Checkout our new home: The content of this site is being replaced by the new user manual.


Welcome to the QGroundControl website. QGroundControl provides full ground station support and configuration for the PX4 and APM Flight Stacks. QGroundControl also provides flight support for any MAVLink capable vehicle. QGroundControl runs on Windows, OS X, Linux, Android and iOS devices.

Main Features

  • Open-source MAVLink Micro Air Vehicle Communication Protocol with lightweight serialization functions for microcontrollers
  • Windows / Linux / MacOS support
  • 2/3D aerial maps (Google Earth support) with drag-and-drop waypoints
  • In-flight manipulation of waypoints and onboard parameters (in EEPROM)
  • Real-time plotting of sensor and telemetry data
  • Logging and plotting of sensor logs
  • Support for UDP, serial (radio modem) and mesh networks
  • Supports multiple Autopilots (pxIMU, ArduPilotMega, SLUGS, MatrixPilot/UAVDevBoard, many more)
  • MAVLink protocol supports up to 255 vehicles in parallel and project-specific custom messages can be added
  • Head-up-display, support for digital video transmission/display
  • Competition-proven at IMAV and EMAV competitions (QGroundControl was used in the EMAV 2009 1st place Indoor Autonomy entry)

Mailing List

Google Groups
Visit this group

Interfacing QGroundControl

QGroundControl's main interface protocol is MAVLink, a binary, serial stream protocol which QGroundControl can receive over UDP or serial links (radio modems). The full protocol documentation is available at: MAVLink Micro Air Vehicle Communication Protocol.


This website covers the users's and developer's documentation of the GCS. If you're interested in Autopilots/IMU's or general MAV information, please see these websites:

Open Standards Charter

There is a subtle difference between open source and open standards: While an application can be open source, it still can support only its own dialect of communications and sofware APIs. This makes it unusable in conjunction with anything else than the software/hardware it was designed for.

This project is therefore actively supporting not only open source, but also open standards. As such, we have defined the Open Standards Charter for the QGroundControl application.

It shall enforce:

  • The stable and long term support of a standardized communication interface to the micro air vehicles
  • A standardized interface of different user interface components
  • Full separation of communications, protocol and user interface
  • The long term support for Windows, Linux and Mac OS
  • The long term openness for any type of micro air vehicle

Now why is it important to highlight these issues? Simply because developers tend to overly optimize towards their particular application and thus break support for features needed by others. One example would be that a windows developer bases a critical feature on a Windows-only library. Or that this GCS only supports one particular communication protocol.

As we only have our MAVs for testing right now, we're absolutely open to change the application to support other systems better, e.g. fixed-wing aircraft.

We have developed the MAVLink Micro Air Vehicle Communication Protocol to allow others to quickly adopt the QGroundControl GCS. It is a flexible, lightweight open source library that allows to send C-structs and variables conveniently from any MCU (LPC2148, AVR ATMega, etc.) via serial radio modems (Digi XBee, Lairdtech/Aerocomm) to the GCS.

Credits and License