Airship,blimp,balloon support


I’m working on a project uses Helium balloons (radius >= 1m), we put 6 motors(bi-directional ? sorry don’t know what it’s called) attached on the surface of the balloon: 2 vertical motors separated with 180 degrees for Up/Down, 4 horizontal motors separated with 90 degrees for forward/backward/left/right (2 pairs). we currently uses a PX4 firmware(plane) with a customized simple mixer to control the balloon move up/down/forward/backward/left/right/rotate manually.

Now, we want to use ardupilot to control the balloon automatically, but failed to find a suitable frame in Copter (as I understand, Motors of a copter should always be vertical, or not?) or Plane. we found the Submarine is the most similar one, but there is too little support on that. Does anyone knows how to modify the Copter/Plane code to make it suitable for the balloon?

Any help is appreciated !! Thanks.

Hi @imnobodyet,

Did you eventually find a way around this? I am researching a similar setup.


You might be able to use a configuration supported by Ardusub. This Frame type is essentially an Omni X with 2 vertical thrusters. W/O the vertical thrusters this arrangement has been used on boats and Rovers but a Blimp is like a Sub it seems to me.

6 thrusters.

Thanks Dave, I’ll look into it.