Real-world Instrumentation

An upside of the current epidemic circumstance is finding time to (almost) complete a P3/RaPi/ARM instrumentation system. It’s been put together for non-certified aircraft, specifically my own, that should take flight during this summer (N.Hemisphere). Although all sensor data is sourced and formatted by ARM processors the whole thing comes together through the capability, simplicity, and artistry, of Processing code. This post is to show what a little hacking effort can produce; the images below are the flight and engine managment instruments that ordinarily sit side by side on 10" touch displays (at a cost that is many times reduced from commercial).


So what is this exactly…?

This looks awesome!

If you ever look into the pointy end of an airplane this instrumentation is pretty much what you’ll see. Using it in a certified aircraft requires it follow a certification process … sort of similar to equipment/medication used in medical applications requires certification.

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Beautiful work.

The full panel approach reminds me a bit of some interface work shared by @ITman496 on the old forum for RPi3/ RPi4. Different designs, obviously, but in a similar spirit.

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Wow, this is incredible! I really love how fantastically clean your interface is! I bet its gonna be great to fly with!

I’m actually working on my ultralight airplane’s instrument system now, funnily enough. Here is a little video clip of what I have so far.

It’s been a constant fight because the Pi runs processing soooooo much slower and worse then it does on my desktop. I’ve had to learn a lot of tricks to keep the framerate up. I wish I had just used a mini itx computer instead, but… alas.


Thanks for the comments.

Kudos go to P3. As a novice to both the language and to graphics coding in general it has been remarkably easy to get to this stage. My code is pretty inefficient and I expected to overwhelm the RaPi 3B+ but it runs faster than needed, I offloaded real-time inertial and pressure sensor computing to embedded SAMD21 devices but it probably wasn’t necessary.
ITman496 - most ultralights I’ve seen have fairly sparse instrumentation, looks like you’ll be very well equipped.

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I’m curious what the difference in performance is from the B to the B+.

Anyway, thank you! I wish you may safe flights, all monitored from your very sharp screens! They look fantastic…