Aura User Guide

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Aura AFCS Expanded User Guide

Manuals and Documents

Aura Manuals

NOTE: Quick Setup and Quick Trim are documented in the Quick Start Guides linked just above.

Product Pages

High Level Aura Concepts

See the Aura FAQ for more in-depth information on some topics.

Aura Configurations

The Aura is currently available for sale in 2 broad configurations: Aura 8 for a specific PNP model. For example, Aura for the PNP QQ Extra 300 and Open Stock Aura 8.

The Aura 8 QQ Extra 300 configuration comes installed in our Premier Aircraft QQ Extra 300. It is also available as a replacement part. In both cases, it comes programmed/configured for optimal flight with dual rates, expo, gains specifically designed for the PNP QQ Extra 300. Other Aura versions for PNP models include the Cessna 170 and the Mamba 10

The Aura 8 Open Stock configuration comes with a blank configuration that can be configured to virtually any fixed wing aircraft. The Aura 8 Open Stock must be configured for your aircraft. We have built-in features such as Quick Setup and Quick Trim to allow common aircraft (up to 2 Aileron, 2 Elevator, and 1 Rudder) to be initially setup quickly with only a "digital data" receiver connection (Spektrum DSM2/DSMX Remote Receivers, Spektrum SRXL, Futaba or Hitec S.Bus, Graupner SumD, JR Mode B, Jeti UDI) and a transmitter.

On-board Configuration

The Aura Advanced Flight Control System (AFCS) is designed to offer an optimum flying experience when installed properly. For optimal flying experience, the Aura does a few things different than a traditional gyro or flight controller and handles some duties that are traditionally handled by the transmitter. The concept of an on-board configuration means the best flying experience is achieved when many parameters are set on the Aura, rather than in the transmitter.

For best results the following items are best configured in Aura: Wing and Tail types, Servo Reversing, Servo Travels, Sub-trims, Trims, Dual Rates, Exponential Setting.

An additional benefit of on-board configuration is that it allows simpler radios (DX6, etc) to have many of the features of more advanced/expensive transmitters.

Transmitters/Receiver Types

Aura AFCS was designed to communicate easily with major transmitter/receiver brands.

  • Aura currently supports "digital/serial" data connections such as Spektrum DSM2/DSMX, Spektrum SRXL, Futaba or Hitec S.Bus, Graupner SumD, JR Mode B, and Jeti UDI.
  • Aura also supports "analog" connections such as traditional PWM (servo ports) and PPM (pulses streamed on one wire).

For ease of use, precision and robustness, we encourage use the "Digital" data connections. Digital data connections are easier to connect, make more Aura Ports available, and may offer additional features/robustness.

Auto-Detect

Auto-Detect is a feature that will scan any supported and connected 'digital' data connection and setup the correct sign conventions (input direction) and channel order. For example, if the Aura detects a Futaba S.Bus receiver connected to Servo Port B, the channel order and directions will be configured to match a default Futaba transmitter model.

  • The Aura 8 QQ Extra 300 will attempt to Auto-Detect the signal out of the box, or if it is powered on and no signal is detected for 15 seconds. Be aware that changing radios, and/or allowing Auto-Detect to re-run may overwrite (reset to default) custom programming changes inside Aura including Channel inputs and outputs assignment, servo reversing, etc. See the QQ Extra 300 Manual for additional details.
  • The Aura 8 Open Stock will attempt to Auto-Detect the until the first receiver is found. By default, the Auto-Detect feature will not be started in subsequent power-ups even if no signal is seen for 15 seconds (this behavior can be changed using the Aura Config Tool). This is done to prevent the Aura from unintentionally changing any custom programming and settings the pilot may have made in the Aura 8 Open Stock.

Flight Modes

The Aura AFCS uses a Flight Mode concept to tune the aircraft. A Transmitter/Receiver Channel (Ch5/Gear by default) is assigned as the "Flight Mode Switch" (a 3 position switch is ideal). Each Aura Flight Mode is configured to control the Dual Rates, Exponential, and select a specific Control Mode algorithm (gyro feedback parameter set which includes things like Gain and Stick Priority).

Using Flight Modes on the Aura allows changes the configuration of the aircraft to have it fly differently by only flipping a single switch. A typical example of 3 flight modes is:

Flight Mode 1: Gyro Gain Off/Low Rate/Middle Expo (Cruising/test)
Flight Mode 2: Gyro Gain Moderate/Low Rates/Low Expo (Precision Aerobatics)
Flight Mode 3: Gyro Gain High/High Rates/High Expo (3D Aerobatics)

The presence of these Aura Flight Modes means that you should not set-up Dual Rates and Expos in your transmitter in the normal way. It is possible to apply some transmitter adjustments to 'modify' a flight mode or to create a sub-mode. The Aura FAQ has additional insights on this topic.

Control Modes

A Control Mode sets specific control algorithms (such as Gyro Off, Rate Dampener, Rate Command, Stabilization, etc) and sets the specific control parameters for them (such as Gain or Stick Priority values). Control modes can be specified by (linked too) Flight Modes as desired.

Because a variety of control algorithms are used now and in the future, it is important that the Flight Controller know 'Stick Center'. A traditional transmitter combines the pilot's stick position with trim and subtrim in the channel data. Since the Aura has no knowledge of the trim or sub-trim in the transmitter, the 'Stick Center' position may be offset. For this reason, transmitter trim and sub-trim should be avoided. Any needed trim/sub-trim offsets should made inside the Aura (or mechanically). Aura contains special routines such as Quick Trim to allow you to easily set your trim/sub-trim in the Aura at the field and without a PC application.

Similarly, Control algorithms such as Rate Dampener, which has Stick Priority settings that interact with the stick position, are best optimized for each flight mode if Dual Rates are done in Aura, not the transmitter.

Wing and Tail Mixers

In general, Aura combines 3-axis sensor data and 3-axis transmitter input commands (from centered Aileron, Elevator, Rudder channels) to calculate servo positions. For wing/tail types that mix multiple axis together (Elevons, V-Tail, etc), or that make significant offsets to the primary flight controls (Flaperons, Spoilerons, etc.) it is far better (and therefore required) to have the Aura 'mix' the transmitter commands with the sensor data directly inside the Aura for each control surface (or servo). This allows the each axis of transmitter commands and sensor data to be centered, and to be mixed cleanly, and provides the best flight experience for nearly any type of aircraft. Because Aura handles the wing and tail mixing, you should NOT setup wing and tail types in your transmitter!. Wing and tail type settings are easy to accomplish using the selections in the Aura Config Tool -> New Aura Config File Wizard. You should always choose conventional transmitter wing and tail types with 1 aileron, 1 elevator, and 1 rudder. Flaps could be 0, or 1, or 2 depending on your needs.

Installing your Aura

Information for Installing your Aura.

Configure your Aura

Information for Configuring your Aura.

Config Files for Aura

View Library of Config Files for Aura.