Loading Firmware

These instructions will show you how to download the latest firmware onto the autopilot using the Mission Planner ground station,which already has ArduPilot firmware installed . See Loading Firmware onto boards without existing ArduPilot firmware .

Connect autopilot to computer

Once you’ve installed a ground station on your computer, connect the autopilot using the micro USB cable as shown below. Use a direct USB port on your computer (not a USB hub).


Pixhawk USB Connection

Windows should automatically detect and install the correct driver software.

Select the COM port

If using the Mission Planner select the COM port drop-down on the upper-right corner of the screen (near the Connect button). Select AUTO or the specific port for your board. Set the Baud rate to 115200 as shown. Don’t hit Connect just yet.


Install firmware

On the Mission Planner’s SETUP | Install Firmware screen select the appropriate icon that matches your frame (i.e. Quad, Hexa). Answer Yes when it asks you “Are you sure?”.


Mission Planner: Install FirmwareScreen

Next it will try to detect which board you are using and it may ask you to unplug the board, press OK, and plug it back in to detect the board type.


Mission Planner: Install FirmwarePrompt

If all goes well you will see some status appear on the bottom right including the words, “erase…”, “program…”, “verify..” and “Upload Done”. The firmware has been successfully uploaded to the board.

It usually takes a few seconds for the bootloader to exit and enter the main code after programming or a power-up. Wait to press CONNECT until this occurs.


You can test the firmware is basically working by switching to the Mission Planner Flight Data screen and pressing the Connect button. The HUD should update as you tilt the board.

Connect Mission Planner to AutoPilot has more information on connecting to Mission Planner.