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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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,

Thank you for the help!

I am attempting to do a dual-boot on my system so I can run Linux for this program. I will comment once I have the system up and running or if I have any further questions.

Hi Niklas and others,

In case you try this on OSX, the assembler on Mac doesn't support the -adhlns option (apparently Apple stripped out some features, thanks Apple), so you get a

FATAL:x86_64/as: I don't understand 'a' flag!

error running the makefile. I'm assuming that we need the assembly listings because when I comment out that option make doesn't get past "%% ArduPlane.o".

I'll switch to doing everything in a VM, but I just wanted to let people know that this happens, and confirm that there isn't some special assembler patch someone's found to make this work.


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