Successful 10 Km full autonomous flight of the MAJA drone with an ArduPilotMega

The MAJA drone has successfully done a 10 Km autonomous mission under flight plan on May 28, 2011. The purpose of my mission challenge is to succeed in a full 10 km autonomous navigation under a flight plan (FPL) with only the steering of the ArduPilotMega and its firmware (v2.2f JLN).
- All the 8 waypoints of the MAJA drone has been defined so as to be in line of sight of the pilot (me) who is able to override the autopilot and take the manual control in case of emergency.
- An automatic RTH (Return To Home) has been programmed in case of failsafe conditions (i.e. LOS (Loss Of Signal).
- The FPL is composed of 8 waypoints and the MAJA drone autopilot runs the FPL during 3 loops of about 3.35 KM. The full flight have been recorded with a GoPro HD wide camera.
- The MAJA drone is fully steered with an ArduPilotMega (APM v1.4) autopilot with a 9D0F IMU and the firmware v2.2f (JLN modified version based on the original APM v2.1 firmware).

The battery level, the RSSI level was monitored by the M-Link telemetry on my Royal PRO 9 (Multiplex) transmitter. After a 15 minutes flight time the Lipo (3S,11.1V 3300 mAh NanoTech) power battery level was 37%.

The weather conditions: Wind 16 Km/h from West.

The MAJA drone setup:

Avionic setup:
- ArduPilotMega APM v1.4 (Atmega 1280 @16 MHz), 32 Mips
- Full 9DOF IMU,
- Built-in 16 MB Data Logger,
- Airspeed and absolute pressure sensors (Bosh),
- triple axis magnetometer HMC5843,
- 10Hz Mediatek GPS MTK v1.6,
- Full high speed telemetry with MavLink protocol,
- Low speed telemetry with M-Link,
- High Speed Telemetry (Mavlink).
- PC Laptop ground station (APM planner),
- Hand-held groundstation (Ardustation),

Firmware: APM v2.2f (modified version by JLN)
Camera: GoPro HD Wide

- Brushless motor: Spitz 30 (BMI) 360 Watts (Max 480W),
- propeller thin APC-E 12x6,
- ESC: BMI #85505 C-45 (45-55A),
- 4 servos Corona CS-929 MG (1.8, 12.5g),
- Propulsion battery: Lipo 3S Turnigy Nanotech 3300mAh 11.1V,
- Avionic battery: Lipo 3S Turnigy Nanotech 2200 mAh 11.1V,
- UBec 5A, 5V for the Avionics (ArduPilotMega + Receiver),
- Receiver: Multiplex RX9 DR with M-Link telemetry.

I am very grateful to the ArduPilot dev team and to all the contributors of the APM project:
Doug Weibel, Jose Julio, Jordi Munoz, Jason Short, Chris Anderson, HappyKillMore, Bill Premerlani, James Cohen, JB from rotorFX, Automatik, Fefenin, Peter Meister, Remzibi...

More infos at:

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