Airframe

The physical airframe to be used throughout the project is the Zagi HP Electric Flying Wing RC aircraft depicted in Figure 9 below. This airframe was selected as it is one of the only RC aircraft’s to have extensive wind-tunnel testing performed on it to yield lateral and longitudinal aerodynamic coefficients necessary for control system design and simulation. Again, these parameters were provided by [2] and can be found in Appendix A of the attached report.

Figure 9: Zagi HP Electric Flying Wing RC Aircraft from [6]

 

 

Sensors

Pixhawk 2.1 – The autopilot hardware used to collect and manipulate data will be the Pixhawk 2.1 with ArduPilot/ArduPlane firmware includes a triple redundant inertial measurement unit (IMU) (3x accelerometers, 3x gyroscopes and compass) with a total of 29 sensors. The main IMU is mounted on vibration dampened system to ensure readings are accurate. Uses InvenSense MPU9250 and ICM20948 as first and third IMU (accelerometer and gyroscope). Uses ST Micro L3GD20+LSM303D as backup IMU. Two redundant MS5611 barometers for static pressure sensor. The Pixhawk 2.1 utilized a successive loop closure control method with PID gain-tuning like that designed in simulation making it an effective and affordable autopilot to use with the physical Zagi HP Electric Flying Wing aircraft. The cable set allows for connection of multitude servos and sensors. Supported by Ardupilot software/firmware. Depicted in Figure 10 below.

Figure 10: Pixhawk 2.1 Autopilot from [7]

 

Here GNSS – GPS module for positioning and heading reference for Ardupilot open source drone technology. Features integrated GNSS module and digital compass. Compatible with the Pixhawk 2.1 autopilot. Depicted in Figure 11 below.

Figure 11: Here GNSS GPS Module from [7]

 

Holybro Airspeed Sensor – features a Measurment Specialties 4435DO sensor with 1 PSI measurement range (roughly up to 100 m/s or 360 km/h or 223 mp/h) enables resolution of 0.84 Pa with data delivered at 14 bits from a 24-bit delta-sigma ADC. It also measures temperature to allow calculation of true airspeed from indicated airspeed using the MS5611 static pressure sensor on the Pixhawk. Supported by Pixhawk hardware and Ardupilot software/firmware. Depicted in Figure 12 below.

Figure 12: Holybro Airspeed Sensor from [8]

 

Ground Control Station

The ArduPilot Mission Planner will act as a ground control station for the project from which the Pixhawk 2.1 autopilot will be operated. Dataflash logs from the Pixhawk 2.1 IMU, Here GNSS, and Holybro Airspeed Sensor are stored on the Pixhawk onboard dataflash memory and are available for download after flights. Depicted in Figure 13 below.

Figure 13: ArduPilot Mission Planner Home Screen from [9]