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)
- Spline waypoints
- Do_Jump, Conditional_Distance, Conditional_Delay fixed
- Do_Set_ROI persistent across waypoints
- Condition_Yaw accepts relative heading (i.e. current heading + 20)
- Reset horizontal position target when taking off in AUTO to avoid lean due to GPS position drift
- Rally points (Pixhawk only)
- Lidar-Lite Range Finder, SF02, MaxBotix I2C sonar and Analog sonar (which was missing for Pixhawk)
- EPM Gripper
- 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)
- 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
- 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 CommandYaw, Thor's Zombie Run&FollowMe, Phanivyas's Test, Rob's TradHeli, Christian's Test1&Test2, Balloon'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.