The ArduPilot development team is proud to announce the release of version 3.6.0 of APM:Plane. This is a major update so please read the notes carefully.

The biggest changes in this release are:

  • major update to PX4Firmware code
  • major update to QuadPlane code
  • addition of MAVLink2 support

Updated PX4Firmware

The updated PX4Firmware tree greatly improves support for the new Pixracer boards as well as improving scheduling performance and UAVCAN support. It also adds OneShot support for multirotor motors in QuadPlanes.

QuadPlane Updates

The QuadPlane changes are very extensive in this release. A lot of new features have been added, including:

  • improved automatic weathervaning
  • greatly improved support for mixed fixed wing and VTOL missions
  • automatic RTL with VTOL land
  • VTOL GUIDED mode support
  • greatly improved transition code
  • new tuning system for VTOL motors
  • extensive upgrade to logging system for much better flight analysis

 
The new QuadPlane features are documented at:

http://ardupilot.org/plane/docs/quadplane-support.html

Please read the documentation carefully if you are flying a QuadPlane!

Tiltrotors and Tiltwings

This release has initial support for a variety of tiltrotors and tiltwing configurations. So far testing of these types of aircraft has been limited to simulations and it should be considered very experimental.

MAVLink2 Support

The new MAVLink2 support will allow for greatly expanded MAVLink protocol features in the future, and includes support for signing of MAVLink connections for the first time, making them secure against malicious attacks. I will do a separate blog post on upgrading to MAVLink2 soon. MAVLink1 is still the default for this release, but you can enable MAVLink2 on a per port basis by setting SERIALn_PROTOCOL=2.

Credits

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this release. Tom and I have been delighted at the number and quality of contributions across the community, and to the extensive testing and flight logs that have been provided.

We would also like to give a special thanks to UAV Solutions for sponsoring the development of many of the new QuadPlane features in this release and Airphrame for development of the improvements to the landing code. We'd also like to thanks aAVIonix for providing hardware for testing of ADSB features.

Special thanks also for the great contributions by many long term contributors to the project. Major contributions to this release have been made by:

  • Peter Barker
  • Lucas De Marchi
  • Gustavo Jose de Sousa
  • Leonard Hall
  • Paul Riseborough
  • Francisco Ferreira
  • Michael du Breuil
  • Grant Morphett
  • Michael Oborne
  • The PX4 development team

among many others. Tom and I really appreciate the effort!

Some of you may also have noticed that Tom Pittenger from Airphrame is now co-lead with me on the fixed wing support for ArduPilot. Tom has been a major contributor for a long time and the dev team was delighted to appoint him as co-lead.

Other Changes
Detailed changes in this release include:

  • added motortest for all quad motors in sequence
  • merge upstream PX4Firmware changes
  • new AC_AttitudeControl library from copter for quadplane
  • modified default gains for quadplanes
  • new velocity controller for initial quadplane landing
  • smooth out final descent for VTOL landing
  • changed default loop rate for quadplanes to 300Hz
  • support up to 16 output channels (two via SBUS output only)
  • fixed bug with landing flare for high values of LAND_FLARE_SEC
  • improved crash detection logic
  • added in-flight transmitter tuning
  • fix handling of SET_HOME_POSITION
  • added Q_VFWD_GAIN for forward motor in VTOL modes
  • added Q_WVANE_GAIN for active weathervaning
  • log the number of lost log messages
  • move position update to 50hz loop rather then the 10hz
  • Suppress throttle when parachute release initiated, not after release.
  • support Y6 frame class in quadplane
  • log L1 xtrack error integrator and remove extra yaw logging
  • limit roll before calculating load factor
  • simplify landing flare logic
  • smooth-out the end of takeoff pitch by reducing takeoff pitch min via TKOFF_PLIM_SEC
  • added support for DO_VTOL_TRANSITION as a mission item
  • fixed is_flying() for VTOL flight
  • added Q_ENABLE=2 for starting AUTO in VTOL
  • reload airspeed after VTOL landing
  • lower default VTOL ANGLE_MAX to 30 degrees
  • Change mode to RTL on end of mission rather then staying in auto
  • implemented QRTL for quadplane RTL
  • added Q_RTL_MODE parameter for QRTL after RTL approach
  • reduced the rate of EKF and attitude logging to 25Hz
  • added CHUTE_DELAY_MS parameter
  • allow remapping of any input channel to any output channel
  • numerous waf build improvements
  • support fast timer capture for camera trigger feedback
  • numerous improvements for Pixracer support
  • added more general tiltrotor support to SITL
  • only save learned compass offsets when disarmed
  • support MISSION_ITEM_INT for more accurate waypoint positions
  • change parachute deployment altitude to above ground not home
  • added AP_Tuning system for QuadPlane tuning
  • added initial support for tiltrotors and tiltwings
  • added LOG_REPLAY and LOG_DISARMED parameters
  • added Q_GUIDED_MODE parameter
  • major update to QuadPlane documentation
  • added MAVLink2 support
  • fixed origin vs home altitude discrepancy
  • improved Lidar based landing glide slope
  • fixed throttle failsafe with THR_PASS_STAB=1
  • prevent EKF blocking during baro and airspeed cal
  • allow for ground testing of parachutes with CHUTE_MINALT=0
  • fixed elevator stick mixing for above 50% input
  • added QuadPlane ESC calibration

