Introducing OpenGSU : Cross-Platform Ground Station


I'm following this community regularly and I must say that I'm very impressed
by all the job done and the good spirit. Congrats to Chris and all the team players!

Some months ago, I started to build a ground station and I realised that
an affordable full-featured ground station with video + data link, antenna tracker,
a good visual way to get some status, in a small shape was not available.

Almost all the features needed their own independant device that need casing, wiring, source
of power, all kind of adaptation, settings to make stuff talking together, dealing with differents
suppliers to finally getting a big heavy mess of wires, connectors, pcbs and boxes.

Then I finally decided to design my own all-in-one integrated solution. So what seemed a simple
step in turning my heli into an UAV turned to a complete project : OpenGSU.


OpenGSU stands for open source ground station unit and the project aims to simplify ground
station building and to provide a rich set of features with the flexibility of open source software.

Today, the opportunity to share my work is sounding great to me, and this is probably due to the
influence of Diydrones sharing spirit.

Here the OpenGSU features list, some are already well running and some are in progress:

- 5.8Ghz Video receiver with two buffered A/V outputs
    - one outputted through an 4-poles jack connector for an LCD, googles or video recorder...
    - one internally connected to an USB video capture allowing the PC getting the video
- Xbee footprint compatible transeiver with independant LDO
- Standalone GCS on color touchscreen feeded by MAVLINK frames
- Standalone SDCard datalogger with real-timestamp (RTC is integrated)
- Standalone Joystick controller allowing control through a regular usb joystick  
- Standalone configurable buzzer-alarm (low battery, signal lost, maximum altitude exceeded ... )
- Standalone Sensorless Antenna tracker based on the data downlink
- 32-bit dev-board allowing execution of custom code
- PC connexion using an unique USB wire allowing (HUB is integrated) :
    - Video link (USB video capture device),
    - Data link (Virtual Com port),
    - Log access (Mass storage device)
    - MCU Firmware update (USB HID bootloader)
    - Compatibility with the well-known GCS : Mission planner and QgroundControl
- Possibility to power from USB only but with some components automatically inhibited.
- 5amp DC/DC with 6-32V voltage input to handle big tracker servos
- Aluminium compact casing or "OEM" version for pelican case machined panel integration

3689502535?profile=original                        Open GSU back panel


                       Open GSU PCB bottom view


                        Open GSU PCB Top view

I'm working currently on a website and it will be online soon.

More details will follow in my next posts.

Meanwhile, Feel free to show your interest.


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  • Super interested! 

  • @Josh,

    Building an All-In-One device is a matter of compromise as there are as many needs as users. The choice of 5.8Ghz is justified because it give enough range at a best price and good integrability at the most common quad/heli RC/UAV user as me. Any way there is an option to disable the internal 5.8ghz receiver and use an external one so you can use the build-in USB video capture device to display video on a notebook.

  • @Jiro,

    Thanks Jiro for your support ! For the data, RF transeiver will be an option and you can use any Xbee footprint compatible transeiver (with an U.FL antenna as it's inside an alu box), I'm pretty sure there is one for your country.

  • @Thomas,

    Obviously there is no "universal" receiver or transmitter, and as I said previously more details will follow and recommanded compatible tx list will be definitely part of it. I'm also thinking of a video transmitter as an option because some people can already have a compatible one. So I don't see any issue here.

  • While having a built in video receiver is nice, most of us who fly at longer ranges or need any real object penetration  don't use 5.8GHz.  Maybe make it an option or leave it modular?

  • Truly nice job and support your project.

    One thing to make sure that your project is worldwide success. The usage of radio frequency is different from each country. So, please make it possible to change wireless module by the end. 

  • Admin


    Possible issue here. Not all 5.8GHz receivers can receive from just any brand of 5.8GHz transmitters. Do you have a list of recommended 5.8GHz transmitters that will work with the built-in receiver?



  • Ready to Buy one now :) Very nice job.

  • Thanks guys for your support, obviously I will keep you informed of any progress!


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