Autonomous flight with quadrotor by training and simulation
Mentor:Haiyan Qiao, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering, California State University San Bernardino
Autonomous navigation with a quadrotor can be used for a variety of different applications, such as development of airplane crash avoidance systems leading to the reduction of human error, improvements in aviation safety, and reduction of development cost for both end user applications and research based efforts. Specifically, hardware in the loop (HIL) simulations allow for testing of real hardware and software in a virtual environment. We employ the X-Plane virtual environment and APM rotorcraft unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology in the development of advanced quadcopter software, hardware, and communication. This research focuses specifically on the implementation of Arduino technology, its role with HIL, and communication with the ground station system. Specific code is developed for the Arduino/X-Plane interface to obtain data on relevant flight, interface, and position parameters. We use the MAVlink protocol to interpret communication data from the APM autopilot, quadrotor system, X-Plane, and ground station system. A key element of this work is the connection between the ground station information and developed C or C related code to translate instructions from the APM to the quadrotor and the X-Plane simulation. The final outcome allows for the operation of the virtual environment-quadrotor system in the identification of operational hazards, limits, and weak system links allowing for the development of advance autonomous systems to address the growing needs of the community.