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Old Jul 15, 2014, 08:37 AM
Registered User
Joined Jul 2014
1 Posts
Newbie's Questions

Hi I am absolute beginner when it comes to UAV. I think they are awesome though and might want to get one.
I have some questions though:
Can you explain to me what exactly the flight system does and what the controller does?
Is the connection between flight systems and the controller standardized? Can I use a DJI drone with an OpenPilot controller?
Are there any controllers that can function as an autopilot, i.e. you give it an gps location and it navigates there?
Are there controllers that support gsm?
What kind of range does a high quality drone have?
Thanks and sorry if some of the questions are stupid.
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Old Yesterday, 12:54 PM
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Joined Jun 2012
45 Posts
Before you get flamed for not reading everything under the sun, I'll give you a quick dose of info.

First, there is no difference between "flight system" and "controller". They are different terms for the same thing. In simpilest terms, a UAV needs a piece of electronics that is capable of flying the aircraft; let's call it the "controller". The controller takes inputs from a user, usually from a RC Rx. The controller then controls the aircraft power and control surfaces. A full on UAV is capable of flying without constant input from a user on the ground feeding control inputs via an RC transmitter. Sophisticated UAV controllers are capable of flying the aircraft themselves. They do this by using gyros, accelerometers, barometers, GPS receivers, and magnetometers. Yes you can give it waypoints and have it fly somewhere, if the controller has GPS functionality. UAV controllers can let you fly the plane manually. In such a case the controller simply passes the control movements coming from the RC transmitter on to the aircraft power and control surfaces.

High quality UAVs can go for tens of miles. GSM support is pretty rare. Most of what we're using is simple direct link from single user on ground to the aircraft.

There is a lot of standardization. Control servos all listen to PWM for their control signal; same with motor speed controllers. You could put an open pilot controller on a DJI frame if you want. It's be a simple matter of finding the proper electrical connectors, or splicing things together.
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Old Yesterday, 04:00 PM
A man with too many toys
United States
Joined Feb 2001
17,352 Posts
What is GMS and what does it do?

I just started using the Pixhawk from 3d robotics and it seams to have every option that I would want and now supports dual redundant sensors. One feature that I like is the ability to support any type of vehicle! http://3drobotics.com/

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