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Question about ardupilot capabilities: can I use it just to get data out using MAVLink?

Hi everyone, apologies if this is the wrong place to ask this question – please move if necessary!

I am working on a project that includes displaying avionics on a LCD screen, via an application built on the BeagleBone Black. I need to get actual avionics data (altitude, airspeed, climb rate, etc) from somewhere to display on the screen. I realized that software like Ardupilot already has this data if installed on a device like the BeagleBone Blue. My question is, can I run Ardupilot on the BeagleBone Blue only for the purposes of getting the data I need out via MAVLink? I could run a python application on the BB that fetches the data via the MAVLink protocol, and sends it out via UART or something to the BeagleBone Black display. My main concern is, can I run the ardupilot software in a basic way that doesn’t require creating a flight plan, connecting to a ground station, and a lot of other configurations I don’t need? I basically just need it to run and give me the flight data.

Now, I know that running a whole autopilot software for this purpose is overkill (and I am open to suggestions for simpler solutions that would allow me to programmatically get the data I need), however, I genuinely have an interest in using Ardupilot for its intended purpose in the future, so I don’t mind using and learning how Ardupilot works.

Thanks in advance!

You just need to read mavlink packets, parse them with pymavlink and display the data.No need to change any of the flight code. No need for any fancy configuration.
All you need is to send a couple of SET_MESSAGE_INTERVAL Mavlink messages.

Awesome, thank you for the confirmation! Am I correct in assuming that once the Ardupilot software boots, the altitude, climb rate, airspeed, etc, automatically starts being read and calculated? I don’t need to do something to initiate those?

You do need to send a couple of SET_MESSAGE_INTERVAL Mavlink messages to get the messages that you want.

Understood, thank you!

Servers by jDrones