12 May 2002 hudson   » (Master)

I've just started doing hardware-in-the-loop helicopter simulations with our flight controller software. The hardware platform for now is an iPAQ running Familiar Linux. This allowed me to move the controller from my i386 Linux desktop to the iPAQ with zero code changes. That is an amazing range of portability!

On the down side, the iPAQ is roughly 400 times slower than the Pentium 4 at 1.4 GHz, so it will require more tuning to run everything fast enough. Right now it is just running the four SISO PID loops based on the exact data produced from the simulator, but soon it will have to do it with simulated IMU data and then the real thing.

I also went through the code and made it all Unit and Reference Frame safe. Earlier I had converted the math library to be vector-size safe, which made common math errors compile time errors. Now it is a compile time error to add Velocity to Rotational rate or add Body frame velocity to tangent plane velocity. The code for this is in sim/src/mat/Frames.h. I've also written an overview of how to use the new library.

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