pixhawk (6)

Application of TF-Luna in Pixhawk

TF-Luna can directly be connected with the serial port of Pixhawk. TF-Luna can be used in flight device

for the purpose of altitude holding or obstacle avoidance. This document is suitable to Pixhawk adopts ArduCopter V4.0.0 or higher firmware.

Example for connecting Pixhawk:


Figure 1 Schematic Diagram of Connecting TF-Luna with TELEM 2 Interface (Serial Port 2) of Pixhawk

a)MissionPlanner configuration description of TF-Luna for the purpose of altitude hold


Connect the flight control board to MP.Attention:the installation height should be bigger than non-detection zone.Select [Full Parameter List] in the left from the below bar- [CONFIG/TUNING] . Find and modify the following parameters:

SERIAL2_PROTOCOL = 9    [Rangefinder option]


SERIAL2_BAUD = 115    [Choose the current LiDAR baud rate,if haven’t been changed,the default baud rate 115200 should be selected,that is 115]

RNGFND_TYPE = 20    [Same option with TFmini]


RNGFND_MIN_CM = 20    [It could be changed according to real demands and should be bigger LiDAR than non-detection zone,unit is cm]

RNGFND_MAX_CM = 200      [It could be changed according to real demands but should be smaller than

effective measure range of LiDAR,unit is cm]


RNGFND_GNDCLEAR = 15    [expressed in cm, depending upon mounting height of the module and

should be bigger LiDAR than non-detection zone]


RNGFND_ORIENT=25    [face down]




Upon setting of these parameters, click [Write Params] on the right of the software to finish.


If the error message “Bad Lidar Health” appears, please check if the connection is correct and the power supply is normal, then restart Pixhawk.

How to see the altitude value from LiDAR sensor: double click the area of the Mission Planner, see the following picture:


Select option sonarrange,see following picture:



The altitude distance from the LiDAR will be displayed in Sonar Range(meters),see the following picture:

b)  MissionPlannerconfiguration description of TF-Luna for the purpose of Obstacle Avoidance


It’s only recommended to be used in Loiter mode, the detail setting is as followings:


Connect the flight control board to MP. Attention:distance between UAV margin and LiDAR should be bigger than LiDAR non-detection zone.  Select  [Full Parameter List] in the left from the below bar- [CONFIG/TUNING] . Find and modify the following parameters:

AVOID_MARGIN=3 [Unit: m, set obstacle avoidance distance as required]

SERIAL2_PROTOCOL = 9    [Rangefinder option]


SERIAL2_BAUD = 115    [Choose the current LiDAR baud rate,if haven’t been changed,the default baud rate 115200 should be selected,that is 115]

RNGFND_TYPE = 20    [Same option with TFmini]


RNGFND_MIN_CM = 20      [It could be changed according to real demands and should be bigger LiDAR

than non-detection zone,unit is cm]


RNGFND_MAX_CM = 200    [It could be changed according to real demands but should be smaller than effective measure range of LiDAR,unit is cm]

RNGFND_GNDCLEAR = 15    [Unit: cm, depending upon mounting height of the module and should be bigger LiDAR than non-detection zone]

RNGFND_ORIENT=0      [It depends on the LiDAR’s real installation direction,0~7 is supported up to

now,see detail in MP]


PRX_TYPE=4        [RangeFinder should be selected for proximity sensor in obstacle avoidance mode]


Upon setting of these parameters, click [Write Params] on the right of the software to finish.


If the error message “Bad Lidar Health” appears, please check if the connection is correct and the power supply is normal, then restart Pixhawk.

