How can I manipulate real-time sonar data from my Arducopter in Arduino?

I have a APM 3DR Quad with a 3DR radio telemetry kit. I would like to send real-time sonar data to my laptop (running Windows 7) in order to manipulate it in an additional Arduino Sketch.

I am not quite sure how to go about this task. Is there a way that I can modify the source code (GCS.h or GCS_Mavlink.pde) in conjunction with Mission Planner Mav 1.0 ground station to do this? Or would I need to write a python module to accomplish this?

Any help or comments with this question is greatly appreciated! I am kind of new to this and have a lot to learn, so thank you in advance.

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The sonar data is sent as one of the MAVLink telemetry packets. You can use MAVproxy (python) to parse that on your laptop.

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