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Closed loop air-control using Flight Gear

Researchers tend to need to do a lot of tests in order to obtain a good results. It's normal not to have many aerial vehicules that they can crash and break when they are testing their new controller. So it's necesary to have a simulation platform where you could watch the advantages and disadvantages of your implentation. Therefore the first step is simulation and it's very important to have a good simulator.


FlightGear is an open source flight simulation platform which has a realistic aerodynamic behaviour. Hence it would be a good a idea to use it to test. There you are able to obtain all aircraft variables. So we only have to do computer comunications between the controller and FlightGear. 

Also we are working in computer vision. So it's important for us to obtain and process images. After that we could send to the controller more infomation or follow a path plan. Moreover we need to be fast receiving images. For that we had to modify FlightGear source code.  

We connect to FlightGear using  UDP and TCP sockets to get and send data. we put below the scheme.  


As you can see. There is two controllers. Vision Controller will take images, process them and give references to Main Controller which takes aircraft data send by FlightGear and stabilize that one. We use cascade controllers and single controllers as to control throttle, yaw, pitch and roll. 

The Vision Controller uses a TCP socket to obtain images, and Main controller uses two UDP sockets to send/received data.