How to see the target distance from the LiDAR:(distance from LiDAR in obstacle avoidance can’t be displayed in sonarrange option )press Ctrl+F button in keyboard,the following window will pop out:


Click button Proximity,the following window will appear: 


The number in green color means the distance from LiDAR in obstcle avoidance mode  (the number only refresh when this window open,close,zoom in or zoom out,it doesn’t mean the real time distance from LiDAR and will not be influenced in Mission Planner version under v1.3.48,the problem could be solved by updating Mission Planner)


    Attach:If TELEM 2 port has been used ,SERIAL4/5 interface could be used,the other setting are same


Figure 2 Schematic Diagram of Connecting TF-Luna with SERIAL4/5 Interface (Serial Port 4/5) of Pixhawk

Configuration Descriptions of Mission Planner


Connect  flight  control  board  to  MP,  Select  [Full  Parameter  List]  in  the  left  from  the  below  bar [CONFIG/TUNING] . Find and modify following parameters:




Upon setting of these parameters, the other parameters should be same as Mission Planner configuration description of TF-Luna for the purpose of Obstacle Avoidance or Altitude Holding,then click [Write Params] on the right of the software to finish.

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The ultimate solution for remote sensing and IoT monitoring applications, this module can be easily used on unmanned systems for research, meteorological applications, wildfire monitoring systems, and security applications.


This Plug and Play module directly connects to the TELEM1/2 port of your Pixhawk system to provide satellite telemetry, easy to set up, and to use with QGC or other ground station software.


This system integrates an Iridium 9603 module to transmit telemetry information wherever on the planet.


Starts at 699€

For more details: heimdallai@gmail.com

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ArduRover Skid Steering

Hi, I'm building ArduRover with Skid Steering, The platform are base of DFROBOT Pirate 4WD and using 2 DC Motor L298N



I'm using the firmare for Pixhawk 1 (fmuv3)


and according the ardupilot docs for Rover
My config for CH1 and CH 3 are

For “Skid steering” vehicles (like R2D2) these parameters values will need to be set:

Actualy its depend on your wiring setup at L298N for direction


Here is the schematic of how I wiring it.


The ENA and ENB jumper was remove.

For skid-steering vehicles like the Pirate 4WD from DFROBOT


In my transmitter when throttle is zero the the ch1 push left a quarter, it will rotate the rover to left (left wheel stop - right wheel move) and also the opposite. But if push full it will move fast forward.

If the ch 3 push half more (55%) it will move forward slowly. I'm still setup some parameters for smooth moving.


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The main focus of this research is to develop a real-time forest fire monitoring system using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The UAV is equipped with sensors, a mini processor (Raspberry Pi) and Ardu Pilot Mega (APM) for the flight controller. This system used five sensors. The first is a temperature sensor that served to measure the temperature in the monitored forest area. The others sensors are embedded in the APM. There are a barometer, Global Positioning Sensor (GPS), inertial measurement unit (IMU) and compass sensor. GPS and compass are used in the navigation system. The barometer measured the air pressure that is used as a reference to maintain the height of the UAV. The IMU consists of accelerometer and gyroscope sensors that are used to estimate the vehicle position. The temperature data from the sensor and the data from GPS are processed by the Raspberry Pi 3, which serves as a mini processor. The results of the data processing are sent to the server to be accessible online and real-time on the website. The data transmission used the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) system. The experimental setup was carried out in an area of 40 meters × 40 meters with 10 hotspots. The diameter of the hotspots is 0.4 meters with a height of 0.5 meters. The UAV is flown at a constant speed of 5 m/s at an altitude of 20 meters above the ground. The flight path is set by using a mission planner so the UAV can fly autonomously. The experimental results show that the system could detect seven hotspots in the first trial and nine hotspots in the second trial. This happened because there is some data loss in the transmission process. Other results indicate that the coordinates of hotspots detected by the UAV have a deviation error of approximately 1 meter from the actual fire point coordinates. This is still within the standard GPS accuracy as this system uses GPS with a range accuracy of 2.5 meters. 

You can Download this article on Research Gate or Journal of Engineering Science and Technology

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FlytBase, Inc. flagship product FlytNow is a cloud-based drone video streaming & fleet management solution, which provides a web-based portal to manage live drone operations remotely over 4G/LTE/5G. FlytNow provides live HD video feed, drone & camera gimbal control, and telemetry at ultra-low latency over the internet.

