Open source mission planning software

I know most commercial providers offer up free versions of their mission planning apps to control your drone in the air but I was wondering if anyone has tried and can report on some of the open source mission planning apps I’ve read about. or Px4 autopilot for example. I’m interested if anyone has used any of these and what they think? Do they work with specific drone models only? Are they worth the download?

If we are going to process the imagery in open source we might as well fly the mission in open source.


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Px4 is a flight control software, much like Ardupilot or BetaFlight.

Px4’s canonical flight planner is QGroundControl.
Ardupilot’s is Mission Planner.

KDE wants to make Kirogi a thing, which I have feelings about, but whatever.

Tower was excellent on Android but is highly unmaintained.

All of the above focus on MAVlink compatible flight controllers. This will be many high-end commercial drones, customs, and enthusiast builds. In the commercial off the shelf world, not much aside from Solo and SkyViper 2450GPS/Journey.

Parrot indicates that their stack can be MAVlink compatible, but I’ve not seen it or tried it.

For UX, QGroundControl I think strikes a good balance.

Mission Planner is not nearly as friendly, but it affords you control and flexibility nothing else approaches.

Both can run mostly anywhere, with QGroundControl being more ported at the moment.

Which do I use? Depends on what I need. Precise control of everything? Mission Planner.
Easy cross-platform/stack work? QGroundControl.
Tablet and low-fuss? Solex, which isn’t FOSS, but is phenomenal for MAVlink.

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