5 Connecting a Drone

To have a successful flight, the drone should follow and respond to the commands given by RC. For this, a drone should be properly connected to the GCS. There should be proper communication between the drone and GCS and RC. Drone will be connected through a wireless connections. So the user has to provide the necessary information to establish the communication between drone and software. The AeroGCS KEA 2.3 provides the following options for connecting a drone.

You can connect a drone in the following ways:

  1. From Home menu:

3. Connect a drone while creating a new Project: You have to connect a device before creating a new project. The AeroGCS will prompt you to connect a device before creating a project as shown in image:

Click on "Yes" button to connect a drone so that you can upload the plan with desired settings into a drone.

Following are the steps for establishing the connection for any of these ways.

  • Set the Communication Link:

1. Serial Port Setting

In the serial port setting the user can connect the device using serial communication. Also, users can set different baud rates as per the requirement and connect the device.

1.1 Serial Port: Select a serial port from the drop-down list. Proper selection of the serial port will help to establish the proper communication link.

1.2 Baud rate: Computers communicate by transmitting bits of digital data from one device to another device through transmission media. You can send and receive data without worrying about setting up the details. The baud rate is the rate at which information is transferred in a communication channel. Baud rate is the rate at which the number of signal elements or changes to the signal occurs per second when it passes through a transmission medium. The higher the baud rate the faster is the data sent/received.

Baud rate = Number of signal elements/total time (in seconds)

Baud rate is important in the case of serial communication. In the serial port context, "9600 baud" means that the serial port is capable of transferring a maximum of 9600 bits per second.

1.3 Data Bits: The data bits that are transmitted over a serial port can be used to represent device commands, sensor readings, error messages, and more. Text (ASCII) or binary data can both be used to transfer the data. The majority of serial ports use five to eight data bits. Eight bits of binary data are typically transmitted. Text data is transmitted in either seven or eight bits. Since there are 27 or 128 different characters in the ASCII character set, the data must have a minimum of seven bits. If an eighth bit is used, it must be set to 0. Because there are 28 or 256 distinct characters in the extended ASCII character set, eight bits must be used.

1.4 Parity is an error-checking procedure in which the number of 1s must always be the same - either even or odd - for each group of bits that is transmitted without error. In modem-to-modem communications, parity is often one of the parameters that must be agreed upon by sending parties and receiving parties before transmission can take place

1.5 Data Flow Control

RTS/CTS: The Request To Send (RTS)/ Clear To Send (CTS) protocol is a handshaking technique that uses a single wire in each direction to allow each device to signal to the other whether it is prepared to receive data at any given time. This is simply done to let the modem know that the host is prepared to send data and that a communication channel can be established. RTS simply indicates that the host wishes to send data, whereas CTS simply indicates that you may begin sending data.

XON/XOFF: These are also known as Software Flow Control. XON/XOFF are control characters that are used in data transmission. A receiving device uses XOFF to inform the transmitting device that it must stop transmitting. The XON character is sent when the device is ready to resume operation.

2. TCP

In the TCP communication setting, the user can set the host address, listing port, target address, and target port. The User can enter the desired values as per requirement or if the user wants to connect the Herelink then can connect directly without changing the parameters.

2.1 Host Address: It is the address of the host computer through which the drone is controlled and monitored. If the user wants to change it he can, otherwise let it be as it is.

2.2 Listening Port: The address of the device to which the system is connected. You may change it or else let it be as it is.

3. UDP

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is a Transport Layer protocol. UDP is a part of the Internet Protocol suite, referred to as UDP/IP suite. Unlike TCP, it is an unreliable and connectionless protocol. So, there is no need to establish a connection before data transfer.

4. Bluetooth

The user can connect devices that are Bluetooth based like skydroid. The User has to turn on the Bluetooth and location (if required) to connect the device.

The system will scan for the available Bluetooth devices if "Scan" button is pressed. It will scan all the devices and the list will be displayed in the "Bluetooth Devices" option. Select the required device to pair with GCS and proceed for connection.

Select "Stop" option to stop the "Scan" process for Bluetooth devices.

Click on the "Advanced" button to set the advanced settings. Settings for telemetry can be established through Advanced Settings. These settings are the same for all types of connections. Set all required parameters otherwise let it be as it is.

The above image shows the advanced settings for communicating with the device. Various parameters can be set according to the hardware available on the device. These are as follows:

  • Altitude: Set the altitude of the telemetry connected.

  • Position: Set the position for the telemetry. Select the desired value from the dropdown menu.

  • Mode/Status: Set the mode or Status of the telemetry according to the entire system configuration. Select the values of modes/status from the dropdown menu.

  • RC: Select the channel where RC is connected. Again select the value from the dropdown menu.

  • Sensor: Select the option from the dropdown menu to set the sensors.

  • Disconnection Time: The idle time after which the telemetry link will be disabled. It should be always less than 180 seconds.

  • Connect Reset: Click in this box to reset the connection with the telemetry link.

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