Hello to All,

The purpose of this blog is to share with you some feedbacks about my flights experiences with the ArduPilot onboard.

ArduPilot on EasyGlider videos :
Flight plan mode, Fail Safe and RTH mode has been tested with the ArduPilot :
EasyGlider flight with ArduPilot in windy conditions:

Photos Album :

Jean-Louis Naudin
Email: JeanLouisN777@diydrones.com
DIY DRONES home page : http://diydrones.com/profile/JeanLouisNaudin

Views: 2057

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 2, 2009 at 10:19am

I have recently discovered the ArduPilot board which is an excellent developpement platform. I like and share the spirit of the DIY DRONES team who want to share all their finding with the community through Opensourcing. So, this is why I have choosen this equipment.

Concerning the plane that I am currently using, I have choosen the Easyglider from Multiplex which is a very good flying platform for testing and better powered than the Easystar. It is able to carry up to 500 g of payload which is very usefull for testing. This glider is also crashproof...

Below, you will find the electrical diagram of the ArduPilot installation on my EasyGlider :

I use a Y like connection, the two ailerons and the rudder are electrically connected in parallel on channel 1 of the ArduPilot output. This gives a good mixing during the turn as you may notice in the video of the flight.

The TX40 video CCD camera is powered separately with a 2S1P 800 mA Lipo battery fixed with a velcro under the left wing. With this weight I have seen no significant change in the performance of my glider compared to the original version of Multiplex. I am able to do thermal soaring without problem...

At this moment, I use the ArduPilot v2.3.3, this is the original v2.3.1 with some minor updates, most particularly for the Shield v2 compatibility (mux switching), starting wp set to wp1, Ublox checksum and the GPS status (ready or not) for the telemetry.


Comment by Jordi Muñoz on November 2, 2009 at 11:00am
Wow is nice to ear that you are having successful! Any suggestions or stuff you would like to see in the code, or in the next version of ardupilot?

Best Regards.

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 3, 2009 at 12:31am
Hello Jordi,

You will find below some improvements that I have planned and my todo list about the ArduPilot :

Already done in the v2.3.3 :
- new GPS definition in telemetry, "GPS: gpsfix" in system tab: This is helpfull to know if the GPS is locked for the groundstation.
- new WPT definition in telemetry, "WPT: current_wp" in system tab: The WPN point the "From" and the WPT point the "To" waypoint.
- starting waypoint (i.e. = wp1 and not wp0) can be defined: When the model is launched, it must goes directly to wp1 and not goes to home (wp0) then wp1.

Todo on the current ArduPilot firmware:
- improvement of the track performance in windy conditions by the use of the "lateral track control law"
- emergency RTH in case of "low voltage battery": adding a voltage threshold (low battery voltage) in the header file which switch to RTH mode when it runs on Waypoint mode.
- automatic takeoff and landing sequence. I have already tested successfully the automatic landing with my electric plane, it works well with the FMA Copilot II, so it will work too with the ArduPilot and its thermopiles...

Todo on the ArduPilot Config Tool (APCT):
- improvement of the APCT when it is used in offline mode: Use of pre-calibrated map for mission planing in the field.
- improvement of the APCT as a groundstation for telemetry datas display and datas logging.
- network datalink with third party simulator ( i.e.: Flight gear ).

Comment by Rana on November 3, 2009 at 8:23pm
Excellent Jean-Louis !

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 5, 2009 at 1:07am
Hello, you will find the test of ArduPilot v2.4 with the GPS Emulator.
I have added some update in the original v2.4 which is now the v2.4.1 :
- added HappyKillmore code to be compatible with GPS Emulator
- added Get_Home_Position(void) -> stored into : home_lon, home_lat, home_alt
- added Save_Home_Position(void) -> to store the virtual home postion for the GPS Emulator, so is more easier to do some test at home without the GPS lock. You may store a virtual home position and runs yourself some virtual navigations with the GPS Emulator.
- the starting WP can be now changed to 1 and not to the home when the Waypoint mode is activated, so, when the last wp is reach, the next wp will be the wp1.

In the updated header file "easyglider.h" if you set the GPS_PROTOCOL to 3, the ArduPilot is set automatically for the GPS Emulator...

See the screen copy of the test below :

I shall soon post the full code in a next post. Stay tuned...


Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 5, 2009 at 7:33am

Hello to All,
You will find my latest developpements about the ArduPilot v2.4.1 cited above. This new release is able to runs with the GPS Emulator v1.1.45 and contains some improvements.

The full source of the ArduPilot v2.4.1 can be downloaded here :

More updates will be soon posted at the main project "ardupilotdev" at:

Best Regards,
Jean-Louis Naudin
Comment by James Harwood on November 5, 2009 at 10:10am
Very nice Jean-Louis Naudin! Thank you so much for sharing this important info. You are helping me immensly to understand all this.

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 6, 2009 at 9:46am
Hello to All,

You will find the tested header file for the ArduPilot v2.4.1 that I have tested with my Easyglider today on Nov 6, 2009 in windy condition at : http://ardupilotdev.googlecode.com/files/easyglider24.h

You need only to copy this file in the same folder than the main project file.

Below a photo taken today at a turning point in waypoint mode...

Best Regards,

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on November 9, 2009 at 2:10am
Hello to All ArduPilots,

Air Speed offset bug now corrected. During some tests flights with the original v2.4, I have noticed that the measured Air Speed was a bit crazy and the ASP was -288 on the ground before de launch !!!

see below :

Ardupilot!!! V24

This was due to a bad calibration process of the air speed sensor input (analog3) during the initialisation phase. So, I have corrected this in the v2.4.3, see the result below :

Ardupilot!!! V2.4.3

You will find here : http://code.google.com/p/ardupilotdev/downloads/list
the latest version of the Ardupilot v2.4.3 and the header file for the Easyglider that I have used successfully this WE.

Below the latest improvements since the original v2.4 :
// Last Update : 11-08-09
// Added starting_wp = 1
// Added GPS: gpsfix status for telemetry (System tab )
// Added WPT: current_wp for telemetry (System tab )
// Added HappyKillmore code for GPS Emulator (GPS_EMUL tab)
// Added Get_Home_Position(void) -> stored into : home_lon, home_lat, home_alt (see Waypoint tab)
// Added A-1 GPS_PROTOCOL 3 in the easyglider24.h header file for GPS Emulator
// Added Save_Home_Position(void) -> to store the virtual home postion and alt for the GPS Emulator (see System tab)
// Correction of the air_speed_offset bug which gives -289 (!!!) of airspeed...( Sensors tab )
// Air_speed_offset bug now corrected, added zasp_req=1 a request flag for Zero Air Speed bias during the catch_analogs Mux

Comment by Nick Sargeant on November 10, 2009 at 4:36am
Congratulations on your progress and thank you for publishing documentation.
Have you tested the ardupilot connected to the EZ glider's elevator and ailerons only (no rudder)?


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