Micro Air Vehicle Link (MAVLink) in a Nutshell: A Survey
Ref: CISTER-TR-190701 Publication Date: Jun 2019
Micro Air Vehicle Link (MAVLink) in a Nutshell: A SurveyRef: CISTER-TR-190701 Publication Date: Jun 2019
The Micro Air Vehicle Link (MAVLink in short) is a communication protocol for unmanned systems (e.g., drones, robots). It specifies a comprehensive set of messages exchanged between unmanned systems and ground stations. This protocol is used in major autopilot systems, mainly ArduPilot and PX4, and provides powerful features not only for monitoring and controlling unmanned systems missions, but also for their integration into the Internet. However, there is no technical survey and/or tutorial in the literature that presents these features or explains how to make use of them. Most of the references are online tutorials and basic technical reports, and none of them presents a comprehensive and a systematic coverage of the protocol. In this paper, we address this gap, and we propose an overview of the MAVLink protocol, the difference between its versions, and its potential in enabling Internet connectivity to unmanned systems. We also discuss security aspects of MAVLink. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first technical survey and tutorial on the MAVLink protocol, which represents an important reference for unmanned systems users and developers.
Published in IEEE Access, IEEE, Volume 7, pp 87658-87680.