Board index FlightGear Development Google Summer of Code

Proposal: Helicopter autopilot

Project proposals, student applications and all related discussions.

Proposal: Helicopter autopilot

Postby mday299 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:11 pm

It would be nice to get a working generic helicopter autopilot. Some specific ones might be nice as well. UAV work is starting to take off (pun intended) where I work.
mday299
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Proposal: Helicopter autopilot

Postby Hooray » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:07 pm

mday299 wrote:It would be nice to get a working generic helicopter autopilot. Some specific ones might be nice as well. UAV work is starting to take off (pun intended) where I work.


That's a project idea, which would better be discussed in a separate thread, or possibly even wiki page.

Also, it's an idea that does not necessarily involve C++ coding: FlightGear has a built-in Autopilot system which is fully XML configurable, in addition JSBSim has a separate autopilot implementation that is to an even larger degree configurable, and then there is the possibility to simply use a Nasal script to create a custom autopilot.

The FG autopilot component has recently seen some pretty significant improvements.
In general, it should already be possible to create an autopilot for helicopters, using existing means.

In fact, even the standard PID controllers in the default fixed wing autopilot do work reasonably well to a certain degree for rotary aircraft, once the helicopter is airborne and flying. You can try this for yourself by activating the default autopilot once you are airborne and flying stable.

To be honest, creating a basic helicopter autopilot would not be that complicated. It would surely not require anybody to work on it for 3 months.
Of course helicopter specific maneuvers and capabilities make this more interesting and challenging, but still ...
On the other hand, re-creating a complete IFR capable autopilot system for helicopters that is based on a real one, would be more involved.

Also see: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=905&p=11077&hilit=helicopter+autopilot#p11077

So we talked about this idea before, and there is some objection.
Of course there are a number of helicopters that do actually provide an SAS or a full AP (for IFR flight).

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/in ... 010AAzokLf
http://www.beechtalk.com/forums/viewtop ... w=previous
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forum ... ain/44711/

http://www.bowerhelicopter.com/2004-04-SFIM-AP.htm
http://www.bellhelicopter.com/en/aircra ... ell429.cfm

SAS:
http://www.pilotoutlook.com/helicopter_flying/autopilot
http://www.ifrflying.com/AIM/Chap10/aim1001.html
http://books.google.com/books?id=Bk9fOM ... ot&f=false
http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-ne ... ers-24044/
http://www.cobham.com/media/95949/311%2 ... cation.pdf

http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/Spinoff2008/t_2.html
http://www.aviationtoday.com/av/categor ... t/709.html
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
Help write next month's newsletter !
pui2canvas | MapStructure | Canvas Development | Programming resources
Hooray
 
Posts: 10751
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:40 am

Re: Proposal: Helicopter autopilot

Postby HHS » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:31 am

The OH1 in FGFS already a CAS and SAS incl. Autohover.
It should be possible to use it to make a AP with it.

EC135 and Aircrane makes already use of it (but no AP).
Up, up and away
User avatar
HHS
Retired
 
Posts: 3624
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:09 am
Version: GIT


Return to Google Summer of Code

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest