All posts by Gautier Hattenberger

New Paparazzi autopilot Chimera released

The ENAC UAV lab is proud to release its latest autopilot board.  Named Chimera, it is based on the latest STM32F7 micro-controller and offers a large connectivity.

The design have been made with the ease of use and integration for end-users, especially researchers. With the usual features like IMU and barometer, the Chimera also carries a differential pressure sensor, a SD card slot, a XBee modem slot and a 5V power supply dedicated to external companion processor.

Please check the general pinout diagram below or the Wiki page for more details.

The Chimera have been successfully used on the hybrid airframe currently developed by Enac with the help of TUDelft for the control.

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Flying Parrot’s Disco aircraft with Paparazzi

The Disco from Parrot is a fixed-wing aircraft designed for FPV with all the feature already available on their Bebop2, plus some extra things, like airspeed sensor, SBUS input and PWM outputs.

The autopilot itself is all integrated in a box called C.H.U.C.K. and it allows nice and easy flights with the SkyController2 and the Cockpitglasses, connected via Wifi.

Just like the Bebop and ARDrones, it is now possible to fly this drone using Paparazzi. Just connect to the plane, upload your code and you’re ready to go! Here is the video of the maiden flight:

More information are available on the wiki: http://wiki.paparazziuav.org/wiki/Disco

Special thanks to ArduPilot and Andrew Tridgell who implemented the driver for PWM output on this plane and his tips for debugging the Paparazzi version.

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IMAV2016

The International Micro-Air Vehicle Conference and Competition was held last week in Beijing, China, organized by the Beijing Institute of Technology and the National University of Singapore.

As usual, the level of the teams involved in the competition is higher year after year and we had a great show. The team from the MAVLAB of TUDelft was participating to both indoor and outdoor session. During the outdoor, they unfortunately couldn’t show their best due to many communication issues, preventing them to fully use their RTK Bebop2 (and also some regressions in Paparazzi code, hum hum… 🙁 ).

The next day, the indoor team did its best to perform well. And despite the difficult tasks to pick up and drop objects, they tried hard until the end. It was worth the effort as they reached the 3rd place of the competition, a few points ahead the Spanish team of Madrid (CVG-UPM)! We could almost call it a draw as both team really did their best with great spirit.

imav2016_delft_team

But, this was not their only great achievement. The paper Control of a hybrid helicopter with wings by Christophe De Wagter and Ewoud Smeur received the Best Paper Award of the conference for their work on the control issues raised by the novel design of the Delftacopter and the solution they found to solve them. Congratulation to them and all the team involved in the Delftacopter!

imav2016_paper_award

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Drones vs. Retro-gaming: fly with a Game Boy Classic

Some time ago, I found my old Game Boy at my parents’ house. So the first thing that came to my mind was: can I fly a drone with this ? (and also where is my Mario Bros cartridge).

So I spend some time searching the web to see if I could find some idea to solve my problem. And if it seems that piloting unmanned aircraft with a Game Boy is not so common, you can find everything you need to program it!

But you can’t expect to go directly to an old custom serial com port to a wifi-based drone without some intermediate steps:

gb-ardrone2-wiringFinally, the Game Boy is just sending the bitmask corresponding to the buttons being pressed (with an Arduino and a FTDI to convert Game Link signals to USB), and a small program on the ground station converts this into actual commands for the drone (an ARDrone2 from Parrot with an extra GPS in my case).

The result is here:

See https://github.com/enacuavlab/PPRZonGB for more information and source code of this demo.

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Flights at the ISARRA2016 conference

Last May, the ISARRA conference (International Society for Atmospheric Research using Remotely Piloted Aircraft) was held in Toulouse, France (http://www.meteo.fr/cic/meetings/2016/isarra/).

The week before the conference, a few teams of researchers gathered to share experiences and fly their drones at the Atmospheric Research Center of Lannemezan near the Pyrenees. Among them was some of the oldest users of Paparazzi: Martin Muller (http://blog.pfump.org), the team of Joachim Reuder from the Geophysical Institute of Bergen, the UAV Lab of ENAC and the French Meteorological Research Center who was hosting the event.

Many flights have been done, including for the ENAC lab, the first flight using ChibiOS v3 implementation and some autonomous catapult takeoff.

 

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Multi-UAV flights for simultaneous meteorological measurements

ENAC UAV Lab team and Meteo-France (CNRS-GAME and ENM) teams have spent several days at the Atmospheric Research Center of Lannemezan (in the south of France) in order to perform experiments for simultaneous meteorological measurements through multi-UAV flight.

This was part of a research project called VOLTIGE aimed at studying the formation of cloud and fog events. One of the planes is measuring the turbulence near the ground, a second plane is flying above the cloud or the fog with a radiation sensor and the last one is making a vertical profile of temperature, pressure and humidity up to 1500 meters AGL.GCS screenshot multi-uav

All the planes were controlled by Paparazzi UAV Apogee boards, with on-board logging on SD cards and navigation patterns triggered by sensors readings.

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