Design of the hardware platform for the flight control system in an unmanned aerial vehicle

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Elektroniksystem

Author: Mårten Svanfeldt; [2010]

Keywords: ;


This thesis will present work done to develop the hardware of a flight control system (FCS) for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). While as important as mechanical construction and control algorithms, the elecronics hardware have received far less attention in published works.

In this work we first provide an overview of existing academic and commercial UAV projects and based on this overview three different design approaches has been developed: network of independent microcontroolers, a central powerful CPU with helper logic and an field programmable gate array (FPGA) based approach. After evaluation the powerful CPU alternative with an ARM9 CPU is found to be most suitable.

As a final step this design approach is developed into a full design for the FCS which is evaluated and finally implemented. Initially a system incorporating an OMAP-L138 CPU, 256MByte DRAM, sensors and GPS is developed, however due to supply issues and cost limitations the final design instead incorporates a SOM-module with an OMAP35x processor, 128MByte DRAM as well as a sensor module and GPS. This design has been built and tested in the lab but not yet integrated into the UAV.

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