For those who use and develop using the ArduPilot autopilot software (as featured on DiyDrones and ArduPilot Discourse), a powerful simulation tool is available that can replicate all of the features of the autopilot without flying an actual aircraft. This is extremely useful for testing complex missions or parameter configurations without risking real hardware.
Unfortunately setting it up is a bit tricky, official instructions are available however to make life easier I have created an automatic script that you can run that will install and run the SITL software on a Ubuntu 14.04 Linux PC or virtual machine.
This software is licensed under GNU General Public License version 3 and the source code is available at https://bitbucket.org/dellarb/ardupilot-sitl
To install on Linux just follow the instructions below.
- Open a terminal window, in Ubuntu you click on the “Search Swoosh” and type terminal
- Type in to the terminal window “curl -sSL https://bitbucket.org/dellarb/ardupilot-sitl/raw/master/sitl_install.sh | sudo bash” and press enter
- The install file with download and be run and you should see the installation progressing.
- If all goes well, when the installation completes it will be running a simulation of APM Plane and you will see a mavproxy terminal similar to below:
If you encounter any errors with please please leave a comment below with as many details as you can provide.