A Framework for Real-Time System Development Using the Pixhawk
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Pixhawk is an open source hardware and software platform targeted at academic, hobbyist and industrial use in micro air vehicles. This thesis aims to develop and demonstrate a software framework for developing real-time applications using the Pixhawk platform. To acquire the foundation for this development, the Pixhawk platform has been thoroughly explored. The developed framework exposes features in the Pixhawk necessary to control a system with real-time requirements in a simple interface. The framework therefore removes the need for extensive knowledge of the Pixhawk platform to implement a control system on a Pixhawk. Systems using the framework are not limited to the functionality of the framework, but still have access to all open source software solutions developed by the Pixhawk community. Guides and documentation have been written to ease the use of the framework and inform about which dependencies the framework requires from the Pixhawk system. The framework has been designed for rapid development of real-time systems as well as to test software components on a physical vehicle. A previously developed control system for an airship has been implemented on the Pixhawk using the framework to verify the functionality of the framework. Industrial usage of open source has been evaluated and discussed. Furthermore, portability of software components between Kongsberg Maritime dynamic positioning software and the Pixhawk with and without the framework has been discussed.