Minneapolis-based Sentera LLC and the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering have developed a high-precision autopilot toolkit for use with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
The toolkit’s hardware and software are now available under a broad, open-source license. It integrates into current and future UAS platforms and is designed to enable researchers to quickly prototype and deploy advanced and non-traditional navigation, guidance and control technologies.
The collaborative effort provides the open-source community with a professional-grade, high-performance flight control system that is scalable, extensible and cost-efficient, according to Sentera and the university.
The project was supported by Minnesota’s Discovery, Research, and Innovation Economy initiative, a partnership between the university and the state to address challenges by aligning areas of university research strength with the state’s key and emerging industries.
The University of Minnesota’s UAS lab conducts flight research on navigation, guidance, and flight control systems to improve the safety and fuel efficiency of future commercial aircraft, including drones. Sentera designs, develops and manufactures sensors, software and drones.
“The University of Minnesota and Sentera have a long history of collaborating on research and technology development,” says Brian Taylor, director of the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Laboratories at the University of Minnesota. “Creating a high-quality, open-source autopilot was a natural fit for our organizations. It provides a platform for groundbreaking research at the university and other research institutions, along with a potentially rapid path to commercial application.”
More information on the software can be found here.