Originally we attempted to put together an inertial measurement system from scratch. We used accelerometers from [Acme?] and a horizon sensor from Futaba. The inputs from these sensors and commands received from a Futaba control unit were to be digitized by a BASIC Stamp and further processed by the on-board PC-104 CPU. Experience showed that integration of these components was too difficult.
The purchase of an IMU from Falcon gives us the advantages of a complete subsystem that communicates with the PC-104 over a serial port. In addition, it has known specifications [give table] that make it much easier to know what position and velocity errors to expect.
The IMU is a rectangular prism, dead black in color, that sits alone on the platform and dominates the local landscape. Its proportions are not 1:4:9:... However, it is monolithic in construction. And for a time it proved as inscrutable as the monolith of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The reason was the presence of a grabby getty on the OS port that interfered with the processing of data from the IMU. In fact, the serial port was rendered useless by the grabby getty.
More about this fascinating development can be read right here as soon as David Masten grants me an interview and I transcribe the contents to flesh this out. Stay tuned.
The purchase of a PC-104 development kit by Dave Masten made completion of Gizmocopter's flight software much easier.
After resolving some operating-system issues, the revamped version of Gizmocopter [Mark II?] is nearing flight status. Once heavier power cables have been installed, the next flight should take place. Look for this within a week.
Copyright © 2004 E.R.P.S.
Last Updated: 21:04:34 on 01 Apr 04
Site design by Michael Wallis and Chris Winter
Web services provided by: Wallis International Networking Services