Thursday, March 11, 2010

Paparazzi Autopilot System for RC Airplanes

Paparazzi Autopilot System by paparazzi project
Paparazzi is an open source project in order to create an autopilot system for RC model airplanes in an attempt to make it easy and affordable for all.

This autopilot system uses Linux platform which enables the use of Beagle Board. Using Beagle Board is an affordable solution for autopilot systems used in RC airplanes. Since Beagle Board is a computer, it can be used to carry out a bunch of different operations such as attitude control, altitude control, airspeed control. Also, sonars equipped with USB data transfer facilities can be used in order to detect obstacles and navigate accordingly.

Autopilot System needs a processor, RAM, DSP. Beagle board has it all. Also, beagle board is relatively smaller, fanless, lighter processor. Use of SD card on the beagle board can enable a user to switch SD cards in order to switch different flying modes if the system is not using a ground station.

The above picture has the components used in the Paparazzi Autopilot System for RC Airplanes.
Additional Sensors can also be added such as attitude sensor, airspeed sensor, altitude sensor, thermocouple.

The diagram below shows the schematics for this system.

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