SmartAP – Multirotor UAV autopilot for commercial and research purposes

The contemporary market offers a number of autopilots for MAV in the budget price range. Rapid development of electronic technologies allows expanding functional capabilities of flight controllers, therefore making existing ones obsolete. SmartAP – is an autopilot, developed using the latest element base at the moment, which allowed us to include maximum functionality in minimum dimensions (printed circuit board size is 60x40mm, weight 14g). The hardware is universal in application for both fixed wing and multicopter MAVs, but the emphasis is made on multicopters. This autopilot is being developed for commercial use because of its competitive price, as well as for research applications due to its powerful ARM based processor and support of SD card for logging high volumes of flight data.

Along with ordinary functions such as stabilization, altitude hold, GPS position hold, and waypoint flight modes it’s also planned to add a special simplified manual control mode. Implementation of automatic PID tweaking is also planned. One of the key features of the autopilot’s hardware is MEMS integrated inertial measurement system from Invensense company, which enables to calculate MAV attitude without participation of main microcontroller. Also we are thinking about implementing some interesting features, which no one of existing autopilots has today.

Specifications of the autopilot:

  • PCB size 60x40mm, (4 layers), weight 14g

  • 72MHz STM32 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller

  • 6 PWM inputs, 6 PWM outputs

  • IMU – Invensense MPU-6050 (using internal DMP)

  • Magnetometer – HMC5883

  • Pressure sensor – BMP085

  • UART port for wireless telemetry connection (e.g. Xbee)

  • MicroSD card slot for flight data logging

  • GPS port

  • Sonar port

  • Airspeed sensor port

At the moment, a few copies of the hardware are ready for debugging the first final version of the software to make maiden flight.

All further information about SmartAP project you may ask by sending email at [email protected]