The AscTec SDK is a toolkit to get your own programming algorithms on the onboard microprocessor of your AscTec UAV. You can write your C-code in the given structure of the SDK and flash it on the HLP via a JTAG or serial connection. The basic concept of the AscTec AutoPilot is to have two processors: The low level processor (LLP) and the high-level processor (HLP). While the LLP handles all hardware communication, a proven flight controller and the data fusion, the HLP is free for custom code. And as a safety backup you can always switch back to the LLP in case of an emergency situation.
Several code examples help the first time user understand the idea and possibilities of the AscTec SDK. Four control modes are available, one lets you command each single motor individually, another lets you send waypoint commands directly from the HL processor. For a better overview all readable sensor data are saved in a single data structure. Together with an updated motor controller firmware, the motor feedback is now available.
The AscTec Communication Interface (ACI) is a method of communication between your device and your local machine (remote software). It is designed for requesting variables, sending commands and setting parameters easily.
The operation is simple: The local machine asks the device, which variables, commands or parameters are available on the device with a full description of each of them. You can create your own packages to send or receive. The advantage of this method is that you can choose, which variables shall be received at which transmitting rate from the device, and which commands and parameters you want to send to or set on the device.
Matlab Simulink, the well-known system modeling software, can now be used to program the HL processor of our AscTec UAVs. Therefore we offer the AscTec Simulink toolkit which works in cooperation with the AscTec SDK. The toolkit includes a predefined onboard model to integrate your own Simulink based control algorithms. This model can be automatically translated into C-code for the AscTec SDK. A simple attitude control example is already implemented to show you the possibilities offered by the toolkit.
There are several predefined parameter-, control- and debug blocks available which can be integrated into your own control algorithms. The Simulink toolkit offers a UART communication model to monitor these debug channels (with up to 50 Hz), as well as to send individual control commands, both via an XBee modem on the serial port of the HL processor. Furthermore, you can easily update your parameters or store them permanently by running an M-file.