AntennaTracker v1.0 on NAVIO2 with Bebop2

ArduPilot's Antenna Tracker firmware has been making some quiet progress over the past few months.  They're all documented in the Release Notes but at a high level the improvements include:

  • More accurate control due to bug fixes in how the vehicle's position estimation was done
  • Smoother movement through additional filtering
  • Separate servo types possible for yaw and pitch axes
  • Tilt compensation meaning it tracks the vehicle accurately even when the tracker is leaned over
  • Improved Mission Planner setup screen (i.e. Extended tuning page)

The parts I used to build my tracker included:

I used a NAVIO2 instead of a Pixhawk mostly because it's easier to make a Wifi connection this way.

I haven't yet tested the range of the telemetry connection to the Bebop2 but I suspect it's between 1km ~ 2km.  In fact, the antenna used here is not ideal for use with the Bebop2, a simpler non-Helical antenna like this one would likely do better.

Some limitations of this setup:

  • we don't yet support receiving live video from the Bebop2 but this is coming within the next couple of months so during this test I simply had telemetry data from both Tracker and Bebop2 visible in the Mission Planner
  • the networking connection between the PC to the RPI2 was quite simple but not very flexible.  For whatever reason the PC and RPI2 nearly always appear with the same IP addresses so the Tracker startup scripts were hardcoded to always uses these.  It would be better to setup dhcp on the RPI2 to set PC's IP address
  • the bebop's Wifi ssid is hard-coded in the script on the RPI2.  If someone wanted to repeat this setup they would need to change this to match their particular Bebop.

In case people want to replicate this setup, I've uploaded an image to here.

Thanks to the beta testers for their ideas and feedback and Stefan Lynka for his code contributions.


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  • @Simon, here are the instructions for both pixhawk and APM2:

    Connecting with GCS — AntennaTracker documentation
  • MR60

    Great improvement over the previous tracker 0.76 release. Do you have 360 movement on both axis with the PT785 ?

  • Excellent !

  • For the price of PT785 servo city pan/tilt setup, one can build heavy duty tracker that can carry  far heavier antenna setup. Guys at satNOGS have developed nice tracker, V3 is using DC motors with encoder feedback, which makes it highly precise. Probably overkill for small 10-12 turn helix and smaller patch antenna, but definitely nice to have for larger 2.4ghz or 5.8 dish setup 

  • Looks really good. What is the minimum hardware requirement? Could i re-purpose APM2s as trackers ?

  • Developer

    Really great how far the tracker has come :) Thanks Randy!

  • Moderator


    SPT400 easily turn half kilo 433 MHz antenna :))

  • Developer

    @Vladimir, It certainly has extra beefy servos so it can handle a far larger antenna than I've put on it...

  • Moderator

    PT785 is too powerful...

  • Developer

    Looks great. I love the tilt compensation and the movement looks very smooth

    I really hope some day soon to be able to hook this up to my old tracker hardware 

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