Support for DShot and BLHeli ESC telemetry has been added to ArduPilot’s ChibiOS firmware and will be available to testers once Copter-3.6 and Plane-3.9 begin beta testing in a few weeks.
More details can be found on our wiki but below are some of the significant benefits this new functionality provides:
The DShot ESC protocol is a digital protocol for communication between a flight board and an ESC. The key advantages are:
- no need to do any ESC throttle range calibration
- all values sent to the ESC are protected with a 4 bit CRC to improve reliability
- low latency, high bandwidth
ESC telemetry allows feedback from each ESC including:
- voltage and current
- total current consumed since power-up (could be more accurate that what the flight controller has)
BLHeli pass-through support allows configuring and upgrading the ESCs firmware without having to disconnect them from your vehicle. This can really save time and ensure all the ESCs are identically configured.
We suspect that a lot of users are going to move to BLHeli ESCs in the future and we have plans including increasing our main loop rates to take even more advantage of these ESCs.