OpenPilot flight hardware is designed to be extremely flexible and to perform to the highest standard. There has been a massive amount of attention put into its details. Nothing in OpenPilot has been created in a vacuum - a great deal of research has been done so that the platform is both cost-effective and future proof.
OpenPilot is designed from the ground up to be a UAV platform for rotary and fixed-wing vehicles. The hardware architecture enables us to use the 32-bit 180 MIPS of processing power very effectively. It is designed so that it's an extremely flexible platform. OpenPilot is designed to support any NMEA GPS unit, so as the state of the art changes, these newer GPS solutions can be used instantly.
A complete OpenPilot-based system will typically look like the diagram below:
Green: OpenPilot hardware
Yellow: RF-related components
Red and orange: Power components