Using Python Scripts in Mission Planner

One of the cool features of the Mission Planner is that it can run Python scripts, which is an easy way to extend the functionality of the program beyond its built-in functions. It can also enable integration easily with other dlls and modules far beyond the original scope of the Mission Planner.


You can easily program your UAV to do anything, from robotic acrobatics to just script-driven missions. Python 2.x is currently supported, up to 2.7 (Mission Planner uses an implementation of IronPython internally)

Aside from the regular Python commands, these are the special Mission Planner commands you can use:

cs.VARIABLENAME = currentstate

Any variable on the status tab in the planner can be used.


options are

  • Script.Sleep(ms)
  • Script.ChangeParam(name,value)
  • Script.GetParam(name)
  • Script.ChangeMode(mode) (same as displayed in mode setup screen ‘AUTO’)
  • >Script.WaitFor(string,timeout)
  • Script.SendRC(channel,pwm,sendnow)

Here’s an example, which tells a multicopter to do a roll in the air!

print 'Start Script'
for chan in range(1,9):


while == 0:
    print 'Waiting for GPS'

print 'Got GPS'
jo = 10 * 13
print jo
Script.WaitFor('ARMING MOTORS',30000)
print 'Motors Armed!'

while cs.alt < 50:

Script.SendRC(5,2000,True) # acro
Script.SendRC(1,2000,False) # roll
Script.SendRC(3,1370,True) # throttle

while cs.roll > -45: # top half 0 - 180

while cs.roll < -45: # -180 - -45

Script.SendRC(5,1500,False) # stabilize
Script.SendRC(1,1500,True) # level roll
Script.Sleep(2000) # 2 sec to stabilize
Script.SendRC(3,1300,True) # throttle back to land
thro = 1350 # will descend

while cs.alt > 0.1:

Script.WaitFor('DISARMING MOTORS',30000)

print 'Roll complete'

Classes Exposed by Mission Planner to Python

Mission Planner exposes classes using the following code:


Linking classes into python

scope.SetVariable(Variablename, ClassInstance);

That the following classes are exposed:

  • scope.SetVariable("MAV", MainV2.comPort);
  • scope.SetVariable("cs", MainV2.comPort.MAV.cs);
  • scope.SetVariable("Script", this);
  • scope.SetVariable("mavutil", this);

This is where you can add your own classes. For now lets us explore the important methods and properties you can use into your script using these classes.

Class Name: Script.cs

Python Variable: Script , mavutil

Method Description
bool ChangeParam (string param, float value)  
Float GetParam (string param)  
bool ChangeMode (string mode) Changes flying mode
bool SendRC (int channel, ushort pwm, bool sendnow) Send Chxout values.

Class Name: CurrentState.cs

Python Variable: cs

Method Type Description
roll float Roll (deg)
pitch float Pitch (deg)
yaw float Yaw (deg)
lat float Latitude (deg)
lng float Longitude (deg)
groundcourse float Ground Course (deg)
alt float Altitude (dist)
altoffsethome float Altitude Home Offset (dist)
gpsstatus float GPS Status
gpshdop float GPS HDOP
satcount float Satellite Count
altd100 float Altitude / 100
altd1000 float Altitude / 1000
airspeed float Airspeed (speed)
targetairspeed float Airspeed Target (speed)
groundspeed float Ground Speed (speed)
verticalspeed float Vertical Speed (speed)
wind_dir float Wind Direction (deg)
wind_vel float Wind Velocity (speed)
ax, ay, az float Acceleration Values in x,y,z
gx, gy, gz float Gyro Values in x,y,z
mx, my, mz float Mag Values in x,y,z
failsafe bool Fail Safe Active or Not
rxrssi float  
chx1in, chx2in, …. chx8in float Input Channels from 1 to 8
ch1out, chx2out, …. chx8out float Output Channel form 1 to 8
nav_roll float Roll Target (deg)
nav_pitch float Pitch Target (deg)
nav_bearing float Bearing target (deg)
target_bearing float Bearing Target (deg)
wp_dist float Distance to Next Waypoint (dist)
alt_error float Altitude Error (dist)
ber_error float Bearing Error (dist)
aspd_error float Airspeed Error (speed)
wpno float Flying Mode
mode String Flying Mode
dimbrate float Climb Rate (speed)
tot int Time over target (sec)
distTraveled float Distance Traveled (dist)
timeInAir float Time in Air (sec)
turnrate float Turn Rate (speed)
radius float Turn Radius (dist)
battery_voltage float Battery Voltage (volt)
battery_remaining float Battery Remaining (%)
current float battery Current (Amps)
HomeAlt float  
DistToHome float Absolute Pressure Value
press_abs float Absolute Pressure Value
sonarrange float Sonar Range (meters)
sonarVoltage float Sonar Voltage (volt)
armed bool True if Armed

Please note that although these properties are read/write howvever writing to some of them can corrupt the status. Use methods from Script class to control the vehicle. for example use Script.ChangeMode(xmode) rather than cs.mode = xmode.

Class Name: MavLink.cs

Python Variable: MAV

Method Description
bool setParam (string paramname, float value) Same as Script.ChangeParam()
bool doARM (bool armit) BE CAREFUL when using it.
byte getWPCount ( ) Gets Waypoints Count.

Using CPython Standard Libraries

You can import standard libraries from your regular Python 2.x folders by adding this line to top of your script (replacing “c:\python27\lib” with whatever the folder is on your drive):

import sys

Here, for example, we’re importing the serial, os, and threading libraries, which are in two folders in a typical Python 2.7 installation. Appending the specific folder paths for those three libraries first allows us to import them with the next “import” command:

import sys
import serial, os, threading