January 23 2005
Added a style-sheet and a video gallery [ http://www.nongnu.org/paparazzi/gallery_video.html
] to the site.
On the hardware side, we are working with Gordon from Gumstix [ http://www.gumstix.com/
] on the next revision of the controller board. He intends to build and sell it
in his online shop. The new board will maintain the current version capabilities
while allowing to be used as a Gumstix daughter-board for Linux enabled operations
:) We are still discussing the architecture, so if you have remarks, this is just
the right time....
On the software side, there's been much going on.
- Thanx to Yann Lefablec, we have this nice 3D view [ http://www.nongnu.org/paparazzi/images/3d_track.jpg
] which uses SRTM data to create mountains on 2d maps.
- The mission language has evolved to add support for a "library" of mission
blocks - We got fed up with reprogramming landing circuit for every place we
- We've had a lot of requests for a binary release. This is not an easy task,
because even a binary release has to handle the generation and compilation of
source code to generate airborne programs. We had to make a major reorganization
to split between static and "dynamic" code. This was not really compatible with
a simple branching, so we've created a new module ( paparazzi3 )
- We've used the opportunity of this new module to add support for multiple
aircrafts. This wasn't an easy task either. We wanted to be able to mix real
data with replay and simulation. We've introduced a level of indirection in
the telemetry protocol. The GUIs aren't feed anymore by raw telemetry messages
( they can if they want ) but by more efficient synthetic messages. They include
interpolated data from several raw telemetry messages plus some informations
added by the ground station ( like AGL using SRTM or heading from ground wind
estimation). Another problem we add to deal with was the generation of several
instances of the code for multiple aircrafts and the complexity of implied dependencies.
- All GUIs had also to be redone to adapt to multiple aircrafts. We've had
to introduce 'ATC-like' features. For example when you select an aircraft on
the map, his cockpit and flight plan will be displayed in appropriate applications.
- Due to all the things we've put in this new version, it is taking a little
longer that expected to come. It is still lacking functionalities and has only
been tested with simulator. Nevertheless, we've put it at savannah so if you
want to look at it or help us, you're welcome. But for flying, stick to paparazzi2
On the airframe side, the eta and the easystar [ http://www.nongnu.org/paparazzi/airplane_others.html
] are still waiting in there boxes :( We have build a new microjet with everything
buried in the wings (see pics on the aircraft page [ http://www.nongnu.org/paparazzi/airplane_microjet.html
]). The bungee launch [ http://www.nongnu.org/paparazzi/gallery_video.html ] methods
is now well tested.
On the project side, our project is now endorsed [ http://www.recherche.enac.fr/paparazzi/
] by ENAC [ http://www.enac.fr/ ], the french civil aviation school. It is using
it as a support for many fields that are taught there. Some of the projects we have
have with them involve
- Human-Machine Interactions Laboratory : There is a group of students working
on the ground station. There are trying to apply the knowledge and methods of
the ATC field to our ground station. Most of the ergonomy problems we meet are
well known to ATC software designer.
- Microwave Laboratory : They are working on designing light and efficient
antennas using the structure of the airplane. They are also helping us solve
the important EMI problems we meet when shrinking the size of aircrafts.
- Signal Processing Laboratory : They are working on the telemetry encoding.
They also have a project of attitude determination using several GPS receivers.
- Computer Science Laboratory : They are working on the certification ( they
use the word "qualification" ) of the critical code using formal methods.
This more "formal" status given to us by ENAC made it also possible to work more
officially with other partners. Among them we have
- University of Adelaide and University of Paris-6 : They are working on image
processing. We should soon try one of these babies [ http://www.bev.lu/gvpp/Technology
] in our aircrafts.
- University of Arizona : They are champions at flying incredibly small machines.
How tiny can a Paparazzi be ? 250g seems a possible target .
- A well known industrial which is hiring a student during 9 month to test
fly our microjet and evaluate the needs it could fill.
Well this was a bit long, but the last update dated back 4 month ago :)
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