ArduCopter 3.2 ready for wider use

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.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • This report concerns an IRIS that was converted to an IRIS+ via the 3DR upgrade kit. I re-calibrated the transmitter in Mission Planner just to be safe. When I fly with 3.2 and the IRIS+ parameters and do an Auto Analysis on the DataFLash logs I am seeing Thrust FAIL reported. The messages vary but one of them was: "Avg climb rate 22.80 cm/s for throttle avg 723". When I compare the IRIS+ parameter deltas agains the IRIS with Tarot Gimbal, the ones related to throttle that are different are THR_MID and THR_RATE_P. With the IRIS+ parameter set these are 700 and 6 respectively and with the IRIS they are 580 and 5. I just find it strange that THR_MID is higher and that I am getting a Thrust FAIL condition in the auto-analyzed log. When I flew it as an IRIS before upgrade, none of the logs report a Thrust FAIL condition. Since adding the gimbal/GoPro to the IRIS after upgrade, all logs report the Thrust FAIL. This might be an ignorable report but it would be nice to have some confirmation on this.

  • if you go to the betaupdate, then you can use poshold.

  • I updated Mission Planner to the latest update but still do not see Pos Hold listed as a flight mode

  • Just updated to the newest mission planner and also to the latest 3.2 beta release.  Qav with the 540 arms, 40mm 620 kv pancake motors on simon k esc, apm 2.6, 12 inch props.  Tested stab, new hybrid position mode, drift, alt, rtl.  All worked with no issues.  The new hybrid mode seems to make faster and larger corrections than loiter to hold position, and the new drift with alt is very much improved.  On stopping from the new hybrid position the quad would wobble a bit when stopping.  Gets worse the faster I was moving when I let the sticks go to neutral.  I don't know if it is a problem with 3.2 or my larger props turning slower.  I didn't notice the issue when I was using 10" props.  Is there a way to make the deadband larger on poshold?  I was trying to fly slow and it was transitioning between pos hold, and normal flight. 

  • Great fligth !Congratulations

  • Developer

    Michael has just pushed a new stable version of Mission Planner a few minutes ago.  It has a fix for re-calibrating the second GPS.  It has Pos Hold listed as a mode and it has a check box for the auto-complete function so you can collect as many points as you choose.  We will continue to test the auto complete criteria and threshold in the Beta version.

  • Following up my own comment.

    I was using the wrong method to generate the data flash logs for auto analysis. The video I was using as a guide has you go through the MP terminal interface and the right thing to do is use the Download DataFlash Log via Mavlink button on the DataFlash Logs tab inside of the Flight Data display. Then Auto Analysis works as aspected.

  • Trying to use Mission Planner running inside my VMware Fusion (on my Mac) Windows 7 VM to look at data flash logs obtained after switching to the new 3.2 firmware. I can get the logs from my IRIS via the Mission Planner terminal but then when I try to use the Auto Analysis feature in the Flight Data/DataFlash Logs tab I just see a bunch of BAD LINE messages in the Mission Planner console and then some error alerts relating to "Float argument required" and then "Bad input file". I did some searching for hits on this problem and did not find anything promising. Anyone here using a VM to run Mission Planner successfully?

  • Thanks Richard My Pixhawk is fly well. I just love APM Planner.

  • First let me say, thanks to the dev team and all involved in this awesome project. This is my first post here. Over the weekend I installed 3.2 on one of my test quads and braved 6 degree F weather to see what it would do. The results were more than surprising and peasant to say the least. The quad flew like a charm with stock PIDs. A few observations and they might be normal. I found loiter and pos/hold to behave the same, the dead band in loiter is gone. Motor spin up is instantaneous upon arming, a good thing . GPS lock seems faster and overall performance and flight experience is awesome. I did not fly long due to the extreme cold, my fingers started to freeze and my brain was not far behind. Lipo batteries hate 6 degree cold. Again thanks to all for the excellent work.

This reply was deleted.