Latest updates & news
the future of uav flight control technology
New Sensor Board Ready June 2010
New sensor board ready for delivery: A new version of our SB20 sensor board (part of the FCS20 Flight Control System) is now available for delivery. The new board (revision A4) is a complete redesign of the previous A3 board and offers the following new features and advantages: -Dedicated header for RC receiver makes it easy to temporarily connect an RC receiver for testing (8 input pins + power and ground). -Dedicated 5V output pins (8). 5V Buffer/Driver can be configured as input or output and may be enabled by FPGA allowing servos to be turned on through software. -Additional 5V compatible IO-pins (16) -Improved power supply design for increased efficiency and improved analog sensor performance. -New, digital inertial sensors from Analog Devices -Keep-alive power for GPS -Micro-SD card for additional storage capacity -10/100Mb Ethernet standard -Main and Aux power input
New Serial Safety Pilot Link Available May 2010
New serial-based safety pilot link is available! A new pilot link component in the FCS20's FPGA accepts steering commands from the safety pilot via a serial port. This system eliminates the need for a hobby-type RC link for manual control and improve the integrity and security of the communication between the safety pilot (External Pilot) and the aircraft. Typically, such systems add a significant amount of latency to the steering commands, but thanks to the high-performance FPGA in the FCS20, the latency is reduced to a minimum. The Pilot-Link component in the FPGA is designed to "listen" to two serial ports for maximum reliability and safety. A ground-based component (microcontroller) is used to convert the PWM signal train from the RC transmitter to serial commands and send these to the onboard component. This serial-based pilot-link system is now in use on the larger helicopters, but will become standard on our smaller helicopters, too.
Going Flybarless! May 2010
A new logic component in the FCS20 eliminates the need for a flybar on unmanned helicopters and adds another layer of stability to our advanced flight control system. The new Stability Augmentation System (SAS) runs in the FCS20's Field Programmable Gate Array for maximum performance (low latency) and flexibility. It uses input from all three rate gyros (X, Y and Z) to modify actuator output in real-time. It can be configured to accommodate any installation/orientation of the FCS20 in the helicopter and 2, 3 or 4-bladed heads. The SAS component is required for manual (RC) flight of helicopters without flybar or external rudder gyro. It is also used by the main flight controller application, although to a somewhat lesser degree (The SAS should provide high-bandwidth stability without fighting against the controller's commands.). The SAS component is currently in use on a 300 lb 3-bladed helicopter and the Hornet Micro. However, it will soon become standard on all our helicopters and installations.
Helicopters for American Unmanned Systems January 2010
Adaptive Flight accepts a contract to supply American Unmanned Systems with flight control technology and flight test services for the new Guardian helicopter, a 300 lb helicopter based on the Vantage design developed by the Navy Research Lab. The helicopters (2) are being constructed by in Colorado. Flight testing is scheduled for May - July 2010.