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Re: [Paparazzi-devel] custom autopilots

From: Felix Ruess
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] custom autopilots
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2011 17:15:55 +0100

Hi again,

The most elegant solution I think would be to use a Lisa/L board together with a gumstix (nice, small and light).
But if you want to reuse your current hardware the benefits of using Lisa/L are not so big, so you might as well stick to a Twog (Tiny without GPS). But on the Lisa boards you also have the newer STM32 (ARM cortex-M3) instead of the old LPC2148 (ARM7-TDMI). The code for the stm32 is not quite as stable yet, but the stm32 offers quite a few advantages (more processing power, CAN, and more UARTs).

And using you I2C IMU should not require much work, you can base it on one of the existing ones.

Cheers, Felix

On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Gareth Roberts <address@hidden> wrote:

If you are looking at using an external board anyway how about the traditional Tiny?
It should be possible to alter the code so you can control flight at a higher level via the serial port from a connected linux board computer?
You could then poll the tiny for GPS information and all the peripheral attachments you need are already there.


On Wed, 12 Jan 2011 15:50:14 -0000, Maikel Punie <address@hidden> wrote:

maybe i should have a look at those boards then,

any sugestion on what board? since i have no idea what board to use.
about the gps: it supports nmea or SirfBinary format, but it seems that the
sirf binary format is not supported,
What about the imu on i2c should it be possible to integrate that one?


On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 16:38, Felix Ruess <address@hidden> wrote:

Hi Maikel,

What limitations do you see? Any hw/technical limitations or is this more
concerned with availability?\

buying another board an all new hardware,
we already have all the hardware (except the failsafe rc part)

so if we are going with a paparazzi board we will need to drop all out
hardware and start over, or is there a possibility to integrate our own
modem, gps servo controller and stuff with the paparazzi boards?

Of course you can integrate your modem and GPS with paparazzi.
- Modem should be trivial (probably nothing to be done here at all as long
as your modems can provide a transparent, serial-like, link and don't need
any fancy in-the-air configuration).
- GPS should not be a really big deal either (although the paparazzi NMEA
parser is not really good and nobody uses it afaik). So you would probably
want to have a look at the parser and make sure it works always and does not
hang up on unexpected packets. NMEA is not really nice in my (and a lot of
other peoples) opinion anyway.... but that is not the point here of course.
- Your servo controller you would very likely not need at all, since that
is already directly on the paparazzi boards.

Nevertheless, personally I think it would be nice to have support to run
all the paparazzi stuff in linux userland. That being said, I don't think
this is a very good idea in a lot of cases. (You loose tight control over
timing, you should probably use a RT linux, etc.)
Imho it often makes more sense do do the sensor interfacing and fast
estimation/control loops directly on a dedicated board and only do higher
level (navigation, payload, perception, etc.) on a (especially when it is a
non-realtime) linux board.

Cheers, Felix

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