jMAVSim with SITL
jMAVSim is a simple multirotor/Quad simulator that allows you to fly copter type vehicles running PX4 around a simulated world. It is easy to set up and can be used to test that your vehicle can take off, fly, land, and responds appropriately to various fail conditions (e.g. GPS failure).
This topic shows how to set up jMAVSim to connect with a SITL version of PX4.
jMAVSim can also be used for HITL Simulation (as shown here).
Software in the Loop Simulation runs the complete system on the host machine and simulates the autopilot. It connects via local network to the simulator. The setup looks like this:
After ensuring that the simulation prerequisites are installed on the system, just launch: The convenience make target will compile the POSIX host build and run the simulation.
make posix_sitl_default jmavsim
This will bring up the PX4 shell:
[init] shell id: 140735313310464 [init] task name: px4 ______ __ __ ___ | ___ \ \ \ / / / | | |_/ / \ V / / /| | | __/ / \ / /_| | | | / /^\ \ \___ | \_| \/ \/ |_/ Ready to fly. pxh>
- The startup script is in the posix-configs/SITL/init folder and named
rcS_SIM_AIRFRAME, the default is
- The root file system (the equivalent of
/as seen by the) is located inside the build directory:
Taking it to the Sky
And a window with the 3D view of the jMAVSim simulator:
The system will print the home position once it finished intializing (
telem> home: 55.7533950, 37.6254270, -0.00). You can bring it into the air by typing:
pxh> commander takeoff
Joystick or thumb-joystick support is available through QGroundControl (QGC). To use manual input, put the system in a manual flight mode (e.g. POSCTL, position control). Enable the thumb joystick from the QGC preferences menu.
Simulating a Wifi Drone
There is a special target to simulate a drone connected via Wifi on the local network:
make broadcast jmavsim
The simulator broadcasts its address on the local network as a real drone would do.
Extending and Customizing
To extend or customize the simulation interface, edit the files in the Tools/jMAVSim folder. The code can be accessed through thejMAVSim repository on Github.
The build system enforces the correct submodule to be checked out for all dependencies, including the simulator. It will not overwrite changes in files in the directory, however, when these changes are committed the submodule needs to be registered in the Firmware repo with the new commit hash. To do so,
git add Tools/jMAVSimand commit the change. This will update the GIT hash of the simulator.
Interfacing to ROS
The simulation can be interfaced to ROS the same way as onboard a real vehicle.