A fixed wing aircraft can be either controlled with elevator and rudder only (blue), which requires two servos. Or it is controlled with elevator, rudder and ailerons, which requires then four servos (sometimes only three).
As the image on the left shows, the absolutely minimal setup for using pxIMU on an airplane is just the IMU, a RC receiver, motor, motor controller, battery and servos. This setup assumes that the motor controller powers the receiver, IMU and servos with 5V. The RC receiver signal is read in by the pxIMU and it outputs signals for up to four servos and one motor controller. If you want to use more than five outputs and/or need a 5V power source, please refer to the image below, which explains the setup with a pxPower or pxServo board in addition.
The image on the right shows the pxIMU Autopilot / Inertial measurement unit in a typical fixed-wing setup. One of the questions below asks wether you would prefer to merge these two boards into one. For flying a quadrotor no extra board would be needed, as the PPM from the remote can be directly fed in and the I2C signal for the motor controllers is directly sent from the IMU.
- pxIMU - Autopilot/Sensor board, 8g
- pxPower - Power supply and servo output board, 20g
- Micro servo
- Futaba FASST standard receiver with PPM sum signal mod (other receivers work as well, e.g. ACT DSL, Spektrum Satellites (no main receiver required), etc.)
- GPS Module (not shown on the image)
- Differential pressure sensor (not shown on the image)
Please note the USB cable on the pxIMU. It is only for flashing the device over USB and not used in flight. Flashing over serial is also possible.
If you want to do more than pure attitude stabilization, you can add additional sensors to achieve autonomous flight:
- pxIMU: Inertial Measurement Unit and Autopilot, 8g
- pxServo: Servo output and power supply, 5g
- Differential pressure sensor,
- SD/SDHC card (micro), 2g