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[Paparazzi-devel] modifying AP behavior re HOME position and flight mode

From: John Burt
Subject: [Paparazzi-devel] modifying AP behavior re HOME position and flight modes
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 12:26:08 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20081209)

Dear Paparazziphiles,

I'm developing a Paparazzi based UAV system to aid biological research in remote field environments. In some circumstances, I will need to be able to occasionally operate the UAV a) with limited or no real-time telemetry link (i.e., no ground station), and b) from launch sites that were not pre-planned in advance. From my reading of the documentation and code, and my early test flights using GCS, I think I may need to modify the AP code to get the features I need. Can someone please offer any advice on how to do the following:

a) Operate the UAV with no radio telemetry link. To get this, I think I need to disable the trigger that aborts mission with loss of telemetry signal? Also, I'd like to change the mode behavior to work like this: - loss of RC TX signal in _any_ mode for X seconds = abort and home to launch site
- loss of telemetry link = no change

Does this require a change to the C code (and where), or can this be configured in an XML config file?

b) How can I set up the AP code to execute a single flight plan that is centered on the launch point, wherever it is? As I understand the current flight plan config, all waypoints are relative to the HOME waypoint, _but_ the HOME waypoint is itself a fixed (absolute) GPS position specified in the flight plan. How can I modify this behavior so that HOME is set at launch time? For example, imagine this scenario (which does not use a ground station link): - On a remote road, I stop my truck and pull out my UAV, put in a fresh battery, and turn on the AP and RC TX w/ mode switch set to MANUAL. When the AP GPS reports a sat fix, I switch to AUTO1 mode, which tells the AP that this position is now HOME. I then launch the plane and switch to AUTO2 mode, allowing the plane to fly a course relative to the launch point based on a pre-programmed flight plan. If I switch off the RC TX, then the UAV will abort the mission and return to the launch point (HOME). - At the end of the mission, I land the plane, drive ten miles down the road, and repeat above step from the new launch point.

Thank you in advance - Paparazzi is an amazing project and I'm very excited about the possibilities of using it in research and conservation applications.

John Burt

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