Martin Spott wrote:
[ autopilot.sf.net ] Yes, they've hovered a heli. Even though this is already a difficult task not only for a 'manual' pilot but also for a computer, this is by far not sufficient for my needs. I need the computer to stabilize the heli in situations where the demands go beyond the pilots skills ....
As long as the heli hovers more or less parallel to the surface, things
are quite 'easy' because you move within "well defined" limits.
When you start employing significant tilt angles and accelerations and
go over tens of minutes of flight, then you get to the point where the
'repeat accuracy' of affordable solid-state gyros and accelerometers
makes the whole thing unusuable.
Yes, I've heard that the lower end IMU stuff (i.e. < $100,000) is pretty bad in terms of fine grained accuracy ... probably fine for stabalizing an aircraft and doing navigation, but pretty poor if you need degree-level accuracy. I am [currently] interested in simple level flight of a fixed wing aircraft and simple point to point navigation. I the the FMA direct copilot will work well for me, but it sounds like your interests/needs are in a totally different league.
[ co-pilot ]
To be honest: I don't trust this device enough to make the 'life' of my
experimental heli project depend on it - but probably I simply should
give it a try ;-)
People are using it to stabalize helis. I've read that it is scary how well it works. I haven't tried it myself. Also, in the case of a helicopter, "stabalized flight" and "hover" are two entirely different things. As I understand it, helicopter pilots are using this device as a way to save their butts when they get crossed up on the controls. Center the controls, add power, and the helicopter should level out ... enough to give the pilot time to get reoriented and take back active control.
To me, this device doesn't sound like it would be very useful for your needs, but perhaps if you hacked it up and interfaced to the sensors directly, you could get something out of it? It works on the IR temperature differential between sky and ground and (as I understand) the sensor has a fairly wide swath, so for small deviations for horizontal, you may be able to get some accurate data if you look directly at the sensor output ... but then if you are doing this with a helicopter and are near the ground, I have to wonder if trees and buildings or terrain would contribute enough error in the sensor differential to mess you up.
But what do I know ... It's 5am here and I haven't had nearly enough sleep. :-)
Curtis Olson http://www.flightgear.org/~curt HumanFIRST Program http://www.humanfirst.umn.edu/
FlightGear Project http://www.flightgear.org
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