Here is one neat trick we would like to share with you!
Software in the loop (SITL) allows you to simulate APM:Plane, APM:Copter or APM:Rover on your computer without using any hardware. Think of it as a virtual simulator of your unmanned machine.
It is possible to set up SITL to work with UgCS. This process consists of two parts:
1) Setting up SITL on Linux
2) Connecting SITL and UgCS
SITL needs Linux to run, so it is suggested that you either do this on a virtual machine in Windows environment or run it on Ubuntu. For best results we suggest doing this on a native Ubuntu computer instead of a virtual machine.
1. Setting up SITL on Linux
To set up SITL on Linux, follow these instructions (http://dev.ardupilot.com/wiki/simulation-2/setting-up-sitl-on-linux/ (http://dev.ardupilot.com/wiki/simulation-2/setting-up-sitl-on-linux/)) up to and including Step 5.
2. Connecting SITL and UgCS
1. Find the vsm-ardupilot.conf file on your computer. It should be in the UgCS install directory.
In Windows, it is located in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\UgCS\bin\vsm-ardupilot.
In Ubuntu, it is located in:
2. Once you have found the file, add the following lines to it:
# IP address of the vehicle to connect to.
vehicle.ardupilot.tcp.1.address = 192.168.1.133
# TCP port of the vehicle to connect to.
vehicle.ardupilot.tcp.1.tcp_port = 5762
3. Launch the Ardupilot simulator
Write the following lines in the Terminal:
cd ardupilot/ArduCopter (or cd ardupilot/ArduPlane if you want to simulate the airplane)
4. Run UgCS. You should find ArduCopter in the vehicles list:
It will be located in Austrialia
5. Now you can create mission plan for it (select 3DR ArduCopter QUAD profile when asked). It's ok, that battery is zero. It will fly anyway
Calculate path and upload it to vehicle. After successful upload you need to arm the vehicle and as quickly as possible. Arm it by typing the following command into terminal:
rc 3 1100
This means that you send the signal of 1100 through the third channel of your imaginary RC.
Now switch the vehicle to Auto Mode and it will start flying the mission. You can also experiment by entering some manual commands.
P.S. The next time you launch the simulator use the command:
sim_vehicle.sh --console --map