VECTOR

VECTOR autopilot

The VECTOR is UAV Navigation's most advanced autopilot. Housed in a rugged, MIL SPEC aluminium casing, its key features are:
  • High-end ADHRS-INS core
  • Dual 850MIPS CPUs (each with 256MB program flash)
  • FPGA
  • Extensive I/O capabilities 
  • Real Time Operating System (RTOS)
VECTOR is a robust and dependable unit, with built-in physical and logical redundancy; this allows it to survive all individual sensor failures while maintaining accurate estimates of attitude and position. For this reason VECTOR has rapidly become the autopilot of choice for high value fixed wingrotary wing and target UAVs.
 
VECTOR features an RTOS. In simple terms, the key advantage of an RTOS is its predictability and the fact that non-critical functions are never allowed to slow down more important tasks, such as flight control. This leads to a safer, more reliable system.
 
VECTOR can host UAV Navigation’s mission and flight control software or that of the customer, making it a superb avionics development platform. Its processor core is compatible with commercially available certified avionics operating systems.
 
A Software Development Kit (SDK) version is available for developers wanting to write their own code.
 
Like all UAV Navigation autopilots, VECTOR is capable of controlling fixed wing, helicopter and target drone platforms over a wide range of flight control tasks:
  • Auto take-off
  • Auto flight plan execution (waypoints)
  • Fly-to
  • Hover/hold
  • Auto Return-To-Base (RTB) in case of communications failure
  • Auto landing
  • Directed & Pitch/Roll modes.
  • Manual override
  • Gimbal/Camera control modes: air, ground, geo, pilot view, stow & rate.
  • 3D Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for accurate flight control and camera pointing
  • Multiple datalink management.
VECTOR can control a wide variety of advanced payloads:
  • Camera stabilization, pointing and control 
  • Transponder integration
  • ECU integration
  • Radar/ Laser altimeter
  • Flare and parachute activation for target drones
  • DGPS/RTK

The VECTOR's standard In/Out (I/O) configuration is as follows:

