Paparazzi is an open-source autopilot system oriented toward inexpensive autonomous aircraft. Low cost and availability enable hobbyist use in small remotely piloted aircraft. The project began in 2003, and is being further developed and used at École nationale de l'aviation civile (ENAC), a French civil aeronautics academy. Several vendors are currently producing Paparazzi autopilots and accessories.
An autopilot allows a remotely piloted aircraft to be flown out of sight. All hardware and software is open-source and freely available to anyone under the GNU licensing agreement. Open Source autopilots provide flexible hardware and software. Users can easily modify the autopilot based on their own special requirements, such as forest fire evaluation. Paparazzi collaborators share ideas and information using the same MediaWiki software that is used by Wikipedia.
Paparazzi accepts commands and sensor data, and adjusts flight controls accordingly. For example, a command might be to climb at a certain rate, and paparazzi will adjust power and/or control surfaces. As of 2010 paparazzi did not have a good speed hold and changing function, because no air speed sensor reading is considered by the controller.
Paparazzi provides for a minimum set of flight sensors:
The open-source software suite "contains everything" to let "airborne system fly reliably".
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