Developer Guide

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By the time you land on this page, you probably want to enhance the Paparazzi project, that is really good for your karma and really appreciated by the Paparazzi community. We welcome contributions and improvements to the documentation.


See also Doxygen for documentation close to the code.


You would like to contribute, but are not sure how, then this is the page to visit

Code Editing

How to setup your IDE for use with the source code

Learning to Program

Improve your Paparazzi code in OCAML,C,C++ and Python

Aircraft build process and code generation

Description of the (rather complicated) build system and code generation regarding the airborne firmwares

Design Overview

Attempt at a longer walk through the airborne code architecture

Firmware Architecture

Attempt at brief overview of the firmware architecture with modules and subsystems


How telemetry and datalink is done

Communications (Proposed New system)

How the telemetry and datalink works

Server-GCS communications

How the Server and the Ground Control Station interact with each other


A short walk through the system and how values are handled


Settings is the generic mechanism that allows to set and get the value of any variable of the embedded code.

Paparazzi Math Library

The custom Paparazzi math library written in C and how to use it in external programs


All of the questions and answers about the bootloader, but were afraid to ask

LPC USB firmware

All of the answers to the Paparazzi USB bootloader of question you never dared to ask

Upload Bootloader for LPC21xx

How to [[upload the Bootloader to a LPC2148 processor based Autopilot board like the TWOG

Upload the luftboot bootloader

How to upload the Bootloader to a STM32 processor based Autopilot board like the Elle0 or Lisa/M

Upload with DFU (with native or custom dfu bootloader)

Using the native (embedded in ROM) or custom (e.g. Luftboot or KroozSD==) bootloader to upload Paparazzi code

Upload with STLink via SWD (without Bootloader)

General ST-LinkV2 page.

GDB OpenOCD Debug

Using GDB or OpenOCD to directly flash and debug Hardware


Using a USB connection instead of UART for use with telemetry


All information you are looking for about the harsh reality of Control Theory needed to let your aircraft fly

Altitude and Height

Altitude and Height demystified

AirBorne Interface ABI

Presentation of the airborne communication system


A stateinterface is a stateinterface is a stateinterface, poems aside read more about what the stateinterface entails here


Real Time Paparazzi how-to and guidelines

Continuous Integration builds

Info on the Continuous Integration builds (CI) server

Coding Standards

JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) released their own coding standards (can be downloaded for free here: JPL C Coding Standards and Guidelines). They include MISRA-C rules and directives, but add their own rules on top of that. They also specify different levels of compliance (LOC) because not always it is necessary to comply with all of the rules. Anyway, they are making things that go to space, so we can definitely learn something about good coding practices from them.


Info for maintainers on how to create a new release.