Development of Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation Based on Gazebo and Pixhawk for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Original Paper

Abstract

Hardware-in-the-loop simulation (HILS) is well known as an effective approach in the design of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) systems, enabling engineers to test the control algorithm on a hardware board with a UAV model on the software. Performance of HILS is determined by performances of the control algorithm, the developed model, and the signal transfer between the hardware and software. The result of HILS is degraded if any signal could not be transferred to the correct destination. Therefore, this paper aims to develop a middleware software to secure communications in HILS system for testing the operation of a quad-rotor UAV. In our HILS, the Gazebo software is used to generate a nonlinear six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) model, sensor model, and 3D visualization for the quad-rotor UAV. Meanwhile, the flight control algorithm is designed and implemented on the Pixhawk hardware. New middleware software, referred to as the control application software (CAS), is proposed to ensure the connection and data transfer between Gazebo and Pixhawk using the multithread structure in Qt Creator. The CAS provides a graphical user interface (GUI), allowing the user to monitor the status of packet transfer, and perform the flight control commands and the real-time tuning parameters for the quad-rotor UAV. Numerical implementations have been performed to prove the effectiveness of the middleware software CAS suggested in this paper.

Keywords

HILS Quad-rotor Pixhawk Gazebo 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the 2015 Research Fund of University of Ulsan.

References

  1. 1.
    Arifianto O, Farhood M (2015) Optimal control of a small fixed-wing UAV about concatenated trajectories. Control Eng Pract 40:113–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Raharja GB, Beom KG, Yoon KJ (2010) Design of an autonomous hover control system for a small quadrotor. Int J Aeronaut Space Sci 11(4):338–344.  https://doi.org/10.5139/IJASS.2010.11.4.338 Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lee J, Choi HS (2016) Fault tolerant control of hexacopter for actuator faults using time delay control method. Int J Aeronaut Space Sci 17:54–63.  https://doi.org/10.5139/IJASS.2016.17.1.54 Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Do-Hyung K, Tae-Joo K (2016) Test and simulation of an active vibration control system for helicopter applications. Int J Aeronaut Space Sci 17(3):442–453.  https://doi.org/10.5139/IJASS.2016.17.3.442 Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pizetta IHB, Brandao AS, Sarcinelli-Filho M (2016) A hardware-in-the-loop platform for rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicles. J Intell Robot Syst 84:725–743.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10846-016-0357-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Simon D (2011) Hardware-in-the-loop test-bed of an unmanned aerial vehicle using Orccad. In: 6th National conference on control architectures of robots, FranceGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bayrakceken MK, Yalcin MK, Arisoy A, Karamancioglu A (2011) HIL simulation setup for attitude control of a quadrotor. In: Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE international conference on mechatronics, Turkey, pp 354–357Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Santos SRB, Sidney SNGJ, Cairo LNJ, Adriano B, Neusa MFO (2011) Modeling of a hardware-in-the-loop simulator for UAV autopilot controllers. In: Proceedings of COBEM, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Khan HS, Kadri MB (2014) Position control of quadrotor by embedded PID control with hardware in loop simulation. In: IEEE 17th international multi-topic conference, PakistanGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Meier L, Honegger D, Pollefeys M (2015) PX4: a node-based multithread open source robotics framework for deeply embedded platforms. In: IEEE international conference on robotics and automation, USA, pp 6235–6240Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fraundorfer F, Heng L, Honegger D, Lee GH, Meier L, Tanskanen P, Pollefeys M (2012) Vision-based autonomous mapping and exploration using a quadrotor MAV. In: IEEE/RSJ international conference on intelligent robots and systems, Portugal, pp 4557–4564Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    PX4 Team (2013) Pixhawk px4 autopilot. https://pixhawk.ethz.ch/px4/en/start
  13. 13.
    Bolandi H, Rezaei M, Mohsenipour R, Nemati H, Smailzadeh SM (2013) Attitude control of a quadrotor with optimized PID controller. Intell Control Autom 4:335–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rendy W, Bambang RT, Egi H (2016) Hardware-in-the-loop simulation of UAV hexacopter for chemical hazard monitoring mission. In: 2016 6th international conference on system engineering and technology, Indonesia, pp 189–193Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cardenas IL, Salazar S, Lozano R (2016) The MAV3DSim hardware in the loop simulation platform for research and validation of UAV controller. In: International conference on unmanned aircraft systems, USA, pp 1335–1341Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    GeoFS (2017) Gefs: free online flight simulator. http://www.gefsonline.com
  17. 17.
    Prabowo YA, Trilaksono BR, Triputra FR (2015) Hardware in the loop simulation for visual servoing of fixed wing UAV. In: International conference on electrical engineering and informatics, pp 247–252Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Korkmaz H, Ertin OB, Kasnakoglu C, Kaynak U (2013) Design of a flight stabilizer system for a small fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicle using system identification. In: 1st IFAC workshop on advances in control and automation theory for transportation applications, vol 46, no. 25, pp 145–149Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mengmi Z, Hailong Q, Menglu L, Jiaxin L, Shuai W, Kaijun L, Feng L, Ben MC (2015) A high fidelity simulator for a quadrotor UAV using ROS and Gazebo. In: IECON 2015—41st annual conference of the IEEE industrial electronics society, pp 2846–2851Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sourceforge (2017) Player/stage/gazebo. http://sourceforge.net/projects/playerstage
  21. 21.
    Carlos EA, Nate K, Ian C, Hugo B, Steven P, John H, Brian G, Steffi P, Jose LR, Justin M, Eric K, Gill P (2015) Inside the virtual robotics challenge simulating real-time robotic disaster response. IEEE Trans Autom Sci Eng 12(2):494–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Odelga M, Stegagno P, Heinrich HB, Ahmad A (2015) A setup for multi-UAV hardware in the loop simulations. In: 2015 workshop on research education and development of unmanned aerial systems, Mexico, pp 204–210Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Thomio W, Gustavo N, Romulo C, Tiago T, Marco R, Sylvain J, Jan A (2015) The rock-gazebo integration and a real-time AUV simulation. In: 2015 12th Latin American robotics symposium and 2015 third Brazilian symposium on robotic, Brazil, pp 132–138Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Qing B, Fuhua W, Zhen X, Qinhu R, Jianhua Z, Sheng L (2015) General simulation platform for vision based UAV testing. In: 2015 IEEE international conference on information and automation, China, pp 2512–2516Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yang Y, Yan Y (2016) Attitude regulation for unmanned quadrotors using adaptive fuzzy gain scheduling sliding mode control. Aerosp Sci Technol 54:208–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Xiong JJ, Zhang GB (2017) Global fast dynamic terminal sliding mode control for a quadrotor UAV. ISA Trans 66:233–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    3DR company (2017) Support IRIS quad-rotor. https://3dr.com/support/articles/iris/
  28. 28.
    Gazebosim (2017) Gazebo. http://gazebosim.org
  29. 29.
    Snyder JP (1987) Map projections—a working manual. Government Printing Office, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nirmal K, Sreejith AM, Mathew J, Mayuresh S, Suresh A, Prakash A, Safonova M, Murthy J (2016) Noise modeling and analysis of an IMU-based attitude sensor: improvement of performance by filtering and sensor fusion. In: SPIE astronomical telescopes and instrumentation symposium, UKGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Stewart SM, Holt GN (2003) Real-time attitude determination of a nanosatellite using GPS signal-to-noise ratio observations. University of Texas at Austin, AustinGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.

Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Aeronautical & Space Sciences and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Automotive EngineeringUniversity of UlsanUlsanRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations