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Arduino Scratch Build - "Screamin' Seagull II"

Random update: I'm thinking about taking the on-board LiDAR sensor and turning it into a scanning LiDAR system as a sort of SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) terrain mapping unit.

Basically the lidar sensor will be mounted in the fuselage pointing towards the nose of the plane instead of directly at the ground (as it is now). Then I spin a tilted mirror with a small DC motor in front of the LiDAR sensor. I also want to stabilize the entire unit with the on-board IMU and a couple of extra servos.

With the correct mirror angle, mirror rotation speed, and LiDAR sample speed, I'll be able to map the ground below the plane for around $200. If you were to buy a COTS unit that did this, you'd probably pay AT LEAST $450. :eek:

Still thinking about this feature and am not working on it yet, just wanted to let y'all know what's in the works "long term"
Here's an example of someone else's attempt to make a homemade LiDAR scanner system:

If I finish mine for the plane, it'll be a lot smaller and lighter, lol
I know it's been a while since I've posted here, but I'm still working on this project!

Lately I've been waiting for good weather on a free weekend to conduct test flights AND a ton of work on streamlining my "War Thunder"-based Processor in the Loop Simulator (PiLSim) design. This PiLSim will help me debug and develop flight controllers to use on they RC plane.

This PiLSim will consist of my Arduino-based hand controller and the airplane simulator PC game "War Thunder". When flying in "War Thunder", the game will provide "fake" flight sensor telemetry that is gathered by a Python script (running on my machine) and sent to the Arduino in the hand controller as feedback. The feedback is then processed by the developmental flight control software (autopilot) and the resulting controller output is then sent back to the game as HID joystick commands.

The Python script that will make all of this happen is called Thunder Viewer and is currently in open Beta testing.

In case anybody here plays "War Thunder", you can use Thunder Viewer to record your match data, stream it to the application Tacview, stream it to friends, and stream it to a USB device (i.e. an Arduino). Here is a functional diagram of all it can do:


And here is an example of the GUI:

To make the PiLSim design more clear, here's a functional diagram that explains how it all the pieces work together:


I did some testing last night and already fixed some bugs that would've caused my plane to crash if I did the tests "live"!

Still have more work to do...
If you want to download Thunder Viewer without having to install Python, you can download the EXE file and run it directly. To get the latest version, check out the latest release from the GitHub page and download "Thunder_Viewer.zip". The exe will be in that zip.

If you want to directly download the exe of the current version (as of today), click here.