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Introduction to VECTOR SDK


1.   Introduction.   The VECTOR SDK allows customers to develop their own flight stabilization and control laws, via an Application Programming Interface (API), taking advantage of all the tested VECTOR’s hardware and functionality. The VECTOR SDK complements the standard autopilot documentation and software.

2.   The VECTOR is UAV Navigation's most advanced autopilot. The key features with regard to the VECTOR-SDK are as follows:

  • In-house AHRS-INS core. Work with the raw data provided by the internal ADAHRS and GNSS, or use our optimized state estimation for attitude stabilization, guidance and navigation.
  • Twin redundant Atmel CPUs with ARM Cortex-A5 embedded core.
  • Embedded watchdog and I/O controller on FPGA.

3.   Important Note on Compatibility.   When using the SDK to implement a custom Flight Control System (FCS), the customer is free to use UAVN's own ICD as a starting point; however, as soon as the ICD is modified this custom FCS may become incompatible with other elements of the UAVN system, including:

4.   Supplied:

  • The VECTOR SDK includes example programs and skeleton projects offering access to all hardware functions in a C99 library with a documented API.
  • SDK documentation.

5.   Optional:

  • VECTOR Breakout Board (formerly called the Evaluation Board) enables quick and easy connection to a PC. It features a 'PGM' mode, which provides developers with powerful software debugging capabilities. When the PGM switch on the board is turned on, part of the GPIO pins are internally re-routed to give access to the JTAG port of the selected CPU. A J-Link debug probe, such as that manufactured by SEGGER1, can then be used for on-chip software loading and debugging.

6.   Available Peripherals.   The VECTOR features several peripherals, intended mainly for communication with external devices (e.g. sensors, radio-links, servos, payloads, etc.). See also KB article VECTOR I/O Configuration. By using the VECTOR-SDK, developers can combine all of the resources available to implement their custom autopilot solution. KB article VECTOR SDK Peripherals and I/O Configuration describes in detail all of the peripherals.

7.   Software Download.   The complete VECTOR SDK software package is available via the Download Center.

8.   Software Resources.   The VECTOR SDK software resources and folder structure are detailed in the table below. Version numbers are shown as an example but may differ from those provided:

Description Root
Description of software contents
  • README.txt

Several example applications that show generic or specific functionality of the SDK library.

All examples come with the source code (subfolders "source" and "include") and project settings (subfolder "build") ready to compile.

  • examples
  • example_1
  • build
  • include
  • source
  • example_2
  • build
  • include
  • source
All necessary header files to be included for using the SDK library. Subfolder "freertos" contains a copy of the FreeRTOS kernel header files. FreeRTOS is developed and maintained by Real Time Engineers, Ltd. The full source code can be downloaded from http://www.freertos.org
  • include
  • freertos
  • header files
UAVN libraries. Contains VECTOR-SDK and a utility library(uavn_libutils) provided by UAV Navigation for de/serializing data, CRC calculation, encoding/decoding TSIP packets and other useful functions.
  • lib
  • uavn_vector_sdk_ewarm_rel_0.9.0.143.a
  • uavn_libutils_ewarm_rel_0.7.0.125.a
Support files necessary for linking applications (.icf files) and carry out on-chip debugging (.mac files).
  • resources
  • icf
  • macros
Software update, explained in VECTOR software update section
  • tools
  • uavn_encode_bin.exe

9.   Memory Resources.

  • RAM: 16MiB.
  • NVM (for each CPU): 16MiB.
  • NVM (shared between both CPUs but only accessible by the active one): 2MiB.

10.   System Requirements.   The minimum requirements to work with the VECTOR-SDK are:

  • Microsoft Windows 7/8/10.
  • CPU: Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon.
  • System RAM: 1GB (minimum).
  • Hard Disk space: 4 GB free.
  • At least one free USB 2.0 port.

11.   The following drivers / applications must be installed in order to use the VECTOR SDK:

12.  Disclaimer.  UAV Navigation makes every effort to ensure that its software products are delivered to customers to the highest possible standards. However, UAV Navigation will not be held responsible for the quality of flight control algorithms or other software developed by customers using this VECTOR SDK product. Therefore any accident, loss of equipment or damages (including to third parties) resulting from the use of the VECTOR SDK product will be the sole responsibility of the customer.