Gluon Control Station
Since v0.6, the Gluon Control Station is the default product for both configuration and ground control/navigation:
It is quite advanced, some of its features are:
- Automatic navigation blocks + goto buttons (as in paparazzi)
- On the fly (airborne) change of waypoints/navigation commands (as in micropilot)
- Simple scripting
- On-screen documentation
- Live and in-flight configuration
- Drag and drop of waypoints
- Status of all subsystems
- Navigation information
If you want to get to know the feeling of the Gluon Control Station, I would recommand you download it from the download section. You can replay a flight or work connectionless to edit/create an offline flight plan.
Other Ground control stations
The gluonconfig has a "dashboard" which displays basic information about the flight conditions. Additionally, there is a "KML" server inside the gluonconfig which allows you to visualise your UAV in google earth.
This video shows what in looks like in google earth during flight:
Our friend Paul was so nice to implement the gluonpilot protocol stack for his groundstation. It currently can visualise the telemetry data in an embedded google earth and change configuration settings. Saving navigation commands/waypoints is planned for a later release.
His groundstation is very user-friendly, so just give it a try!
Gluon extension board
The easiest way to get a wireless downlink is using the Extension board. It sits on top of the Gluon module and has switched voltage regulator. This means it accepts power from 2s, 3s and 4s lipo's.
An XBee USB explorer from Sparkfun (alternatives from other manufacturers available) is the perfect match to plug into your laptop!
A modem can be connected to the FTDI connected on the gluon board (uses 115200 baud per default):
Currently, only XBee modules have been tested:
- XBee Pro 50mW Series 2.5. One of the 2 XBee modules needs to be configured as the coordinator. Otherwise it won't work.
- XBee Pro 868MHz: European version for long range (similar to the 900MHz one). Works out of the box. There is a duty-cycle limit (European version). The gluonpilot has a small "hack" for this by resetting the module every 5 minutes. This will cause a small delay/reset time (this is te AT command guard which can be configured to shorter times).
To connect it to the gluonpilot, a daughter board such as the XBee explorer regulated can be usefull. It can be connected to the gluonpilot board with 1 change. A diode on the RX side should be shorted. (This diode is used to convert 5X signals to 3V3 signals, but the gluonpilot already has 3V3 signals).
The 5V from the gluonpilot can be used to power the "XBee exporer regulated". Be carefull however, if you use your ESC's power supply for this, the total power used (servos, gluonpilot, GPS, XBee) might be too large.