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HolyBro Durandal Flight Controller Leverages STM32H7 MCU Series

Mar 16, 2024 — by Giorgio Mendoza 266 views

The Holybro Durandal is a sophisticated flight controller designed for drone applications, compatible with both the Ardupilot and PX4 open-source frameworks. It features a built-in vibration isolation system and is equipped with a variety of onboard sensors. Additionally, it offers multiple I/O options for enhanced connectivity.

The core of the Durandal flight controller is the STM32H743 Main FMU Processor. This processor features a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M7 running at 480MHz. With 2MB of memory and 1MB RAM, it ensures high-speed processing and efficient handling of complex tasks.

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Complementing the main processor is the STM32F100 I/O Processor, a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3, which enhances the overall performance and responsiveness of the system.


Durandal w/ GPS module and power module
(click image to enlarge)

Holybro’s Durandal is equipped with an array of on-board sensors for drone navigation and stability. For example, the dual Accel/Gyro sensors (ICM-20689 and BMI088), a magnetic sensor (IST8310), and a barometer (MS5611). These sensors are integral to providing accurate and reliable real-time data, essential for precise drone control and navigation.

The flight controller boasts a high-precision u-blox Neo-M8N GPS/GLONASS receiver with an integrated IST8310 magnetometer, enhancing its positioning capabilities. It also features a comprehensive range of interfaces, including 8-13 PWM servo outputs, dedicated R/C inputs for Spektrum/DSM and CPPM/S.Bus, 5 general-purpose serial ports, 3x I2C ports, and 4x SPI buses for a wide range of external devices and sensors.


Durandal front view
(click image to enlarge)

Equipped to handle demanding power requirements, the Durandal by Holybro supports module outputs ranging from 4.9 to 5.5V and manages a maximum input voltage of 6V. It is adept at current sensing with a capacity of up to 120A.

According to the company, the controller incorporates an advanced vibration absorption system designed for durability and optimal performance in diverse conditions. Due to its compact dimensions and weight, the Durandal can be a flexible choice for various drone sizes and applications.


Durandal side views
(click images to enlarge)

Pre-installed with PX4, the Durandal is also compatible with other flight stacks such as Ardupilot, making it a flexible choice for various drone projects. The controller is available in different packages, including just the flight controller or bundled with additional modules like the PM02 V3 12S Power Module or the M9N GPS.


Holybro Durandal
(click images to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Holybro Durandal:

  • Sensors:
    • ICM-20689 (3-axis Gyroscope, 3-axis Accelerometer)
    • BMI088 (3-axis Gyroscope, 3-axis Accelerometer)
    • IST8310 (3-axis Digital Magnetometer)
    • MS5611 (Barometric Pressure Sensor)
  • I/O Interfaces:
    • 8-13 PWM servo outputs (8x from IO, 5x from FMU)
    • 6x dedicated PWM/Capture inputs on FMU
    • Dedicated R/C input for Spektrum /DSM 
    • Dedicated R/C input for CPPM
    • 5x general purpose serial ports (3x w/ full flow control, 1x w/ separate 1.5A current limit)
    • 3x I2C ports
    • 4x SPI buses
    • 2x CAN Buses for dual CAN
    • 2x Analog inputs for voltage current of 2x batteries
    • 2x additional analog inputs
  • Power:
    • Max input voltage – 6V
    • USB Power Input – 4.75~5.25V
    • Servo Rail Input – 0~36V
  • Operating Temperature:
    • -40℃ to 80℃
  • Certification:
    • CE, FCC
    • RoHS
  • Mechanical:
    • 80 x 45 x 20.5mm
    • 68.8g

Further Information

The Holybro Durandal Flight Controller is priced at $214.99. For the package including a GPS module and Power module, the cost is $228.99.

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