- Low-cost INS
They attempted to build a three-axis INS for under $500.
Tiny (the size of a quarter) IMU / AHRS. Can be hooked to air-data
sensors. GPS input. Looks great, but no prices or current draws
are listed. The company rep told me that the IMU is $12k in single
unit quantities or $8k in OEM quantities.
- TCM2-50VR Tilt/Bank sensor
This is a tilt/bank/heading sensor with a 50 degree range for the pitch
and roll axes and a magnetic heading sensor. It has a fairly fast sampling
rate, consumes little power and is only $385 in single unit quantities.
As long as the UAV does not go inverted this might work (no 3D operation).
It is somewhat large for the LMH prototype, but fairly light.
- Outside only autopilot
The FMA Direct "Co-Pilot" is the least expensive of all the options. At
only $120 in single unit quantities, it is worth experimenting with.
On the down side, it does not work indoors, with cloud cover or IMC,
over snow or uneven terrain and only functions up to some unspecified
height AGL. It also directly controls servos, so integrating into the
EFIS is not easy.
- Futaba PA-2
Similar to the FMA Co-Pilot, the PA-2 uses optical sensors to tell sky
from ground. Usefull outside in good weather, but the FAQ even mentions that
it does not work without a clear view of the horizon. Also claims not to
work with helicopters. Low current draw (5 mA @ 5V) and cheap ($52).
- PDC-3200 Rate or Gyro based autopilot
Expensive. Ground station library provided. Full INS + GPS + Altimeter.
Unspecified power consumption.
- Crossbow technologies
Industrial sensors. Popular for many UAV projects and used inside
many of the packaged autopilots. $5,000 to $8,000 for single unit
quantities, fairly deep discounts for volume purchases.
- PC Flight Systems
$1,400 for single unit quantities. Requires rate integration to be done
externally, but does have a vertical gyro. Comes with software for WinCE
that acts as a full EFIS -- designed for light aircraft. Not certified for
- 3D Bird
Flock-of-bird tracker for VR applications. Might work; waiting on a
- Micropilot MP-2000
Very nice, very expensive. Ready to go for fixed wing, nearly ready
for helicopters. Some what heavy and large for the prototype and
not directly useably as the onboard system. It would work with
a separate computer, rather than replace it.
- Buy three piezo gyros
Roughly $50 to $100 per gyro. Lots of drift and requires external rate
integration. Requires hacking to read gyro data into onboard system
due to PWM output, which puts a large real-time load onto the computers.
We've successfully done so, but the drift and precession rates are very
bad. There are
literally hundreds of models, with a wide range of features. Adjustable
gain is nice, as is "heading" hold.
on sampling and waveforms