FPVLAB

image
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Working onboard EFIS/EICAS Build w/ Raspberry Pi, APM, .NET

  1. #1
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    52

    Working onboard EFIS/EICAS Build w/ Raspberry Pi, APM, .NET

    After seeing the mini TFT displays in Zeeflyboy's AH-6 build thread, my mind really started going about this. I'm also a big Flight Simulator fan and so I've had a vision in my mind of what I'd like to achieve to compliment how I like to fly. So I put a MinimOSD on my quadcopter talking to MultiWii, but while researching it I know it was originally built to run off the MAVLink protocol from ArduPilot. I thought, why not parse the MAVLink stream and render an EFIS and maybe EICAS on one of these little screens. The question was how to do it.

    Then I discovered Raspberry Pi. Neat little box that runs Linux and an X server. According to Adafruit it only weighs 39 grams.

    Since last year I've been wanting to build a scale Cessna Citation 550 from the Hero Eagle 100 at NitroPlanes. The problem is I really have nowhere to fly something like that, even though it would be an awesome build. I kept thinking wouldn't it be great if I could do a big Beechcraft King Air instead, I already fly it all the time in Flight Sim, could probably fly it off unimproved grass field at a park, etc. But the RC Aerodyne King Air doesn't look to be available anytime soon.

    And then I discovered the AeroSky Beechcraft Duke B60. Nice, foam and big enough for a reasonable cockpit setup and neat little scale lights and stuff. My wife again reminded me "where would you fly it". But I'm thinking it would be fine off grass at a park or soccer fields, etc. as its got a wide flight envelope. Or put it on floats on the lake, which is the obvious solution for me as a lake is very close, but I'm chicken to fly over water.

    I've also been wanting to do a fun-scale helicopter on top of the FunCopter, which would make more sense in terms of being able to fly it whenever I want. I keep finding myself in analysis paralysis trying to decide on what kind of fuse to do that would give me enough space to put all this cockpit gear in, but not be too big and heavy.

    Anyway, the point of the backstory is this is going to go into something, either the Duke B60 or a helicopter, and since I'm stuck deciding on the airframe, I decided to proceed with building it anyway. I suppose with some creativity and careful positioning, I could even put a display behind a cockpit panel and render working gauges. But that'll be part 2. First I want to get a working glass cockpit display.

    I snagged one of these Raspberry PI Ultimate starter kits: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    And ordered a couple logic level converter boards to put between the APM and the Pi.

    I still need to order an APM, will grab that along with parts for my Bixler 2 project.

    Here's a screenshot of the Beechcraft G58 glass cockpit from flight sim. This is kinda what I'm aiming for, although I'll be limited by 320x240 resolution:



    I'm thinking there should be a way to rig up an interface to the Raspberry Pi to be able to switch to different "pages" of the display. Maybe a servo clicking a button or something like that.

    I'm planning to code this in C# running on Mono. Should have my parts this week :-)

  2. #2
    Grasshopper Reliku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    5,086
    Wow, looks interesting!

    Lots of coding and complex stuff too. I'm not into that, but this'll be an interesting build! I'll be watching it
    Cheers,
    Sven
    Quote Originally Posted by c5galaxy engineer View Post
    Zee is wrong, Grasshopper is ALWAYS right!

  3. #3
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    52
    I'm into coding ;-) What I'm aiming for is a more immersive experience. The coding is not actually that complex. There's a code generator for C# bindings for MAVLink protocol already. And then its just rendering the graphics. What'll be cool is to build it in a componentized way so that there can be different graphics styles for different aircraft, like gauges and panels in FSX.

    I ordered all my parts, got my mini keyboard for the Pi, should get the rest this week. I ordered a 2" TFT display, 320x240 resolution. Not sure what is up with the Ardupilot I ordered on ebay via epacket delivery, supposed to take 7-10 days and I got a message saying due to the holiday their shipping is delayed until february :O Hope that is just a message they didn't update.

    I found a way to get real time GPS on the Pi with some open source software. Have to think through a way to switch between the EFIS and the GPS app, unless I host it all within the same .NET app - which I might want to do to get a custom GPS look and feel but it will depend on how easily portable the code is.

    Some of these features I know you can get on a ground station, through telemetry, etc. But the whole point is to not have to take off the goggles, and have the option not to use the OSD but be able to pan/tilt/look around and then look at the glass cockpit to monitor instruments.

    There is something else that is really driving me to do this too, the killer feature ;-) Now if I can just figure out how to build a portable CAT III lighting system hehe. Maybe a yoga mat or something that I can roll out. I can plot the ILS indicators on the EFIS based on say the launch point GPS coords, so I can intercept the "localizer" and fly the glideslope. I'll have to make my own little SID/STAR procedures for my flying locations lol. Hey with a switchable video feed to the VTX, maybe I could switch between VFR and "IFR" modes.

    Well, the Pi should be here tomorrow, hopefully the video screen by the weekend, then I can start testing code on the device and get light on the screen.

  4. #4
    Grasshopper Reliku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    5,086
    Why are you limited by a 320*240 resolution? You can easily get 520TVL camera's that have way better resolution.

