I'm delighted to announce the release of the ArduPilot 2.0 software, now in public beta. This software uses the current ArduPilot hardware but handles the FMA Co-Pilot stabilization function itself, without the need for a separate stabilization unit. It is, in short, a complete integrated autopilot. That little ArduPilot board can do a lot!

2.0 Features:

  • All the ArduPilot 1.0 functions: programmable 3D waypoints; return-to-launch mode, in-flight reset ability, fully programmable actions at waypoint and totally expandable board.
  • Now integrates the stabilization and navigation functions, eliminating the need for a FMA Co-Pilot and vastly improving waypoint tracking
  • Controls elevator and ailerons/rudder. Throttle control coming in 2.1
  • "Fly-by-wire" mode stabilizes the aircraft in RC mode, duplicating the function of the FMA Co-Pilot
  • Stores home waypoints and sensor calibration in EEPROM, so they are retained even in the case of a system restart
  • Controls altitude with the elevator, vastly improving performance in wind
  • Currently optimized for the three-channel EasyStar. Versions have also been tested on Funjet and four-channel Superstar (code coming soon)
  • Simple in-field calibration process
  • Can use any thermopile XY sensors (default settings are for the FMA sensor, but Paparazzi, AttoPilot and custom sensors can also be used)
  • Currently supports the EM406 GPS. Support for Locosys and Ublox GPS modules coming soon
  • Uses "chained PID loops" to combine the stabilization and navigation functions seamlessly

What you need (if you already have an ArduPilot and FMA Co-Pilot you don't need anything else):

Instructions for modifying the FMA sensor cable to use it with ArduPilot are here.

Instructions for in-field calibration and setup of ArduPilot 2.0 are here.

(Note: ArduPilot 2.0 put the EM406 GPS module into binary mode, which disables its onboard LED. That means that if you try to use the same GPS module with ArduPilot 1.0, it won't work (unless you program back into NMEA mode with a utility such as this one). However, if you let it sit for a few days without power, the onboard capacitor will run out and it will return to its default NMEA mode and will work with ArduPilot 1.0 again)

The next version, 2.1, is now in private alpha. It will include the following:

  • Uses Z sensor for self-calibration in the field
  • Uses small desktop app to load ArduPilot settings and waypoints, without having to work with code
  • Adds throttle to altitude control, improving accuracy and wind performance

Views: 2567

Comment by William on March 10, 2009 at 9:06pm
Great News! This is really starting to get exciting.....
Comment by helitron on March 10, 2009 at 10:52pm
Great, thanks Dean + Jordi !


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on March 10, 2009 at 10:57pm
Who's Dean? ;-)
Comment by helitron on March 10, 2009 at 11:06pm

is it possible to use the Z-sensor of the formerly FMA FS-8 copilot for the 2.1 (have one laying around here) ?

Comment by Noth666 on March 11, 2009 at 1:32am
@helitron: I'd expect that to work once 2.1 is out.

@Chris/Jordi: Does this do coordinated turns or was that just the alpha code? I got my flying wing together and tested indoors last night, was planning on hacking together something from the alpha to use on it.
It's set up with the EM406A, and ardupilot 2.0 pinouts with X/Y head on the analog ins, calibrate on digital.

Also, is there any alpha/beta or similar implementing the airspeed sensor? I should be getting my components to throw one together in a week or two.
Comment by Bryan Cuervo on March 11, 2009 at 5:12am
What am I missing here? The thermopiles stabilize the plane in roll and pitch by controlling the elevator and ailerons. Lat/lon ardupilot navigation is with the rudder.
2.0 is optimized for the EasyStar but this plane doesn't have ailerons. You must have the lateral facing IR sensors controlling roll through rudder/polyhedral. How does this compare to aileron control?
Comment by Remco Bos on March 11, 2009 at 6:58am
Hi Chris,

How do you calibrate the sensor without the control module?
Comment by Gagarien on March 11, 2009 at 7:12am
Remco read this post, it's all done in code with Ardu pilot. If you download the code there is a tab (Infrared) that handle the calibration.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on March 11, 2009 at 7:22am
Bryan: ArduPilot 2.0 uses rudder OR ailerons. On the EasyStar it uses the rudder (since it doesn't have ailerons). On the FunJet it uses ailerons (since it doesn't have a rudder). On the SuperStar it just uses the ailerons and the turns are not coordinated (although that doesn't make any difference for an aircraft like that).

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on March 11, 2009 at 7:22am
Helitron: Yes, the 2.1 code uses the FMA Z sensor.


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