Rally Point documentation for added for Mission Planner



Rally Point documentation now up at:


If you see any errors on the page or have suggestions with regard to Rally Point behavior, feel free to respond here.

I think this may only be implemented in Plane at this point.


Views: 2568

Comment by Nathaniel Caner on November 12, 2013 at 3:53pm

Thanks Michael! I think this is going to make a lot of people very happy!

I have a few questions:

1) Do the Rally points need to be uploaded separately from the mission plan?

2) Do the Rally pints remain even when subsequent missions are loaded that do not contain rally points?

3) If I fly at two different fields and have Rally points loaded that were loaded at different times, do the individual Rally points accumulate with each upload? In other words, if I upload 1 Rally point at field 1, and then clear that Rally point from the Mission Planner Flight Planning screen and add a new Rally Point at field 2, does Rally point 1 remain on the APM?

In the wiki it states under "Setting Up Rally Points" step 2:

The Rally loiter altitudes need to be specified (note that the default altitude for waypoints is the default waypoint altitude value):

Should it read:

The Rally loiter altitudes need to be specified (note that the default altitude for Rally Points is the default waypoint altitude value):

Anyway, I can't wait to try this feature out! I've been asking for this for two years now since Ardupilot legacy.

A possible enhancement in the future would be to allow the user to plan an evacuation route connecting Rally points in a chain that could be intercepted at the nearest Rally point and guide an aircraft back to a Rally point nearest the home location via a safe route. This would be very useful for users that have terrain that includes possible obstacles that may be above their flight path.


Nathaniel ~KD2DEY

Comment by Gary McCray on November 12, 2013 at 5:23pm

Hi MIchael,

Really nice job with this wiki page, glad they got you signed up for edit.

Great job of following the conventions and boiler plate too.

If and when it gets ported to copter we can make a common page out of it.

I am happy to stick in table of contents menu and Instructions drop down menu for you.

But do you know how to do this, should be information in Editor Information Resource?

Best Regards,


Comment by Gary McCray on November 12, 2013 at 5:39pm

I have added it to the Table of Contents and Instruction Drop Down menus.

Procedure is: From the Dashboard: Select Appearance -> Menus -> (select correct menu say TOC Menu) -> in the Wiki selection box check mark "Rally Points" -> select add to menu go to bottom of menu and drag the Rally Points menu item up to where you want it to be in the menu (make sure indent is what you want too). -> Repeat for [Instructions] drop down menu. Total time about 1 minute.

I guess if I had one small piece of advice, it might be to prune non breaking spaces "&nbsp" I hate those things, they always look ugly on screen and I go through all of my documents in text mode to make sure none have snuck in.

And since you clearly got the <hr /> dividing line thing and the page header write you are obviously comfortable with text (HTML) mode.

But that is a personal preference and it is entirely up to you.

I think you did a great job and look forward to whatever you wish to contribute.

Comment by Michael Day on November 12, 2013 at 6:26pm


Good catch on that wiki error.  Should be fixed now.
On an evacuation route: plans are in the works to

  1. Provide terrain following (PX4/Pixhawk only). APM's memory is not large enough to handle terrain following, though.   This also does not cover the case where the obstacle(s) in question are not terrain.
  2. Allow a Rally Point to loiter a bit and then, if there is no user intervention, proceed to the nearest landing waypoint.  Some path planning logic needs to be added for that to work... not sure when it will be done.

Allowing user-defined evacuation path planning is therefore probably a good idea... in the future a Rally Point could be configured to proceed to an arbitrary waypoint instead of just a landing waypoint.

@Gary: Thanks for those pointers.  I will endeavor to improve any future wiki posts.

Comment by Michael Day on November 12, 2013 at 6:40pm


I see I neglected to answer you first questions.

1. For Mission Planner: Uploaded separately, yes.  Currently rally Points are _downloaded_ simultaneously when downloading mission waypoints (so NOT downloaded separately).  MAVProxy's behavior is different: both uploading and downloading are separate operations.

2. For Mission Planner: Good question.  This actually needs to be addressed in Mission Planner... rally waypoints should be save-able to hard disk to a rally point file (they are NOT saved in the mission plan).  I will submit a request to the Mission Planner maintainer and see what can be done. Rally Points are intended to be saved separately because it is quite conceivable to have fairly static Rally locations at a flying field while the mission waypoints are likely to change often.

3. Rally points persist in flash memory (no matter their location) until the user deletes them.  The reason for the RALLY_LIMIT_KM parameter is to safely allow Rally Points to remain in flash memory no matter their location (so rally points can be specified for multiple flying fields).

Hope this helps,


Comment by Gary McCray on November 12, 2013 at 8:08pm

I should have asked this before Michael,

Do you have menu write permissions.

Can you in fact access Appearances -> Menu and then edit the Instructions or TOC Menu I know that is a separate authorization step and I would like to know your status on this.

All you need to do is try to get to either of those menus.

If you can you can edit them if not then you can't.

Thank You,


Comment by Hugues on November 13, 2013 at 9:07am

I want this for arducopter ! That's a great feature.

Comment by Michael Day on November 13, 2013 at 9:13am


I do have permissions to edit menus and I had placed Rally Points in the menu after under First Flight after Geofencing (at Tridge's request) when I originally published the page.

I see it's now also under Mission Planning and Analysis.  Probably should not be in two places?  I actually like it better under Mission Planning.


Comment by Gary McCray on November 13, 2013 at 1:16pm

Hi Michael,

It seemed to me that it pretty much related to mission planner settable features and so belonged there.

But I had looked through and didn't see your link under First Flights. 

I would have thought rally points might be a bit advanced for first flights and they are very much a Mission Planner feature. (Of course I sort of feel that way about Geofencing too.)

OK to leave it both places for the moment.

And it is in the Table of Contents (TOC Menu) now too.

Our subtopic headings aren't always ideal in any case.

And we don't always agree on what ought to be where.

In any case, great job on Rally Points, a really excellent and thorough description and illustration of the feature.

Best Regards,


Comment by Jeff Taylor on November 13, 2013 at 4:23pm

Very nice, love this!


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