  • Serial Communications:
    • 1 x RS-232 System Serial Port.
    • 2 x RS-232 Payload Port.
    • 2 x RS-422 / RS-485 Payload Port.
    • 1 x RS-232 AHRS-INS COM.
  • 1 x Ethernet Port.
  • 2 x CAN BUS Port.
  • 8 x Voltage Sensing Channels (0 to 3.3 V. ADC inputs).
  • 24 x Configurable General Purpose I/O Lines (GPIO). Default configuration: 16 x PWM Channels, 4 x Discrete Outputs (0 to 3.3 V), 4 x Discrete Inputs (0 to 3.3 V).
FLIGHT CONTROL 
Fully automatic, multi-waypoint, 3D flight-plan following.
Axis
3 (roll, pitch, yaw)
Auto throttle
Yes
Auto takeoff/landing
Yes
PAYLOAD MANAGEMENT 
Gyro-stabilization
Yes
Flare/parachute
Auto or manual firing
I/O
Total I/O lines
62
Servo or General purpose I/O lines
24 (fully configurable), LVTTL: PWM, Discrete Input, Discrete Output, Pulse Counter (RPM), GPS PPS, Strobe Light Signal
PWM rate
50Hz, 200Hz or 400Hz
PWM signal
0.8ms to 2.2ms high, 1us steps
CAN 2.0 A and B
2 (up to 1Mbps)
Serial comm
  • 3 x RS-232 (up to 250kbps)
  • 2 x RS-422/485 (up to 1Mbps)
Ethernet
100 Base Tx Channel according to IEEE 802.3 standard
High-speed ADC lines
8 ADC inputs with 12 bit resolution and up to 1 MHz conversion rate. Conversion extends from 0V to 3.3V
REDUNDANCY AND SAFETY
Flight Control CPU
2
Online sensor diagnostics
Yes (Continuous Built-In Test, CBIT)
Sensor failure tolerance
All single, several multiple
Dual Power Supply
Yes
ELECTRICAL
Supply (unregulated)
9V to 36V DC
Power consumption
2.5 W
MECHANICAL / ENVIRONMENTAL
Enclosure Material
Grade 6082 Aluminium Alloy
IP Rating
Designed to conform with IP66 (explanation here)
Size (mm, H x W x L, box less connectors, width less mounting lugs)
45.0 x 68.0 x 74.5
Weight
180g
Humidity
Up to 90% RH, non-condensing
Temperature range
-40ºC to +85ºC
Altitude
Up to 30000 ft AMSL
System Connector #1
25-pin GLENAIR MWDM2L-37P-6E5-18
System Connector #2
37-pin GLENAIR MWDM2L-25P-6E5-18
GPS Antenna Connector
50 Ohm SMA Female
Pressure connectors diameter
3.0 mm
Shock survival
500g 8ms 1/2 sine
Mounting screws
4 x M4
ESD compliant
IEC 61.000-4-2-level 4
  • AHRS-INS (ADS, IMU, GPS) Information:
REDUNDANCY AND SAFETY
Online sensor diagnostics
Yes
Sensor failure tolerance
All single, several multiple
GNSS
Current GNSS system
  • GPS L1C/A
  • SBAS L1C/A
Multi-constellation capability available from early 2017
  • 72-channel receiver
  • GPS L1C/A
  • SBAS L1C/A
  • QZSS L1C/A
  • GLONASS L10F
  • BeiDou B1
  • Galileo E1B/C
Antenna
Active (for best performance) or passive
Antenna Connector (boxed version)
50 Ohm SMA Female
Antenna power supply
3.3V
Sensitivity
-167 dBm
Time to First Fix
  • Cold Start: 26s
  • Hot Start: 1s
Navigation Update Rate
  • Single GNSS: up to 10 Hz
  • Concurrent GNSS: up to 5 Hz
Velocity Accuracy
0.05 m/s
Heading Accuracy
0.3 degrees
Horizontal Position Accuracy
2 m
Accuracy of Time Pulse Signal (RMS)
30 ns
Frequency of Time Pulse Signal
PPS signal can be configured by the user (default: 1 pps)
Operational Limits of GNSS
  • Dynamics: 4 g
  • Altitude: 50,000 m
  • Velocity: 500 m/s
AIR DATA SYSTEM (ADS)
Airspeed Ranges
  • X (Extra Low Speed) : 15-80 kts.
  • L (Low Speed): 20-250 kts.
  • N (Normal Speed): 35-250 kts.
  • H (High Speed): 45-450 kts.
Altimeter
-2.000 ft to 30.000 ft AMSL
Altimeter Accuracy
50 ft
Altimeter Resolution
0.5 ft
IMU (INERTIAL MEASUREMENT UNIT)
Sampling rate
1 kHz
ACCELEROMETERS
Accelerometers range
+/-16 g (all axis)
3dB Bandwidth
400 Hz
Noise
0.52 mg/√Hz
RATE GYRO RANGE
Gyro range
2000º/s (all axis)
3dB Bandwidth
77 Hz
Noise
0.015 °/s /√Hz
MAGNETOMETER
Internal Magnetometer
3 axis (possibility to connect external magnetometer, e.g. MG01)
Magnetometer attitude compensation
Yes
Full scale range
+/- 1000 uT
Sensibility
0.10 uT
Maximum applied magnetic/field
100,000 uT
AHRS/INS DYNAMIC ACCURACY*
Roll, pitch, yaw range
Continuous unrestricted
Pitch & Roll error *
< 0.5º
Heading error
< 1º
Position
2m CEP with GPS and WAAS/EGNOS available
Drift 
<50 m/min (continuous, not first minute only)
*  1σ precision in single cylinder piston powered UAV standard flight, with full sensor suite operational. Values are valid for internal and external magnetometer operation.

 

VECTOR Breakout Board
 
The VECTOR Breakout Board is a quick and easy way to connect the VECTOR to a PC in order to access all the connection capabilities of the VECTOR.

 

VECTOR Installation Kit
The VECTOR Installation Kit (INSKIT) includes the ancilleries required to install and connect it to the UAV's onboard avionics:
  • SMA Female to Female Bulkhead Connector.
  • 37-Pin Connector Female (model: GLENAIR MWDM2L-37S-6E5-18).
  • 25-Pin Connector Female (model: GLENAIR MWDM2L-25S-6E5-18).

 

 
 

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