May 18 2004
Once again sorry for the late update.
The code went through a major reorganization. The paparazzi module is now obsolete and unmaintained. Please use the code in the paparazzi2 [ http://savannah.nongnu.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs/paparazzi/paparazzi2/ ] module. It uses XML config files (for aircraft, missions etc..) instead of the previous header system. There is also a preliminary GUI to edit the configuration (try "make configure" in the top directory).
We are working on missions description. A group of ENAC students is coding a mission editor GUI. The new missions will feature different type of basic navigation steps (like way-point, heading, beacon, circles etc..), basic control on them and an exception mechanism to allow rerouting. We hope it will be general enough to allow many type of missions and simple enough to generate code that will fit in the mega128. We have place. We only use 23k on the 128k of available flash :).
We have plugged the festival [ http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/projects/festival/ ] speech synthetiser to our ground station. Its very handy to announce checklists and alarms.
v1.2 board : We have reworked the controller board. It now has a single crystal, consist of two stacked boards and is much smaller. The top board is the CPU board. It contains the two MCUs and the modem. The bottom one can be adapted to suit needs. The example board has one switching power supply, a servo driver and a hall effect current sensor. Makefiles can now invoke eagle CAM batch processor and output various format (ps pdf gerber). Furthermore they can use the gerbmerge [ http://claymore.engineer.gvsu.edu/~steriana/Python/gerbmerge/ ] program to generate a panel that can be sent to a PCB manufacturer. We have tested a homemade prototype. We are waiting for our first eurocircuit boards. They will have platted holes and solder-mask.
We also have swapped our SAM GPS module for a SAM-LS (tim-lp based) one. It is faster, more accurate and more flexible (dynamic model etc...). Trajectories are now much cleaner, even in "high wind" conditions. The plane has followed "beacons" [ http://www.nongnu.org/paparazzi/images/cockpit.jpg ] accurately. We are getting closer to automatic landing.
We have fitted lipo batteries in our twinstar and now have flight durations in excess of 45 minutes. The higher voltage (12V vs 9.6V) and lesser weight (minus 300g) also leads to much better flight qualities. We are planning to replace the speed400 electric motors with brushless ones to further improve this.
27 may 2004
We have received and assembled the fisrt eurocircuits v1.2 prototype [ http://www.nongnu.org/paparazzi/images/ctl_brd_v1.2.jpg ]. It went very well thanks to platted holes and solder mask. We hope to make it fly this week end.
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