The Central Processor

by Web FishJan 1, 2013 @ 12:31pm

The heart of PilotFish navionics package. The board runs all decision-making software, reading input data from all sensors (navigation and others), controlling propulsion and directional control, feeding up-link telemetry data and ensuring data persistence for post-mission download. 

  • Current selection: Netduino Plus 2
  • Status: Finalized

  • Criteria: Low power footprint, as many I/O channels as possible, standard I/O, available off-the-shelf add-ons, standard storage, easy programmability/debugging, small physical footprint 
  • Finalists: Netduino Plus 2, Arduino Mega 2560
  • Main decision factors: 22 I/O pins with dynamic GPIO/Analog/UART/I2C allocation, Arduino shield compatible, sufficient code storage area, .NET Micro Framework, on-board SD card support

 (click image for larger view) 

Spec summary:

  • STMicro 32-bit microcontroller
  • Speed: 168MHz, Cortex-M4
  • Code Storage: 384 KB
  • RAM: 100+ KB
  • 22 GPIO pins
  • Up to 4 UARTS
  • I2C channel
  • micro sd (up to 2 GB)
  • input: 7.5 - 9.0 VDC or USB powered
  • output: 5 VDC and 3.3 VDC regulated


  • Even though 22 I/O pins look like a lot, in reality we'll need every pin available to communicate with the peripheral devices. Whenever possible, we might need to utilize I2C bus to preserve general I/O pins for "dumber" sensors and devices.   


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