Base Station Setup

This documentation discusses the base station components and the necessary procedures for initial configuration. Note that the base station is only composed of the field laptop and a 915 MHz radio. With such few components, initial setup is focused on software configuration.  If you are following the guided tutorial, this section lists the materials used on the ground and provides download instructions for the GCS and custom MATLAB GUI. This setup is necessary to receive real-time information from the vehicle in mission planner and communicate with the Radio Telemetry subsystem for tag detection.

Router Box
TP Link Router


Item Model/Manufacturer
Laptop (GCS) Dell Latitude 14 Rugged
915 MHz Radio mRo SiK Telemetry Radio
RC Controller Spektrum DX6 6-Channel 2.4GHz
Table (optional) ALPS mountaineering guide table

Download Mission Planner

Mission Planner is a GCS software. If you are new to autonomous drones, background information on GCS stations is provided in Ground Control Station Background and documentation specific to Mission Planner is provided by Arducopter. Mission Planner is designed for a Windows operating system and the download provides on-screen instructions. Please follow the link below for the latest download and step by step instructions.

Mission Planner Download


While MATLAB is a licensed software, the UAV-RT has created a custom stand-alone graphical user interface (GUI) that can be used without a MATLAB license. This software allows you to connect to the UAVs Radio Telemetry subsystem over a hosted Wi-Fi link. Using the Wi-Fi connection the user can start and stop the radio on-board the UAV, download recorded radio data files from the UAV, and analyze the radio files. Using the custom algorithms, the system will return an estimated tag location, the signal strength of the received pulse at each detected location, an audio version of the recorded signal, and a topographical map showcasing the UAVs flight path alongside the processed radio data. While this system is continually being modified and improved, the latest download can be found on the lab's GitHub page:

GitHub Download