Voyager 3, a first look at the APM design and flight test


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We had the opportunity to test the mini APM flight controller of the Walkera iUAS Voyager 3, while at the same time took a peek at some of the design changes in 2015. The H configuration look and multiple command flight modes are similar to it's predecessor, the Walkera QR X800. In this article I will just highlight the changes that is added to this modern quadcopter.

  • Dual-navigation system - GPS and GLONASS System, a failover for GPS glitches. Dual sensors were recently introduced on the Pixhawk, so this is a fairly new challenge undertaking by Walkera iUAS. Our initial test went well on our first run with a total 16 satellites immediately after calibration and had good GPS signal throughout the 15 minutes flight.
  • Pre-Arm Checks dashboard - this is to make it visually easier to understand instead of a multicolored LED indicator or a series of blinking sequence. The dashboard shows the GPS, Barometer, Transmitter Bind, Compass and Electro-circuit
  • A detachable and unrestricted 360°gimbal ultra built-in HD camera or GoPro option. We are still waiting for a beta or production version of the camera to test. A 4k camera is expected.
  • 2 operators on two F12e radio transmitter or a tablet - this allows for a pilot and a camera operator to manage a mission together
  • On Screen Display (OSD ) or HUD, to assist in FPV flights. This will include all the critical telemetry data such as voltages, home arrow, compass, altitude, speed, all visible on your FPV goggles, transmitters or monitors. You can also change your sensor settings so it vibrates your F12E radio when it reaches 28.3v, to remind you low battery.
  • Modular Component Design - to improve on quality, Walkera came up with a modular design, very similar to modern cars. This new design calls for more time to explore so we have not got to it yet but there are a lot of components packed into one area.

The flight controller is based on the open source Linux Foundation DroneCode projects, the design files per the creative commons license are available at Github.

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