After months of testing, ArduCopter 3.2 (aka APM:Copter) is ready for widespread use and we invite all users to give it a try.  In order to manage the support load at first it will be available only through the Mission Planner and APM Planner2's Beta Firmwares link.  This link is visible from the regular "Install Firmware" page if you check the "Advanced View" on the Config/Tuning >> Planner page.  On APM Planner2 the "Advanced View" it is under the File menu.

In about two weeks we plan to replace AC3.1.5 with AC3.2 as the default version dispensed by the ground stations.

The full list of changes can be found in the ReleaseNotes but here are the highlights:
Flight Mode Enhancements:

  • PosHold flight mode: similar to Loiter but with direct response to pilot input during repositioning
  • ACRO mode handling improvement EXPO (for faster rotations)
  • Drift mode uses "throttle assist" (similar to AltHold)
  • Smoother transitions between flight modes (i..e when entering Loiter or RTL from high speeds)

Mission Enhancements/Fixes:

New Sensors/Devices:

Safety Features:

  • EKF/DCM check will switch to LAND mode if heading error > 60deg for 1 second
  • Baro glitch detection
  • Pre-arm check for Gyro calibration success
  • Pre-arm check that internal & external sensors (gyros, accels and compass) are consistent (Pixhawk only)
  • Parachute support (Pixhawk only)
  • Feedback to Pilot when taking off in AltHold, Loiter, PosHold (i.e. motors spin up a little as throttle is raised)
  • EKF (new attitude and position estimate system only used for reference in this release)

Bug Fixes:

  • Pixhawk GPS driver buffer overflow that could lead to missed GPS messages
  • Pixhawk I2C bug that could lead freeze up if I2C bus is noisy

Known issues/Warnings:

  • Pixhawk users will need to recalibrate their compasses
  • PosHold won't show up as option on FlightMode screen if you have an old version of mission planner.  Please select Help > Check for Updates
  • Landing detector is more strict meaning it may take longer to disarm after RTL, AUTO
  • Set THR_MID parameter especially if you have a very powerful copter because "Feedback to Pilot" raises throttle to 1/2 of THR_MID
  • Spline twitches slightly as it passes a waypoint especially if WPNAV_SPEED is set > 500.
  • Dropped support for NMEA and SIRF GPS on APM boards (ran out of Flash space)
  • Dropped ssupport for sonar for MultiCopters on APM1 and TradHeli on APM1 & APM2 (ran out of Flash space)

If you hit issues, please post them in the APM Forum and include a dataflash log file if possible.

Special thanks the Marco and the Beta Testing team from the AC3.2 beta testing thread who put their copters at risk in the pursuit of a smooth, safe release.  Here are links to some of their videos: Marco's DJIs900, Holger's Water Tower, Josh's Acro, Ray's TradHeli2&FPV, Raph's Hawaii, PhillS's CommandYawThor's Zombie Run&FollowMePhanivyas's Test, Rob's TradHeli, Christian's Test1&Test2Balloon's Spline, JimJ's FPV, Ultrojo's ROI & Spline&FollowMe1&FollowMe2, Troy's Mission

Thanks also to the code contributors to this release including Tridge, Jonathan, Leonard, RobL, Paul Riseborough, MichaelO, Julien Dubois, David Dewey, Andrew Chapman, Emile, Allyson and many more.  If you want to get involved check-out our dev wiki.

Views: 41147

Comment by Dom on November 7, 2014 at 2:34am

I think you should have called this 4.0 given the amount of extra awesomeness in it!  Well done 

Comment by Jethro Hazelhurst on November 7, 2014 at 2:41am
Randy, I want to thank you and everyone who has worked so hard to bring this to fruition... from the bottom of my heart I am so grateful for the hard work you have put into this release. I stand in awe!

Comment by Thorsten on November 7, 2014 at 4:06am
agreed! Following Microsoft's new naming convention it should be AC 5.0...

A big thanks you to all the developers, testers and everyone else involved!
Comment by Phanivyas on November 7, 2014 at 4:14am
Excellent job done by the Developers of AC3.2. Congratulations..
@Xian06, maybe you are using older version of mission planner hence you are unable to see "Position Hold". Its better to update the software.
Comment by Phanivyas on November 7, 2014 at 4:36am
Current version is 1.3.10. If yours is not same then update it (Help->Check for Updates)

Comment by Randy on November 7, 2014 at 5:09am
I think the latest mission planner should have it but if the "Check for Updates" that Phanivyas mentioned doesn't work, Try going to the Flight Data screen and press Ctrl-F. Then push the "paramgen" button, wait about 2 minutes and restart the planner.

Comment by Dario Lindo Andres on November 7, 2014 at 6:41am
Hello everyone,
@Xian: Check for Mission Planner "Beta updates" was the solution for me. "Check for Beta updates" button is near "Check for Updates".

Comment by Doug Walmsley on November 7, 2014 at 7:52am
Congrats DEVS! This was a long process to get teh final version released. Look forward to the next wave of innovations!
Comment by Danny Thompson on November 7, 2014 at 7:56am
You guys are the absolute best. AC 3.2 is so full of awesomeness that it is going to take some time to get my head around all that you've done (that I will be likely to use). The high quality work done by the Developer and Test teams are a unparalleled display of international community spirit and collaboration.

Hats off to you guys (and girls) for a splendid delivery. You all rock.
Comment by Colin Snow on November 7, 2014 at 10:22am
Good improvements. Keep up the great work.


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