jeudi 13 avril 2017

EFIS for ultralight

Bonjour !

Today, I will turn to english, as a different audience can be interested. I am actually in the process of designing an EFIS display for Ultra light Aircrafts. I see many of those little planes with all kind of instruments and I think it is time to try to put in them some pieces of new tech.
As pictures are worth a thousand words, it looks as something like this:

This is a light version of an Electric Flight Instrument System (EFIS)
Purpose : Display aircraft flight parameters on a single Display.
The project is actually partially finished, as it still needs to get working sensors to feed the display part.
The actual program is developped using processing
It is intended to be run on a raspberry Pi. The display will be a 7" Lcd display, as bright as possible.
The program is designed around an 800x480 pixels resolution which is the one of the official raspberry display.
The symbology is taken from the one used by a famous aircraft manufacturer, but adapted for the limits and parameters used on a light Airplane. (called ULM, down here)
All symbols are fully functional. Parameters are input to the program using the mouse for testing, but it will use a serial bus transmission in real life.

It is divided in 6 sections

Attitude display: provides pitch and roll attitude sphere. The roll index also provides sideslip indication. There are white indexes and green limits on the roll sphere.
The pitch part also provides limitations and red V bars.


Speed scale is here in kilometers per hour, but could easily be adapted to knots. It also shows speed trend (10 seconds target) and speed limits, stall speed, flap speeds, VMO, etc...
(Dont worry about actual values, these are just simulated data.)

Heading scale

Altitude , with a rolling drum on the center.
(By the way, I still forgot QNH!)

Vertical Speed, using a bar and analog values above 200 ft/min.

A Data section, could be used for any information like Flaps position, Engine parameters, text or config warnings. It is actually displaying some data for debugging.

Is it Smooth ? Well, it's running pretty good, I am quite happy with the quality. It flickers just a little bit in some conditions. It could also be significantly improved, this is something I can do someday. And I am just a hobbyst.


It is developped with processing which is an open source software.

Important notice; Take your responsibility. I warn anyone who would like to use it about the fact that this is nothing like a real aeronautic software. We are here in"bricolage" section, it's more for the fun, even if I think to use it someday. Could be use in a home simulator as well. Nothing to do with a real software, because it is not really built, debugged, and tested as it could be. It lacks ruggedness.
Also the hardware is totally different from a real aircraft. A raspeberry Pi runs on an operating system which is not the way an aircraft computer works. But, well, here, I need the Pi, There is no Arduino solution yet for such a display. No watchdog either, no monitoring.  No redundancy...

But It Works

Anyone interested by this, please leave a message and I would be happy to share.

To do list: 
- Now build the equivalent of the ADIRU for a light airplane. An acquisition/computation card. Use Arduino 101 as a base because it has internal sensors. 
- connect to pressure sensors for speed/altitude.
- Make a second set of input circuits for redundacy.
- Connect a GPS; Use it for time / terrain height.
But this would not replace a second display. I would still use an Ipad, or the like, for navigation.

5 commentaires:

  1. Bonsoir Franc, est ce que on peut avoir le code source de ce beau EFIS ?
    J'ai construit un EFIS sur deux versions differentes avec un Arduino MEGA 2560 mais je n'ai pas ce graphique j'ai que des instruments classiques mais il fonctionne bien, voir mon site ci-dessous..


    1. Bonjour
      Peux tu me renvoyer un email sur
      Et je t enverrai une copie

  2. I would love to be a "test dummy" for this software!

  3. Hello,
    What you think ?
    Is there any possibility to link your soft with pixhawk Cube orange as signal source (