Autonomous Cross Country Glider (AXCG) project

Hello all.

I've been a long time lurker on this website, checking it almost daily. The last couple of months i was working on my bachelors project which consisted of designing from scratch an autopilot for a RC glider. During that time, this website proved to be invaluable and i would like to share my work hoping that, in return, it could help someone else.


The project was separated in two parts: a semester project which then continued as a bachelors project.

During the semester project, all the hardware was deigned, as well as the low level embedded programming.


During the bachelors project, an initial model of the aircraft was created in Simulink using XFLR5 and AVL.

Then using experimental data logs, I was able to determine simple transfer functions which were used to compute the different PID gains.


In parallel, I programmed a ground control station (Mission Control) which was greatly inspired from happykillmore's GSC (as you can probably notice).

The aircraft i used for the project was the AXN Floater from hobbyking. Here's a picture of the aircraft with the autopilot mounted:



For the final test flight, a small circuit was entered using the mission control application. The aircraft managed to complete two circuits before the battery ran out (it was the 8th test using the same battery). The two plots show the track the aircraft flew, and the pitch and roll closed loop angles:

For more details, you can download both reports here: (Semester report) (Bachelor report)


If you guys have any questions / comments, or want more details feel free to ask :).


- Alex



Views: 4952

Comment by Paul Mather on July 13, 2011 at 10:21am

When are you going to start selling the board?


PS, nice GCS :)

Comment by bGatti on July 13, 2011 at 7:14pm

What are the board modules? IMU on top there and a GPS?

CPU on the Bottom?


Comment by bGatti on July 13, 2011 at 7:16pm
well nevermind - it's all in the pdf's of course...
Comment by bGatti on July 13, 2011 at 7:21pm

$590 for parts.


Comment by Ryan Beall on July 13, 2011 at 7:25pm
Awesome work man! I'd be interested in your sys ident matlab scripts.
Comment by Nigam Patel on July 13, 2011 at 8:54pm

great job 


Comment by Richard T Leiterman on July 14, 2011 at 1:44am

Fantastic job Alex.  I too would like to be keep abreast of your Autonomous Cross Country Glider (AXCG)

project.  Pls take care of yourself, and best of luck in your studies.  Richard T.

Comment by Kirill on July 14, 2011 at 1:49am
Very nice!
Comment by Alex Pabouctisids on July 14, 2011 at 4:39am

thanks you all for the kind words.


Thanks again to Paul Mather for your gsc, as you can probably tell it helped speed things up quite a bit ;). As for selling the board, there are still small changes I'd like to make and features to add as well as trying to design a lower cost version, but if the interest is there i could always consider it a possibility.


As for the sys ident scripts, there aren't any really. you have to use the ident tool box and manually select the data you want to use etc. it's rather simple once you know how to use the tool box (and if you stick to simple linear SISO systems). if you need a more step by step guide of how to use it let me know.

Comment by Mark Colwell on July 14, 2011 at 5:03am
Nicely designed AP board, but AHRS is way too expensive, OilPan should work well with your AP, I would add a second Spectrum RX port too, I would like to reuse your ST32 code and libraries, Your PID control setup approach is very interesting. I will use your reports as a reference, Thanks for sharing.


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