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What is a AeroFC: A Triple Redundant Autopilot

Unmanned vehicles require both a software and hardware component for remote control. This can be done manually by the operator or automatically by an onboard computer. The unmanned vehicle must take in all surrounding data, such as motor speed, stability, and so on. This is accomplished with the assistance of an autopilot. An Autopilot is a flight controller that is linked to the rest of the system.

AeroFC is a Triple Redundant Autopilot flight controller based on an STM 32 microcontroller with a 216MHz clock speed. Dual redundant power inputs for accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer are supported by the IMU.

What is a Flight controller?

A flight controller (FC) is a small circuit board that responds to input to control the speed of each motor. These inputs can come from a variety of sources, including sensors, gyros, magnetometers, and so on. The direction in which the drone goes will be determined by this input.

A drone’s brain is the flight controller. A compact box containing clever electronics and software that monitors and controls the drone’s activities. Flight controllers, like the brains of different species, vary in size and complexity.

APM flight controllers, DJI flight controllers, KK3 flight controllers, ArduPilot Cube, CUAV, Aero, and other flight controllers are only a few examples. We will solely discuss the Aero Flight Controller in this article.

What is AeroFC?

AeroFC Top View

The AeroFC is a Triple Redundant Autopilot for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) developed by an Indian company called PDRL. It is the world’s first flight controller that was entirely designed and built in India. The Aero also complies with the DGCA’s drone ownership standards.

The system that gives the autopilot the reliability it needs to safely complete flight missions is known as triple redundancy. Three equivalent software and hardware systems make up a triple redundancy setup. If one of the three systems goes down, the other two will take over, providing double redundancy. In the event that one of the remaining two systems fails, the third takes over, making the system triple redundant. To oversee these three systems, a new mechanism has been added. Failures in the autopilot hardware are tolerated well in triple redundant systems.

What is inside AeroFC?

The AeroFC contains an STM32F765, a 32 Bit Arm® Cortex®-M7, 216MHz FMU with 2MB memory and 512KB RAM, and an IO Processor with a 32 Bit Arm® Cortex®-M3, 24MHz, 8KB SRAM.

AeroFC Exploded View

The IMU of the Aero Flight Controller is triple redundant, with three accelerometers, three gyroscopes, and three magnetometers. An Accelero/Gyro: ICM-20689, an Accelero/Gyro: BMI055, a Magnetometer: IST8310, and a Barometer: MS5611 are among the on-board sensors.

The autopilot also includes two 4.3 5.4V power sources with automated failover, a USB input of 4.75 5.25V, and a 0 36V servo rail input. It also offers triple redundant power input if both battery inputs and the USB port are powered at the same time. It will continue to function even if one of the two power sources fails.

Specifications:

  • Onboard High-Speed STM32 F7 processor, clocked at 216MHz.
  • Triple Redundant IMU
  • Light Weight
  • Isolated & Dampened IMU
  • Compatible with Ardupilot and PX4.
  • It can be configured with AeroGCS, Mission Planner, QGround Control software, etc.
  • Supports Dual redundant power input.

How is AeroFC Different?

Pin Configurations and Ports

The Aero flight controller has 8-14 PWM outputs (six from the IO and eight from the main controller), a dedicated PWM/Capture input on the main controller, a dedicated R/C input for CPPM, a dedicated R/C input for PPM and S.Bus, Analog / PWM RSSI input, S.Bus servo output, 5 general purpose serial ports, I2C ports, SPI buses, CAN Buses with serial ESC, and Ana

Triple Redundancy

All of the components on board, including the power supply, are triple redundant on the AeroFC. In autopilots like this, a triple redundant power supply is not standard.

Interfaces

DSU7 is an AeroFC naming interface that incorporates FMU SWD and UART7 interfaces. The DEBUG interface for AeroFC with PX4 firmware is UART7. When using ArduPilot firmware, the communication serial port is UART7, and the output is debugged using USB. The PPMIN interface is only capable of powering the RC receiver and cannot be used to connect to any other power source or load.

Power Supply

The flight controller board is not powered by the output power rails FMU PWM OUT and I/O PWM OUT (0V to 36V) (and are not powered by it). POWER1, POWER2, or USB must all be powered, or the board will be unpowered.

Debugging

The FMU Debug port is used by the system’s serial console and SWD interface. Simply connect the Debug & F7 SWD connectors using the FTDI cable (the product list contains the FTDI cable). It doesn’t provide a debugging interface for I/O.

Aside from that, the AeroFC is manufactured in India, whilst the CUAV and DJI Autopilots are manufactured in China. Because the organization is situated in India, it can give essential technical assistance.

Conclusion

Overall, the Aero Flight Controller is one of the best autopilots for UAVs, USVs, and UUVs made in India. This autopilot is perfect for qualified and professional operators because it has three sets of accelerometers, gyro meters, and magnetometers, as well as three sources of power and one set that is always operational. This autopilot will be useful as an explorer in the air, sea, and land, for both military and civilian purposes.

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