BlueRobotics Navigator Drone Flight Controller

BlueRoboticsSKU: RB-Blu-305
Manufacturer #: BR-100367

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  • BlueRobotics Navigator Drone Flight Controller
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi 4 (Not included)
  • Features 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)
  • Comes with BlueOS, a core operating software
  • Includes custom-designed aluminum heatsink

The BlueRobotics Navigator Drone Flight Controller is an advanced expansion board compatible with the Raspberry Pi 4. It transforms the Raspberry Pi 4 into a comprehensive flight controller, suitable for powering a wide range of mobile devices including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), drones, and ground vehicles.

The Navigator is essentially a compilation of inputs and outputs. It receives inputs from integrated sensors and sends outputs to servos or speed controllers. It also features expansion ports for connecting external devices. The onboard features of the Navigator include a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) equipped with accelerometers and gyroscopes for orientation, dual three-axis magnetometers for compass heading, and a barometer for altitude measurement in air. It also provides 16 servo Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) channel outputs, current and voltage Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) inputs, and built-in leak detection for two probes.

The Navigator comes with an SD card preloaded with BlueOS, a new core operating software designed for ROVs and other robotics. This software, built on Raspbian Linux, offers a range of features including autopilot software management, video streaming, software updates, and user-defined extensions. It facilitates a smooth start with the Navigator and ArduPilot firmware.

The schematic design of the Navigator is open source, which aids in maximizing the usage of the Navigator. The Navigator also features expansion connectors that adhere to the Blue Robotics Connector Standard, making them compatible with most industry autopilot accessories. These expansion ports include four serial ports, two I2C ports, two 16-bit ADC ports, and an external LED port compatible with Neopixel RGB LEDs.

The Navigator boasts several notable features such as dual power inputs with automatic power switching for redundancy, 3.3V logic on all ports, and 5V tolerance on serial ports. It comes with a custom-designed aluminum heatsink that fits between the Navigator and Raspberry Pi, enabling the Raspberry Pi to operate at high CPU usage in poorly cooled environments. The Navigator board has a slot that allows the use of the Raspberry Pi's CSI camera connector. The kit also includes a set of expansion cables for the serial, I2C, and ADC ports to facilitate quick and easy hardware connection.

While the Navigator does not meet all the official requirements to be classified as a Raspberry Pi "hat", it functions in a very similar manner.

  • 1x Navigator PCB
  • 1x Navigator Heatsink
  • 1x Raspberry Pi Mounting Standoff
  • 1x 16GB microSD Card with BlueOS
  • 3x Thermal Pads
  • 2x 3-pin JST GH Cable
  • 1x 4-pin JST GH Cable
  • 3x 6-pin JST GH Cable
  • 2x SOS leak probe, 12 inch length
  • 4x M2.5x8 Button Head Cap Screw
  • 2x #3-28x3/8 Mounting Screw
  • 65 x 56 mm

  • Supply Voltage: 5–5.35 V (Main input), 5.35 V (Power module connector), 5.35 V (Aux input)
  • Current Draw: 5 mA (Idle), 150 mA (Typical), 200 mA (Max)
  • Logic Level Voltage: 3.3 V (5 V input tolerant)
  • PWM Signal Voltage Level: 3.3 V
  • Maximum Power Delivery to Raspberry Pi and Peripherals: 4 A continuous, 4.5 A peak
  • Pressure Sensor Measurement Range: 300–1100 mbar / -900–9000 m
  • Pressure Sensor Relative Accuracy: 0.12 mbar / 1 m
  • Pressure Sensor Absolute Accuracy: 1 mbar / 8 m
  • Pressure Sensor Resolution: 0.0016 mbar / 1.5 cm
  • PWM Accuracy: ±0.5 µs (@ 50, 100, 200, 250, 400, 500 Hz)
  • PWM Resolution: 1 μs @ 250 Hz
  • ADC Resolution: 16 bits (14.4 bits effective)
  • On-Board Sensors: 6-Axis IMU ICM-20602, 3-Axis Digital Magnetometer MMC5983, 3-Axis Electronic Compass AK09915, Digital Pressure Sensor (Barometer) BMP280, Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) ADS1115
  • On-Board ICs: 16 Channel PWM Module with External Oscillator PCA9685, Logic Voltage Translator TXS0102, Power Mux & Ideal Diode TPS2121
  • Additional ICs: Serial inverter for RC receivers, 3 V to 5 V translation for RGB neopixel LEDs, 4KB EEPROM
  • Ports/Interfaces: 3 x Serial UART (no flow control), 2 x I2C, 1 x UART + I2C, 1 x ADC (3 V), 1 x ADC (6 V), 1 x RC receiver, 1 x Power module connector, 16 Channel PWM out, 2 x SOS leak probe connectors, 1 x Auxiliary SOS board connector, 1 x PWM out (fan), 1 x RGB LED header, 3 x User definable LEDs
  • RC Receiver Compatibility: SBUS, Crossfire, IBUS (inverted/non-inverted serial receivers)
  • Development Libraries: Navigator Python / C++, Navigator Rust
  • Compliance: RoHS (lead free)
  • Operating Temperature: -40 to 60 °C (-40 to 140 °F)
  • Storage Temperature: -40 to 85 °C (-40 to 185 °F)
  • Heat Sink Material: Anodized 6061-T6 Aluminum
  • Heat Sink Mounting Holes: M2.5x0.45
  • Thermal Pad Material: Silicone
  • Accessory Cable Length: 200 mm
  • Accessory Cable Wire Type: UL1571 28AWG PVC Insulation

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