Barometer Drift Before Takeoff

As was previously discussed here (Feedback and assistance with new takeoff behaviour) and the 4.3.3-rc1 thread (Copter-4.3.3-rc1 available for beta testing!), I identified a bug which can lead to the aircraft attempting to navigate immediately on motor start. So as not to clutter those threads, I’ve started this one.

Procedure:
(1) Configure the arming parameters to allow:
(a) Arming when in AUTO
(b) Arming via radio switch
(2) Load a flight plan starting with a takeoff command, and at least one waypoint.
(3) Power up the aircraft, switch to AUTO (but do not arm), and allow the aircraft to sit for several minutes.
(4) Without changing flight mode, start the flight plan using the arm switch.

Intermittently, on completion of (4), the aircraft will immediately begin navigating to the next waypoint after motor start. This is done at zero or near-zero altitude, usually resulting in a dynamic rollover. While not consistent, the bug is reproducible, provided sufficient iterations are performed. Starting with a room-temperature autopilot and low outside temperatures (~35 deg. F) seems to improve the odds - presumably the reverse would also be true.

The workaround is to switch modes immediately before arming. This behavior has never been observed after a mode switch.

Two logs (including pre-arm lead-in) are attached below, one with 4.3.2, one with 4.3.3-rc1. In the case of the 4.3.3-rc1 example, the GCS altimeter displayed +3 ft. just before arming, with a takeoff target altitude of 10 ft. I do not know GCS altimeter reading for the 4.3.2 example. With 4.3.3-rc1, I also noticed a message reading “Terrain: clamping offset 18 to 15”.

Ok, so this is what I have so far:

  • Take off throttle is normal
  • Take off detection appears to be triggered from your vertical acceleration (low accel z of 0.65 m/s)
  • WP_NAVALT_MIN 0
  • Mission immediately moves to waypoint 2 as soon as takeoff is detected
  • Target altitude drops from 1.147m to 0.31m
  • First waypoint is 3.04 m altitude
  • TERRAIN_ENABLE 1
  • We have a message “clamping offset 18 to 15”

My theory is the altitude has drifted by 1.147 - 0.31 + 3.04 meters. Part of this may be due to the terrain camping message that is about 3m, part maybe the altitude drift.

I will have to discuss this with @rmackay9.

Thanks for looking into this!
Just for what it’s worth, I first observed this running with TERRAIN_ENABLE = 0. I don’t have any logs from back then (a couple years ago), but it was definitely the same symptoms.

As always, let me know if you need me to run specific tests.

No @Luke_Ionno, thank you for bringing this to our attention and for being so responsive to test requests!

I suspect this is something to do with your low take-off altitude, long wait in auto causing altitude drift and maybe the terrain handling. I am pretty sure I understand what is going on but I will need Randy to help understand some of the elements.

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