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Finally real success!  I got back out there this week with a fully waterproofed servo, an added lidar sensor and a major code overhaul based on Test Flight 1's test data.  Observations were:

1) Pitch control is now much better.  While I still think the control loops could be better tuned, I am now getting long runs with very good pitch stability and no more porposing as you get with the wand-based systems.  In lighter air, I suspect that the lack of paddle / wand drag will allow me to fly more easily as well.  

2) Servo waterproofing worked great.  20 knots of wind and lots of spray and crashes and the servo never blinked.  This was a big victory and only involved some grease and spray urethane.  

3) There is still some servo chatter / oscillation.  It is minor and doesn't affect performance much but it is bothering and inefficient.  I will comb through the data and see what code changes could be made to maintain the low latency reaction while smoothing the servo reaction.  


Two and a half hours of good foiling and 5.5MB of data taken.  Great day out there and lots more data to pick through!  In another few flights it might be time to think about the follow on to this prototype.  Lighter, smaller, sleeker and more awesome!




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Hi Derek, great project! I have found your blog shortly after starting my almost identical project on my RS600ff with Raspberry, so I am about 1,5 years behind your schedule ;-) ...

In principles I have planned similar as your project but though with some basic difference: my basic idea was that I want to use speed and elevation for the control of the flap. Put in other words, if you have a constant speed, and your elevation is "stable" on the target height, then you don't want to change anything.

Some questions to your project:

- why did you integrate lidar? was that to substitute the ultrasonic rangefinder? what is your experience with spray on the sensor?

- what do you use the heel angle and pitch information for? 

- what kind of power supply did you chose

- would you share some recorded raw data for elevation? on your videos sea state seems to be quite steady (I know video recordings tend to give the an impression that it was calmer than felt during sailing) and it seems to me you are sailing in a bay. On my location I can expect short length waves of amplitude of 50-60cm so I definitely have to solve that...






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