Skynav

Hardware Overview

Packout Information and Environmental Limitations

  • Size: 11 in x 5.5 in x 2 in
  • Weight: 2.5 lb
  • IP 65 rating (dust and water resistant)
  • MIL-STD-810G (rating for vibration, drop, temperature, and maximum altitude)
  • Operating temperature range: -30 to +49 degrees Celsius / -22 to +120 degrees Fahrenheit

Key Hardware Information

  • Battery life: 3.5 to 4 hours
  • Built around the Panasonic FZ-M1 Toughpad
  • 256 GB SSD
  • 8 GB RAM
  • I/O: USB-A and Ethernet via ODU

First Steps with Skynav

Step 1: Charge Skynav

  1. 1.
    Remove Skynav from the case or pouch.
  2. 2.
    Raise the antennas (Microhard units only).
  3. 3.
    Fully charge Skynav using the supplied AC adapter.
    • Charging takes 1.5 to 2 hours. Once complete, the battery indicator LED on the top-right of the screen (1) changes color from red to green.
    • The Skynav power port is on the inside-back of the left handgrip, near the bottom.
Skynav charging port

Step 2: Power Skynav

  1. 1.
    Press the On/Off button on the top of the controller (2).
  2. 2.
    Wait until Skynav reaches the Ubuntu login screen. This should take about 15 seconds.
  3. 3.
    Log into Ubuntu using the on-screen keyboard. The default login credentials are:
    • User: pilot
    • Password: pilot
  4. 4.
    Start the ground station application (QGC SRR or Auterion Mission Control) from the Ubuntu home screen.
You may need to acknowledge an end-user license the first time you start Mission Control.

Step 3: Pair & Connect Vehicle

This step assumes your vehicle already has a compatible radio installed and configured for pairing.
  1. 1.
    Start Skynav and the ground station application. The ground station should open in Fly View.
  2. 2.
    Select the pairing icon (3) on the top application bar and then follow the on-screen prompts to pair and connect your vehicle.
    • The pairing button is vehicle dependent, but is usually found on the GPS unit where it serves dual use as a safety button.
    • After pressing the pairing button Skynav will start to connect. This may take about a minute.
  3. 3.
    After connecting a vehicle will be shown on the top application bar and on the map.

Step 4: Preflight Checklist

This is a basic set of preflight actions. Check your local aviation authority and comply with relevant pilot and vehicle regulations.
  1. 1.
    Ensure that you’re connected to a vehicle and that it has sufficient battery power (in application top bar) and is ready to fly.
  2. 2.
    Select the Preflight Checklist button from the Fly View toolbar. Acknowledge each of the checks following the on-screen prompts.
    • Orange tests are manual. Perform the stated test and then select it to mark as done.
    • Green tests have passed. These include both manual tests and automatic tests.
    • Red tests are automatic tests that have not been completed. Some tests may take time to complete (e.g. getting a GPS signal/position lock) while others require intervention (e.g. checking that vehicle sensors are calibrated).
  3. 3.
    After the preflight checks are complete, perform a final check that there are no people nearby or in your planned flight path.

Step 5: Takeoff

  1. 1.
    Remove any safety interlock on your vehicle (e.g. often there is a safety button on your GPS) and step well away from the vehicle.
  2. 2.
    Select the Takeoff button in the Fly View toolbar. A multicopter or VTOL vehicle should ascend to a safe height and wait.
  3. 3.
    You’re flying!
Alternatively you can take off manually by selecting the Arm button in the top toolbar and gently moving the left joystick forward/up. The vehicle will disarm within a few sections if you do not move the sticks.

Step 6: Flying Manually

  1. 1.
    You can fly manually using the left and right joysticks. These will start working as soon as you move them outside the center zone of the sticks.
  2. 2.
    The stick mappings for vehicles flying as multicopters and as a fixed-wing “plane” are shown below.
If you ever feel that you’re losing control of the vehicle, simply let go of the sticks so that they spring back to the center. A multicopter (or VTOL in MC mode) will hover in place. A vehicle that is flying like a fixed wing will stabilise on its current track and altitude.
If you’re flying as a VTOL you can switch between the modes by selecting the VTOL transition button in the ground station toolbar.

Step 7: Landing

  1. 1.
    Press the top right button (RB2 Return mode) to fly the vehicle back to the launch point and land.
  2. 2.
    Once the vehicle has landed it should disarm after a few seconds. Do not approach the vehicle until motors stop spinning.
Alternatively you can gently lower the left joystick (in multicopter mode) to land the vehicle.

Next Steps

Skynav is capable of a lot more, including mission planning and execution. More detailed information is available in the ground station user manual: Auterion Mission Control.

Troubleshooting

The user manual is the first port of call for any problems. We have also included some troubleshooting guidance below.
Problem
Suggestions
Unit won’t turn on
Check that the unit is properly charged and that the battery release latch is properly engaged.
Pairing doesn’t work
Reboot both Skynav and the vehicle.
Aircraft won’t take off
Check errors (refer to Auterion Mission Control guide for more information)
The joysticks aren’t detected by the system
Reboot the unit. Check that the Ubuntu application jstest-gtk shows the device.
The device audio isn’t working in Ubuntu even though the volume is set to max
Reboot the unit and select “Windows Boot Manager” as opposed to "Ubuntu". Once booted and logged into Windows, turn the volume up (any value but 0). Power off and reboot into Ubuntu.
I need the battery to last longer
Several functions impact battery life. Try disabling WiFi and Bluetooth, reducing the screen brightness, not using USB accessories, and reducing the integrated radio’s transmit power (this will reduce the effective range).
My Skynav doesn’t have enough disk space available
If your Skynav unit is configured for dual boot, there is likely unutilized disk space. Open the partition manager in Windows or Ubuntu (gparted) to resize the partition you wish to use primarily.
If you can’t find the answers in the troubleshooting section above or in the user manual, please contact us for help using email: [email protected].