Solo Swarm - Anyone Have any Success (or even try)?

Sep 27, 2016
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Southern Maryland
So, I'm a long time Mission Planner user with DIY Pixhawk multirotors.
Now that I have 5 Solos, I'd really love to figure out how to swarm them (control up to 5 from a central source). I had some limited success with my DIY birds, but with the level of effort and $ invested in the DIY aircraft, I was somewhat uncomfortable in pushing my luck. I really love flying my Solos, and my level of trust with them is very high so I think it is worth a try.
When using Mission Planner (MP) to Swarm, you would need to hit Control-F to bring up the alternate menu, and you can see two swarm options. With the DIY multirotors (MR) using MavLINK over SiK radios you can connect several "ground" radios to MP at once using a USB hub or a RFD900 radio to connect to multiple airborne radios.
Since Solo uses WiFi to communicate with MP, first I tried added a second WiFi link to my laptop. This worked (sort of). I bought an external USB WiFi card, and in addition to the internal laptop WiFi was able to connect to a second Solo, but MP was not able to see the second vehicle (I was connected via UDP to the first Solo). Even if I were successful, the maximum number of networks Windows 10 will let me connect to appears to be two (I don't think a swarm of two is really a swarm). I don't have a strong background in networking, but I'm pretty sure I can't get several Solos on the same WiFi network.
I believe I also read a few weeks back that there is a way to connect a SiK radio to Solo, but I'm not sure the current version of firmware would support that functionality if I decided to mod one or more of my Solos.

So far, the best I've been able to do is put one Solo up in the air on an auto mission (via MP), and manually chase it with a second Solo via the FPV video stream (with a spotter, of course). (It is actually quite fun and challenging!)

So anyone have any idea on what I can try next?
I'm pretty sure MP isn't able to swarm Solos because of the limited number of connections via UDP (same as Droidplanner or Tower Apps). However, it would be interesting to load the same Mission into several Solos and fly each autonomously (offset by take-off time). What would be even more interesting is to fly several very similar missions with multiple Solos with a slightly offset course. Think UFO incident a couple years back in Phoenix, AZ. IMHO, I think that event was a Pixhawk (or equal) based hoax.
I was thinking of loading the same mission into two Solos, and launching them simultaneously from several feet apart. Of course I would need to ensure both aircraft had matching parameters.
Sounds a bit risky, but interesting.
Still not really a swarm.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
You can get multiple Solo's talking, but it's a little tricky. If you're keeping the Solo controller / transmitter "in the loop", then you'll need to configure each Solo / transmitter pair to use a different IP address / subnet range.

You could also ditch the controllers, and put all of the Solos on a single network. In that case, you could just give each Solo a different IP via DHCP. However, you'd have to implement something that does the "sololink handshake" to fool each of the Solo's into thinking that it's connected to a controller. That's because Solo won't start the MavLink communication layer until it's convinced it's got a good SoloLink connection to a controller.

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