Companion Computers are usually small single board computers (SBCs) which can be connected to an autopilot board and communicate using the MAVLink protocol. A Companion Computer will take in MAVLink telemetry from the autopilot and can route or process the telemetry data.
The Companion Computer has two major functions within the ArduSub control system:
- Streaming HD video to the Topside Computer
- Relaying communications between the autopilot and the Topside Computer via Ethernet communications
The Companion Computer must be running the ArduSub Companion Computer Software to function correctly with ArduSub.
Only the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is supported for use with the Companion Computer Software.
The following single board computers are not supported with the current ArduSub Companion software image:
- Raspberry Pi Zero
- Raspberry Pi Zero W
- Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+
- Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+
- Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+
- Raspberry Pi 4 Model B
- Any other SBC
The ArduPilot documentation has more reading material about Companion Computers, but those software images are not compatible with the ArduSub system.