    Unless you're using a 320*240 screen/goggles I suppose.

    A glass cockpit could be possible, but it'll be hard
    Interested to see how that turns out. Might prove very interesting tech
    Cheers,
    Sven
    Quote Originally Posted by c5galaxy engineer View Post
    Zee is wrong, Grasshopper is ALWAYS right!

  5. #5
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    52
    320x240 is the resolution of the 2" display. The display will be my "panel" that I will look at through the goggles while still being able to look over it out the front of the plane. I'm gonna see if there's a way to use the PI as a radio scanner too so I can tune into ATIS at the local airport, departure/approach etc. And I saw in another thread the ADS-B on an ardrone, plotting real time traffic would be pretty slick too. One step at a time...

  6. #6
    Grasshopper Reliku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    5,086
    Oh, I get what you mean. 320*240 is quite a lot you'll find, way more than it looks like at first. You'll be able to display those easily. The limitation of the resolution of the goggles will be a bigger issue then
    Cheers,
    Sven
    Quote Originally Posted by c5galaxy engineer View Post
    Zee is wrong, Grasshopper is ALWAYS right!

  7. #7
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    52
    Got the 2" screen in today and the logic level converters. Here it is connected up to the Raspberry Pi.



    The default Raspbian software would "trap" my mini keyboard/touchpad mouse in the taskbar. So I loaded Pidora instead and it works great.



    Got networking up and going. The device is lighter than I was expecting, which is good. The display is really nice, 320x240 is not a ton of resolution to work with but its a nice screen.

    So now I've got plenty of time to code up an alpha version while I wait for the Ardupilot. Hope to have a default display by end of the weekend, so at least I can see what its going to look like ;-)

    I think it might be possible to do 2 displays off of one Raspberry Pi. One fed from the composite out, and one from the IO pins. ... one step at a time. But man my mind is going now. I was reading about the ADS-B solution in the "sense and avoid" thread and see the guy was using an SDR usb receiver, and then realized I could probably use that to tune in air traffic control and ATIS too. Would also be cool to plot a little traffic radar. So many possibilities, just don't know if the Pi's got the horsepower to do all that at once. Its really making me want to do the citation jet though.

  8. #8
    Grasshopper Reliku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    5,086
    That thing displaying a working air radar during flight. That'd just need something on the level of Zee's AH-6Z around it and it'd be the perfect fpv creation.

    When are you putting this up commercially so I can buy one?
    Cheers,
    Sven
    Quote Originally Posted by c5galaxy engineer View Post
    Zee is wrong, Grasshopper is ALWAYS right!

  9. #9
    Instructor Pilot
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    5,446

    Working onboard EFIS/EICAS Build w/ Raspberry Pi, APM, .NET

    I'll be following this with much interest!

    Have you thought about trying to do it with arduino rather than a pi?

  10. #10
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    52
    Reliku - commercially? nah...its just a raspberry pi that anyone can buy. I'll put the code up on github.

    Zee - Doing it with arduino would be more efficient, but with the Pi running Linux I can take advantage of already available off the shelf software for some of this, and I can run .NET code on Mono... whipping this up in .NET I can code in my sleep...Arduino not so much.

    I bought an RTL-SDR kit with the R280 tuner. I'm going to try to do the air traffic radar. For "paging" I'm thinking I can use one of the transmitter pots and just figure out a way to get the signal into the Pi. Once I get my UHF receivers I can play around with it and figure a way.

    All of this is going to go on my Bixler 2 as the system integration aircraft and then from there into a fall project once I decide what that is.

    Biggest issue I see right now is that the 2" display is very nice, but might be hard to render all of this information on it in a readable form. E.g., a traffic radar would look cool for giggles but probably not be too usable. But, I have this app called StormEye on my android that gave me an idea, which is it shows you a "radar" plot of storms, but then also has a list view that updates, so maybe I can have a list version that shows 3 closest planes or something like that.

    ...of course some text-to-speech could help alleviate the display problem too ;-)

    For GPS and rendering a moving map display, there is OpenStreetMap for data and a program called Navit that works on the Pi, according to this guy the complete world map data is 9.2GB - http://astrobeano.blogspot.com/2012/...pberry-pi.html. What I have to look into is how I could maybe "capture" that display in a control within my app, either that or find a .NET equivalent that I can hook into. The other thing that would be cool is if instead of roads, I can plot airspace, navaids, airports, etc. Might be a way to translate that data from some source into the OpenStreetMap XML format.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Naza X1 not working on pre build TBS Discovery
    By kshesq in forum Team-Black Sheep
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 30th May 2013, 08:40 AM
  2. Disco onboard?
    By TZZDC1241 in forum Team-Black Sheep
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 19th December 2012, 03:13 PM
  3. Raspberry Pi + Camera Module = onboard CPU w/ HD recording FPV Cam?
    By Pookyjuice in forum HD RECORDING / VIDEO EDITING
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2nd August 2012, 11:04 PM
  4. Raspberry Pi
    By MrBob6939 in forum OFF-TOPIC
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 29th May 2012, 08:17 PM
  5. Raspberry Pi
    By elemental in forum OFF-TOPIC
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 5th March 2012, 02:01 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •