a GPS NEMA sentence generator. The fake course data can be plotted in Google Earth. This is just for navigation, of course.
- Generate synthetic GPS and IMU sensor reading, and display the autopilot responses in a flight simulator. Curtis Olson, the creator of FlightGear (open source flight simulator) does that with his UAVs. No idea how. Impressive, though...
Has anyone tried either of these? Something else? Can you tell us how to do it?