On nov 15,2009, this was a great day, my ASP XR-01 UAV fully equiped with the ArduPilot v2.4.6 has done successfully its first series of 10 full autonomous flights under the flight plan. The ASP XR-01 is a customized version of the Sonicliner from Multiplex, my model has already done a lot of flights since 2007 but only with a FMA thermopile based Copilot. Today, I have replaced the FMA Copilot by the full ArduPilot with 6 thermopiles, the shield v2 with its pressure sensors, a GPS and a full downlink telemetry system which communicates with my handheld ground station.
The weather was windy at the morning (7 m/s SW gusting 9 m/s).
I have conducted various tests flights :
- full autonomous tests flights with a regular pre-recorded flight plan with 3 waypoints,
- the self-learning mode of the v2.4.6: the 3D waypoints have been recorded in flight and then replayed again in full autonomous mode,
- the automatic RTH (Return To Home) when the R/C transmitter is switched Off...
All these tests flights have been done successfully.
The ArduPilot firmware has been updated to the v2.4.6. This new personnal release includes a new parameter which is the GPS_MINIMUM ( this is the parameter 8-10 added in the header file). GPS_MINIMUM is the minimum ground speed required in case of strong front wind. In this case this was 3 m/s.
Below, onboard video of a full autonomous flight in windy conditions :