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Open Source flight controller taps STM32H743 microcontroller

Apr 30, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 1,308 views

The ARV6X by Ark Electronics is a tiny flight controller that follows the latest Pixhawk v6 set of standards. The open source device features a high-performance STM32 microcontroller along with triple synced IMUs.

The ARV6X comes in a System-on-Module form-factor and integrates the STM32H753 microcontroller which is a mandatory specification for the Pixhawk 6V standards. For reference, see the table below for other required interfaces defined in DS-010 Pixhawk Autopilot Bus Standard document.

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STM32H743 block diagram (left) and Pixhawk 6V standard (right)
(click images to enlarge)

Some of the sensors onboard include a 6-axis MEMS motion tracking device (3-axis gyroscope + 3-axis accelerometer), a 6-axis SmartIndustrial MotionTracking chip (3-axis gyroscope + 3-axis accelerometer) and a 3-axis digital compass. Additionally, there is a 24-bit absolute barometric pressure low-power sensor. 


Pixhawk 6V SoM pinout standards
(click image to enlarge)

The product page doesn’t include pinout images for this specific flight controller, but they include the DS-010 document for reference. There is a 100-pin connector (X1) and a 50-pin connector (X2) with protocols support such as I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, etc. 

     
ARKV6X flight controller
(click images to enlarge)

The product page indicates that the ARKV6xX ships with PX4 Autopilot preinstalled, but it can support Ardupilot. Refer to the PX4 Autopilot Wiki pages and the PX4 forums for official documentation related to the Pixhawk framework.

Specifications listed for the ARKV6X flight controller:

  • Memory:
    • 1x MicroSD card slot
  • I/O Interfaces
    • 1x 100-pin Hirose connector
    • 1x 50-pin Hirose connector
  • Sensors:
    • Dual Invensense ICM-42688-P IMUs
    • Invensense IIM-42652 Industrial IMU
    • Bosch BMP390 Barometer
    • Bosch BMM150 Magnetometer
  • Other Features:
    • Heater (1W for warming sensors in extreme cold)
    • LED indicators
  • USB:
    • 1x USB Type-C
  • Power:
    • 5V DC
    • 500mA (300mA for main system, 200mA for heater)
  • Mechanical:
    • 3.6 x 2.9 x 0.5 cm
    • 5.0 g

Further information

The ARKV6X Flight Controller is NDAA compliant and it can be backordered from arkelectron.com for $400.00.

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