To empower users with the ability to use drones from a variety of manufacturers, FlytBase has now launched a Companion Computer (SBC) based Cloud Connect Software Module for the FlytNow platform. The software module supports custom drones using the firmware PX4 and Ardupilot, and popular autopilots like Pixhawk, Cubepilot, mRo X2.1 (a reduced version of Pixhawk1), Pixhawk4, Pixhawk5, etc. It also supports enterprise DJI drones like  DJI M210, M210 RTK, M300 RTK, M600, etc. and flight DJI controllers: A3 and N3. 

Role of custom drones

Custom drones built for a particular use-case provide better capabilities and efficiency compared to standard off-the-shelf drones. For example, in delivery operations, drones are required to fly long distances and carry heavy payloads; custom VTOL drones can fulfill such requirements. Similarly, for security, public safety, and emergency operations, drones that can carry specialize payload (thermal camera, loudspeaker, beacons, etc) and can transmit data securely are better suited, which can be achieved through a custom-built.  

How the PX4/Ardupilot Cloud Connect Module Works?

The cloud-connect module is a software solution to connect Pixhawk & CubePilot based Drones with FlytNow Business and FlytNow Enterprise.


Users can install the software on a companion computer of their choice (Jetson Nano, Jetson Xavier NX, Raspberry Pi 3b+/4 Odroid N2, DJI Manifold 2) and then connect the companion computer (SBC) directly to a drone’s flight controller. Once integrated, the drone can directly connect with FlytNow Business/Enterprise over 4G/LTE/5G/WiFi network through USB/Ethernet dongle or router on the companion computer. 






Why Connect to FlytNow Business/Enterprise Edition?


Connecting a drone with FlytNow using an SBC allows a user to perform remote drone operations with the drone fleet. It also enables EVLOS or BVLOS (might require regulatory clearance) flights, thus opening up business opportunities in security & surveillance, drone delivery, mapping & surveys, public safety, emergency response, inspections, etc.

“FlytNow compatibility with PX4, Ardupilot, and DJI drones allows system integrators, commercial drone operators, and subject matter experts to use a hybrid fleet of drones better suited to their requirements. 
Subject matter experts or operation heads can now see live HD video feed, telemetry at the back office as the drone operation commences on the field. This adds a lot of value for drone teams and leads to better management, ultimately saving time & cost.” - Achal Negi, Head of Business Development at FlytBase.

The FlytNow Business Edition provides out-of-the-box capabilities for operators involved in security, surveillance, public safety & emergency response. Whereas, the Enterprise version provides customization and end-to-end automation to scale drone operations with a large fleet for use-cases such as drone delivery, automated surveys, inspections, and monitoring.

Stakeholders that use the FlytNow Business/Enterprise for drone operations can:


  • Connect, control, and live stream videos from drones over 4G/LTE/5G network.
  • Connect multiple drones and control them from a single web-based dashboard. 
  • Live-stream multiple video-feeds and share them with third parties via email.
  • Connect to a private cloud for video archiving. 
  • Initiate advanced failsafes like RTH (Return to Home) to automatically make a drone return base and ELP (Emergency Landing Point), available only in the Enterprise version, which allows a drone to land on a predefined point along a route in case of an emergency.
  • Integrate with third-party airspace information service providers like Airmap (an Enterprise feature). This feature is crucial for BVLOS and EVLOS flights. 
  • Create advanced geofence using polygons in the Enterprise version. 
  • Integrate precision landing and collision avoidance capabilities (only in Enterprise version)

How do I get started?

  1. To get started with FlytNow, sign up for a 28-day free trial at https://app.flytnow.com

  2. To connect your Pixhawk/Cubepilot drone choose the supported drone hardware and install the software following the documentation given at https://docs.flytbase.com

  3. Cloud connect software module and license can be purchased at https://store.flytbase.com/product/flytnow-bvlos-kit/

Have questions about FlytNow Pro/Business/Enterprise and supported hardware?
Schedule a 30-min free consultation with FlytNow expert -- drop a message at

You may also join FlytNow user community on Facebook, LinkedIn, and FlytForums (forums.flytnow.com)

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