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Paparazzi Tester

✈️ Remote controlling paparazzi-powered UAVs to collect flight data.

This consists of a test generator and a test runner. The test scenarios are stored as python modules in pprz_tester/generated_plans.


git clone --recursive Set PAPARAZZI_HOME environment variable to the directory you cloned Paparazzi in.

Test Runner Usage

Your gateway to the tester is file.

It will run the simulator (unless run with --no-sim), data link, and server processes then starts communicating with them through ivy link protocol.


It starts with AircraftManager class listening to new aircraft messages and then requesting the current active aircraft list from the server. For each new aircraft it creates an Aircraft instance and stores it a dictionary.


Aircraft class downloads the aircraft settings and flight plan XML and stores the relevant parts in its instance variables. It also listens for a number of ivy messages to receive aircraft status updates.


Upon receiving messages they are decoded and stored in params property of the aircraft. Parameters store both the messages and their fields. To access a message use its name in lowercase (e.g. ac.params.engine_status); to access the properties, use <message_name>__<attribute_name> (e.g. ac.params.engine_status__rpm).


commands property provides a number of methods to issue new commands to the aircraft.

ac.commands.jump_to_block('Survey 1-2')

Listen for parameter changes and Ivy messages

By subclassing Observer, you can create observer objects that get notified when some parameters change. To register an observer object to listen for changes in a particular parameter use oobserve method in Aircraft.

For example:

class AltitudeChanged(Observer):
    def notify(self, property_name, old_value, new_value):
        if old_value is not None and abs(old_value - new_value) < 0.5:
            # Not large enough, just ignore.
            return'Aircraft {} changed altitude to {new_value}m')

ac = aircraft_list[14]
ac.observe('flight_param__alt', AltitudeChanged(ac))

The first parameter to observe is the parameter name (or message name), the same as what is used with ac.params. In case of observing a single parameter (just like the above example) it is guaranteed that notify is invoked only when new_value != old_value. Merely receiving an update (which doesn't change the observed parameter) won't trigger it. property_name parameter will be the same as what was passed when registering it. In case of registering an observer for a whole message the observer will be notified every time that message is received. In that case old_value will be None. For an example check out RecordFlight class which subscribes to FLIGHT_PARAM message.

Flight Plan

Flight plan is an ordered list of PlanItems. Whenever there is an update in aircraft's status an event is sent to the flight plan manager. The manager checks the event against the next item in queue, if they match the action will be performed and removed from the queue (upon successful completion), otherwise the message is ignored. Matching and performing are defined by overriding match and act methods, or alternatively passing callables to the constructor via matcher and actor parameters.

An example of passing parameters:

PlanItem(actor=lambda ac, *_: ac.commands.takeoff())

and a simple example of subclassing PlanItem can be seen in WaitForCircles class.

The flight plan always starts with a certain sequence of items. First, it waits for autopilot mode AUTO 2 to activate, it happens after the AP is boot up and ready. Immediately after, it sends a take off command and waits for the take off mode to activate. As soon as take off mode is activated a launch command is sent that kick starts the flight. based on --prep-mode parameter it waits for certain conditions to be met before moving on to the next stages.

--prep-mode with no parameters indicates skipping this step. You can either wait for the climb to finish or wait for a complete circle around the stand-by waypoint. You can also do both, --prep-mode circle climb.

Fixing and Fuzzing parameters


Waypoint locations can be fuzzed during the test generation or the running. Fuzzing in runtime overrides any fuzzing/fixing that happened during test generation. In both cases fixing takes priority over fuzzing. So to summarize, a waypoint will be located at the place:

  1. Fixed in runtime ( -w <name or id> <lat> <long> <altitude>)
  2. Fuzzed in runtime ( --fuzz-wps <name or id>)
  3. Fixed in generation ( -w <name or id> <lat> <long> <altitude>)
  4. Fuzzed in generation ( --fuzz-wps <name or id>)
  5. Specified in flight plan

Note that the commandline options for fuzzing and fixing waypoint locations are the same in both running and generating modes. --wp-location can replace -w as its long form as well.

To specify the boundaries in which waypoint locations are randomized in, use --wp-fuzz-bounds-lat, --wp-fuzz-bounds-lon, and --wp-fuzz-bounds-alt options to provide min and max ranges (a cube).


python pprz_tester/ -w S1 43.4659053 1.27 300 --fuzz-wps S2 --wp-fuzz-bounds-alt 200 220 -l 2 Microjet pprz_tester/generated_plans/

It fixes waypoint S1, randomizes S2's location and altitude while providing bounds for S2's altitude (200-220 meters) and using the default east-west and north-south boundaries for its location.

In flight actions

-- To be added --

Other parameters

-- To be added --

Test Generator Usage

Test generator's entry point is pprz_tester/ It expects the aircraft to be built so the required files are present in $PAPARAZZI_HOME/var. Some parameters such as waypoint fuzzing are shared with test runner. Note that the parameters that are fuzzed at test generation level are fixed, they won't change every time you run the test; that's to improve reproducibility in case of encountering any bugs or anomalous behaviour.


python pprz_tester/ --exclude 0 1 2 3 4 10 11 HOME land final flare --length 2 Microjet pprz_tester/generated_plans/

States 0-4 and 10-14 are excluded from the test, the test length is 2 and it uses the flight plan stored at $PAPARAZZI_HOME/var/aircrafts/Microjet/flight_plan.xml. The generated test will be stored in State names can be used instead of state ids, the state name equivalent of above command is:

python pprz_tester/ -x "Wait GPS" "Geo init" "Holding point" Takeoff Standby "Land Right AF-TD" "Land Left AF-TD" HOME land final flare -l 2 Microjet pprz_tester/generated_plans/


✈️ A fuzz testing tool for generating and performing system tests for Paparazzi auto pilot