Happy flying!

Views: 6987


Developer
Comment by Tom Pittenger on June 15, 2016 at 3:32pm

@TimV415,

Not that I know of, yet. That particular airframe is a bit of a novilty, not stable and not efficient.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vJ_GwVqmKM

Comment by Tim V on June 15, 2016 at 3:46pm

Tom,

Yeah, not too concerned with that particular platform.  More interested in the concept, as shown in the link in the previous comment.

So, to your knowledge, tail sitter config is not supported on Pixhawk/APM3.6, correct?

Thanks!


Developer
Comment by Tom Pittenger on June 15, 2016 at 4:11pm

correct.

Comment by Mike Mac on June 18, 2016 at 4:20pm

Mavlink2?

Will mavlink2 work with my old 3DR radios?

 

.

Comment by Nick Hall on June 19, 2016 at 11:58am

First a quick thankyou to the dev team for their amazing work!

Just a quick question re quadplane setup.

Do you have to have an airspeed sensor?

Cheers,

Nick.


Developer
Comment by Tom Pittenger on June 19, 2016 at 12:09pm

@NIck no


Developer
Comment by Andrew Tridgell on June 19, 2016 at 2:55pm

@Nick, as Tom says you don't have to have an airspeed sensor, but it does help, especially in significant wind. Without an airspeed sensor it will have to use the synthetic airspeed estimate to determine when it should start/stop using the VTOL motors in transition. That can be quite inaccurate at takeoff if there is significant wind.


100KM
Comment by keeyen pang on June 19, 2016 at 5:38pm

Quadplane code not compatible with DJI E 600 tuned propulsion system ? I set up my quadranger with this latest 3.6 firmware, while bench test I notice at least one motor not turning or turn much slower then others. I've seen this behaviour with my Tarot 680 Pro using the same power system but once the throttle advance over 50%, all motor syn nicely. 

I go ahead and do a field test, while in Q Stabilised mode, The RHS rear motor always not tuning when arm and turn slowly compare to other as throttle advance. The plane can not hover and flip over as I increase throttle. As the DJI ESC not allow to calibrate, so I did not go through the ESC calibration process as recommended in the manual.  

May I know if DJI tuned propulsion system should not use in quadplane ?

 

Comment by JB on June 24, 2016 at 6:17am

There seems to be an issue with some ESC's running erratically, including overheating under load and pulsing inflight, with APM code, in particular BLHeli and SimonK ESCs. I'm slowly getting to the bottom of the issue I think, with only particular settings on PXH and BLHeli ESC working properly together.  Some more discussion here: https://community.emlid.com/t/solved-erratic-motors/1742/13

Also disable TX programming on the ESC to avoid the PXH, or your RC inputs, reprogramming the ESC.

In an effort to optimise and shrink the drive train, I've gone through some 3 different types of ESC's and 2 different types of motors so far over the last two weeks. Half of which are now in the bin. :-(

Comment by Aaron Serafinowicz on June 30, 2016 at 5:44am

Is anyone have problems with futaba r7008sb receiver? Running firmware 3.5 I had no issues but now after upgrading to 3.6 I get a no receiver error. Downgraded and error went away. Also after going back to 3.5.75 can not configure the wing control surfaces to respond correctly?

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