Hardware Setup

Sailing vehicles require a rudder for boats or movable wheel/ wheels for land vehicles. This is setup in the normal way
by assigning a servo output channel to function 26 – Ground Steering.

Sailing vehicles also require a method of controlling the sails. The servo must pull in and let out the sails in a symmetrical way. I.e. no change of servo position should be required to set the sails at the same angle on a new tack. This is typically achieved through the use of a sail winch servo with a main sheet system. The sail winch is servo output function 89 - Main Sail.

Although not absolutely required for best results a wind vane should be fitted to allow the vehicle to sense the wind direction. A further improvement can be gained by fitting a wind speed sensor, the faster your vehicle goes relative to the wind speed the more important this is, See wind vane.


Flight Controllers

Sailing vehicles are supported by any flight controller, however if a wind vane is to be fitted one analogue ADC input must be available. On newer beta-flight style controllers this is typically labelled as RSSI. In order to fit a hot wire type wind speed sensor two more analogue inputs are required, although just a single additional input can be used with a small loss in accuracy. Alternatively a pressure based airspeed sensor can be used (link to optional hardware airspeed). Ideally a sail vehicle flight controller would have three analogue inputs. Pixhawk1 and the CUBE both fit this criteria.