The Ardupilot FG Control for the Flight Gear Simulator

The ArduFGControl is a PC application which allows you to test and tune your Ardupilot CPU board with the Flight Gear Simulator. FlightGear is a free and an open source flight simulator developped by Curtis Olson. The ArduFGControl is a gateway between the Ardupilot board through the FTDI cable (com port) with FlightGear through the network UDP ports. The FlightGear model used here is a Rascal 110
So, with this application you may test at home your Ardupilot during this cold winter...

The full software can be downloaded at :

Tested on Windows Vista SP2 on Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T250 @2.00 Ghz ( perf ind: 4.8 )

Have fun,
Jean-Louis Naudin

Views: 3811

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on December 8, 2009 at 2:00am

The ArduFGControl gateway have been now updated with an improved interface (see above).
- added command buttons:
Manual: Ardupilot is disabled and FlightGear is free to flight,
AP Run: Ardupilot is set in WP Mode,
Next wp: an uplink command is send to the Ardupilot to jump to the next wp,
RTH: an uplink command is send to the Ardupilot to RTH(Return To Home),

On the Menubar :
Reload: This is to reload in flight the setup file (afgcinit.txt), very usefull to test the AP gain while the Ardupilot is running...
New data display: Ack, this is an Acknowledge of the command from Ardupilot.

To play with this new version, you need to download : ArduFGControl v1.1 and ArduFlight v2.4.7

Enjoy your flight on ArduPilot line and please don't forget to fasten your seat belt...
Comment by Rana on December 8, 2009 at 4:07am
Hi Jean !
I see you uploading f/w ver 2.47 at least 3 times @googlecode, what is the difference among those for example the one which you just uploaded 2 hours back and the one which is uploaded 44 hours back ?

If some minor update is there you can go for 2.4.7.X may be like that !

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on December 8, 2009 at 4:39am
Hello NS Rana,
In the latest update of the 2.4.7, I have added the NextWP Uplink command which ask the Ardupilot to go to Next Wp.

From the Gateway to the ArduPilot :
Here somme commands that can be now send to the ArduPilot :

MOD:0 = Manual Mode
MOD:2 = Wp mode
MOD:4 = go to Next WP

(MOD:1 and MOD:5 are under tests).
See the "system.pde"
Comment by Rana on December 8, 2009 at 4:44am
Thanks Jean !

Comment by Mark Colwell on December 11, 2009 at 8:51am
Success at last !!, 1st ArduPilot sim flights to waypoints & RTH, I am using red Shield, but had problems when I set up Rascal110.h. I am using a USB RC Controller, turns out shield is not needed.., I had several blue screen crashes... ArduFlightControl may need a handshake, the USB FTDI driver hangs blue screen states Driver IRQ not equal or less, this happens after I close AFControl or re-plug USB connector, while trying to get ArduPilot to send/rec binary data. I running on A HP 60G-445DX notebook @2.2ghz 3gb RAM, Vista 32 SP1, no bluescreen until now. This is repeatable but, I haven't isolated issue yet.
I tried several changes to Rascal110.h to modify roll, pitch, throttle & heading gains , I program Arduino-16 with MacBookPro @2.4ghz 2gb RAM, OS-x 10.5.8, so I move FTDI USB connector to Mac then to PC to run new gain changes. When I connect to PC, FTDI won't connect, (no flashing LEDs) I reset power to ArduPilot or re-plug USB, and press Reload on AFControl, This works sometimes. Once comms are established all is good, just no reliable startup... All suggestion are welcom.. and now PC won't startup.. blank screen...

Comment by Mark Colwell on December 11, 2009 at 9:12am
Got PC screen back on, had to remove power and battery, restart and screen is back, I am using my HD-tv as external monitor, great for this Sim..
Windows 7 is now ordered... backup in progress....

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on December 11, 2009 at 9:40am
Hello Mark,

Glad to see you get working now. One most important to do with the FTDI cable is to set the RTS on close like this below :

I suggest you to dowload the latest version of the ArduFGControl v1.1 : here
with the updated version of ArduFlight v2.4.7 : here

In the latest version of the Arduflight v2.4.7, I have set the uplink rate to every 100 ms. This give a very smooth flight. See the FGSim tab :
void print_data_emulator(void) // Output Datalink for the Flight Gear gateway
static unsigned long timer3=0;
static byte counter;

if(millis()-timer3 > 100) // Output Rate for FGS set to every 100 ms

I have now tested the AduFGControl with Windows 7 and it work very well, my setup is :
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P7450 @2.13 GHz 2.13 GHz
Performance indice = 5.6

Good virtual flights with the ArduPilot,

Comment by Mark Colwell on December 11, 2009 at 2:13pm
I have checked all items above & "Set RTS on Close" to on too, Sim is smooth, checking crash logs, reinstall drivers too.
Comment by Thomas Hamilton on January 31, 2010 at 10:39am
Hello Jean-Louis
This program seems to be exactly what my team is looking for. We are building our own autopilot system. Is it possible for your program to receive yaw controls in addition to pitch roll and throttle?
Comment by Rana on March 3, 2010 at 7:57pm
Hi Jean !
Following link to Plane "Rascal_0.1" is not working
pl. update for the link in your blog.


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