16 Mar 2002 hudson   » (Master)

Thanks to some contributions of folks, we've been able to put together a helicopter simulator for Linux. It isn't photorealistic, but it does simulate many of the critical parameters that we need to tune the PID loops and test the Kalman filtering.

I've written some code that uses the inertial data from the simulator and PD and PID loops to hover the model helicopter (266kb MPEG). I'm now very eager to try it on the real thing, although I know it will be very different from the model.

My next step is to introduce "noise" into the simulator's outputs so that the control software has to deal with an unpredictable environment. I'm also going to add wind gusts that occasionally disturb the orientation of the helicopter to see how well it recovers. Hopefully these steps will make the code more resiliant once we do move it to an actual helicopter.

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