The Pixhawk2 Autopilot
Although slated for a standalone release by 3DR, it eventually became only available two years later through an effort of Hex66 and ProfiCNC.
Where to Buy?
Order this module from: ProfiCNC
32bit STM32F427 Cortex M4 core with FPU
168 MHz CPU
256 KB Cache RAM
2 MB Flash (fully accessible)
32 bit STM32F103 failsafe co-processor
Pixhawk2 Standard Autopilot is the latest and greatest platform for the ardupilot project. Pixhawk2 is designed to be developer friendly, easy to use and incredibly reliable, the Pixhawk2 is the ideal system to use for your next drone project, be it commercial, research or hobbyist.
The Pixhawk2 is designed to be a fully integrated single board flight controller with sufficient I/O for the most demanding of applications.
In addition the sensor performance and reliability has greatly been improved, with triple redundant IMU’s, and the capability to use up to 3 GPS modules.
Through smart design the bill of materials has been reduced which keeps the overall design simple, affordable and extremely light at only 75 grams per board.
- Triple redundant vibration damped IMU with support for up to 3 GPS modules
- All in one design with integrated FMU
- Heating system to fly in very low temperatures
- Lots of I/O ports (see below for full list)
- Sepaerable carrier board to allow developers to build and use their own
- Onboard battery backup for FMU and IO SRAM/RTC
- Separate power supplies for FMU and IO
For a full details please see the Pixhawk2 full specifications
Built using 29 MEMS sensors
The Pixhawk2 includes a triple redundant IMU with a total of 29 sensors: Furthermore the main IMU is also mounted on a vibration damped system to ensure the sensor readings are accurate.
- 3x triple axis accelerometers
- 3x triple axis gyroscopes
- 3x triple axis magnetometers
- 2x barometers
Lots of I/O Ports
- 14 PWM servo outputs (8 from IO / 6 from FMU).
- R/C inputs for CPPM / Spektrum / DSM and S.Bus
- Analogue / PWM RSSI input.
- S.Bus servo output.
- 5 general purpose serial ports+2 with full flow control
- Two I2C ports
- One SPI port (un-buffered for short cables only not recommended for use).
- Two CAN Bus interface.
- 3 Analogue inputs
- High-powered piezo buzzer driver. (On expansion board)
- High-power RGB LED. (I2C driver compatible Connected externally only)
- Safety switch / LED.
EMI filtering is provided at key points in the system using high-insertion-loss passthrough filters.
These filters are paired with TVS diodes at the peripheral connectors to suppress power transients.
Reverse polarity protection is provided at each of the power inputs. USB signals are filtered and terminated with a combined termination/TVS array.
Most digital peripheral signals (all PWM outputs, serial ports, I2C port) are driven using ESD-enhanced buffers and feature series blocking resistors to reduce the risk of damage due to transients or accidental misconnections.
Both the FMU and IO microcontrollers feature battery-backed real-time clocks and SRAM.
The on-board backup battery has capacity sufficient for the intended use of the clock and SRAM, which is to provide storage to permit orderly recovery from unintended power loss or other causes of in-air restarts.
The capacitors can also be recharged from the FMU 3.3V rail, however this will only function in the event of software existing to support this feature.
Voltage, Current and Fault Sensing
The battery voltage and current reported by both bricks can be measured by the FMU. In addition, the 5V unregulated supply rail can be measured (to detect brownout conditions). I/O can measure the servo power rail voltage.
Over-current conditions on the peripheral power ports can be detected by the FMU. Hardware lock-out prevents damage due to persistent short-circuits on these ports. The lockout can be reset by FMU software.
The under/over voltage supervisor for FMU provides an output that is used to hold FMU in reset during brown-out events.
Pixhawk FMU Main Board
- STM32F427: 2MB-flash-RAM / 256KiB-Cache.
- On-board 16KiB SPI FRAM
- MPU9250 or ICM 20xxx integrated accelerometer / gyro.
- MS5611 Baro
- All sensors connected via SPI.
- Micro SD interfaces via SDIO
Vibration Damped IMU board
- LSM303D integrated accelerometer / magnetometer.
- L3GD20 gyro.
- MPU9250 or ICM 20xxx Gyro / Accel
- MS5611 Baro
- All sensors connected via SPI.
- 1 x Pixhawk2 Standard Autopilot
- 1 x 8S Power Module
- 1 x Cable Pack (including Micro USB cable+buzzer)
- 1 x 3M Assorted Mount Pack
- 1 x I2C port hub
- 1 x Screw Pack
Pixhawk2 Standard Autopilot, In this first video in the series we cover the most commonly asked for questions from subscribers – How does it stack up to an APM? What is different to an APM? – then we install the APM:Copter firmware using Mission Planner then configure the basic settings (frame type, accelerometers, compass, modes and radio) so we are ready to connect it into a frame and connect the power and ESCs (covered in the next video).
Pixhawk2 Standard Autopilot, Published on Jul 2, 2015,
In this second video in the series we cover the installation of the basic components onto the frame, how to power the board, what the flashing LEDs mean, how to check that we can arm it and the motors all work, confirm the direction of the radio controls (especially the elevator/pitch control) and finally perform a test hover.
Pixhawk2 Standard Autopilot, Published on Jul 17, 2015,
You can watch the full Taranis series (that includes the fitting and configuration of the 6 position switch). In this third video we cover the main points of setting up an OpenTx powered radio (Taranis and 9Xr for example) with the APM, PX4 or Pixhawk. We cover channel order, using all 6 flight modes, using sounds and failsafe.
Painless360 Published on Jul 24, 2015,
Pixhawk2 Standard Autopilot, In this video we cover the options for how to power your PixHawk. We cover the options for connecting power to the Power port on the top of the PixHawk, then cover the options for connecting the wires from the ESCs to the other side of the power system. We discuss redundancy and recommendations when using servos for gimbals and landing gear. Thanks to ‘R’ for donating the PixHawk for this series – he is a very generous chap.