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How To Build A Quadcopter
With A Pixhawk Flight Controller

Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  Step 4  Step 5-1  Step 5-2  Step 5-3  Step 6  Step 7  Step 8  Step 9-1  Step 9-2  Step 9-3  Step 9-4  Step 10  Step 11  Step 12  Step 13 Maiden Flight!

Step 9: How to Setup and Configure
the Mission Planner Ground Station Part 1

Setting Up and Configuring the Mission Planner Ground Station

The Mission Planner ground station enables you to both configure the Pixhawk flight controller and plan missions for autonomous flight of your quadcopter or multicopter. First download and install the Mission Planner software from ardupilot.com. Once installed, launch the Mission Planner software and then connect the micro USB cable to both the host device (computer, laptop, tablet, etc.) and the Pixhawk flight controller (below photo). Note: If the Mission Planner hangs or crashes on startup then it may be necessary to ensure that your .NET framework is up to date.

Installing the Mission Planner Firmware

usb port on Pixhawk flight controller

When the Mission Planner software has launched, click on the "Initial Setup" tab and go to the "Install Firmware" option on the left menu (below two photos).

Mission Planner Inital Setup Tab
Mission Planner Install Firmware option

In this case we will be installing the firmware for a quadcopter, so choose "ArduCopter Quad" for the firmware to install (photo below).

Mission Planner select ArduCopter Quad firmware

Mission Planner will ask for a confirmation and then ask you to unplug the USB cable, plug it back and then press the "OK" button in the dialogue box. After the firmware downloads and installs a dialogue box will appear asking you to wait until all the musicals tones are finished before clicking OK to continue. Another dialogue box will appear with a warning instructing you to do a compass calibration if this is the first time that the firmware is installed. Click "OK". (We will be doing a compass calibration as we work through the configuration wizard.) We will now go to the configuration wizard.

The Configuration Wizard

Mission Planner select wizard option

Once the ArduCopter Quad firmware is installed on the Pixhawk, click "Wizard" in the left menu (above photo). When clicked, "The Mission Planner Setup Wizard" dialogue box will appear (below photo).

Mission Planner Wizard dialogue box
Mission Planner Wizard dialogue box vehicle option

In the wizard dialogue box, select "Multirotor" as the type of vehicle to install and click NEXT.(above photo).