File Formats

MAVLink systems often need to be able to store, exchange, or restore MAVLink information, including: mission plans, geofence definitions, rally points, parameters, logs, etc. Often the information is defined on one system and used on another (e.g. logs from an autopilot are parsed by analysis tools, missions are created using GCS planning tools and run from a companion computer).

There is a defacto standard used in many GCS systems and developer APIs for storing mission information: plain-text file format.

At time of writing there are no MAVLink standards (defacto or otherwise) for geofence, rally points, parameters etc. There is a discussion about standardising file formats in Issue #989.

Mission Plain-Text File Format

QGroundControl and many other GCS support an older plain-text format for missions. This is not officially part of MAVLink and does not allow rally point or geofence information to be provided.

The format is shown below. The first line contains the file format and version information, while subsequent the line(s) are mission items.

QGC WPL <VERSION>
<INDEX> <CURRENT WP> <COORD FRAME> <COMMAND> <PARAM1> <PARAM2> <PARAM3> <PARAM4> <PARAM5/X/LONGITUDE> <PARAM6/Y/LATITUDE> <PARAM7/Z/ALTITUDE> <AUTOCONTINUE>

The spaces between the numbers/fields above are <tab> (i.e. \t in most programming languages).

For example:

QGC WPL 110
0    1    0    16    0.149999999999999994    0    0    0    8.54800000000000004    47.3759999999999977    550    1
1    0    0    16    0.149999999999999994    0    0    0    8.54800000000000004    47.3759999999999977    550    1
2    0    0    16    0.149999999999999994    0    0    0    8.54800000000000004    47.3759999999999977    550    1

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