Why?

Recent advances in computing have enabled the widespread adoption of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones. These systems are emergent in a variety of fields, ranging from cinematography to environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, and aeronautics research. Accurately monitoring and controlling aircraft dynamics is key to all of these endeavors; providing high quality data while reducing post-processing time and effort. Two critical components to meet this goal are:

  1. Designing a software stack to maximize data quality and scalability while maintaining low-latency and determinism.
  2. Quickly and reliably tuning robust control laws and generating flight validated aircraft models.

RAPTRS, the Rapid Autonomy Platform and Testbed Reconfiguration Suite, is our in-house, open-source flight software stack focused on data quality, scalability, low-latency, and determinism. This unique set of capabilities is not found in other flight software stacks and RAPTRS is built from the ground up to take full advantage of our innovative flight control platform. RAPTRS has a long term vision of developing an open-source flight software suite that can autonomously learn to fly any aircraft and generate flight validated aircraft models, enabling revolutionary reductions in the time and effort required to bring new drones to flight.

Goals

  1. Data quality, scalability, low-latency, and determinism
  2. Autonomously learn to fly any aircraft
  3. Integrated simulation and data analysis tools
  4. Research quality data using open-source software and low cost hardware

Status

Our goals for Version 2.x.x of RAPTRS are:

  1. Migrate to very small configuration and data packets.
  2. Implement a custom data tree for selecting components by name.
  3. Migrate all baseline software to the FMU. Stretch goal:
  4. Implement a GUI for aircraft configuration and build a ground station.

RAPTRS Technical Pages

During development we will write articles about current developments and what we are working on. These can be accessed via our RAPTRS technical pages. Additionally, we have an ongoing discussion on the PJRC forum, a forum for the Teensy microcontrollers, which are used for the Flight Management Unit and Nodes in our flight control system.

Contributing

Contributions in the form of pull requests are appreciated. Device drivers, estimation algorithms, and other self contained components are located in their own repostories on GitHub before integration into RAPTRS. We use Google’s C++ style guide for C++ software and the Linux style guide for C software. If you would like to join the development team, please contact me at: brian.taylor@bolderflight.com.