Software in the Loop-Extreme Novice

Greetings everyone!


I am brand new to the UAV community and have been assigned to develop an ArduPilot based fixed-wing UAV as part of a summer research internship. In preparation for the internship, I am to familiarize myself with the ArduPilot Software in the Loop simulation. Unfortunately, the full extent of my experience with programming consists of a single undergraduate semester of Arduino in an introduction to Mechatronics class, and I am completely unfamiliar with C++, Python, and the littany of CompSci terms which are used so freely in this community.


I feel I can figure out the software once it is up and running, however while I have been trying to decode the SITL information at this page:, I have made little to no progress toward even getting the programs built and operational. Is there anyone here who could reduce the build to a series of simple and direct steps to get the program operational on my computer rather than having to sift through lists of source code and hoping I get all the subcomponents I need installed? I am attempting to run the simulation on a laptop running 64-Bit Windows 7 Enterprise SP1.


The organization I will be working for saw my experience with Arduino, as well as my interest in aviation, and felt this project would be appropriate, however I have come to find a much greater level of programming experience could be necessary, experience I do not have time to obtain by this summer.

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  • Hello,

    I have never tried to compile ArduPilot in Windows but it might work with cygwin. The easiest way however would be to use a linux system (can be a virtual machine) and compile there.  Here is an old forum post which explains it quite well:

    The information you need - updated to the current process is:

    1. Open a terminal console window.
    2. Make a new folder for simulation software and enter the directory:

      mkdir sitl
      cd sitl

    3. Install prerequisites, if missing:

      sudo apt-get install git python-serial g++ autoconf libtool automake gawk

    4. Download MAVProxy, mavlink, JSBSim and APM:

      git clone git://
      git clone git://
      git clone git://
      git clone

      You need to have Arduino installed. Get it from here: , unpack it somewhere, like your home directory for example. Remember where you uncompressed it, as you will need it later.

    5. Build and install JSBSim:

      cd jsbsim
      ./configure --enable-libraries --enable-shared --prefix=/opt/jsbsim
      sudo make install
      cd ..

    6. Build ArduPlane and ArduCopter binaries and copy them from temporary folder:

      cd ardupilot-mega/ArduPlane
      Configure build system: "make configure"
      Build: "ARDUINO=~/arduino-1.0.4 make sitl"
      cd ../..
      cp /tmp/ .
      You how have a version of ArduPlane that runs on your desktop.

    7. Install flightgear:

      sudo apt-get install flightgear


    You can follow the instructions here ( to get the simulators connected.


     Hope this helps a little.

    Best regards,

This reply was deleted.


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