I am exploring various on-board processors. I observed in most cases, the mission processor and flight controller processor are different and are integrated as and when required. I was wondering what challenges there are in order to have both processors on the same board (two different processors on a single board) which would help with compact size and weight. Does this kind of board already exist?

Please help me (with links/paper/videos (if any)) on this query.


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    $\begingroup$ Could you link to the resources you found referencing distinct "mission" and "flight" computers? Most of the drone waypoint systems I know of (e.g. iNav) run the two on the same processor. $\endgroup$
    – ifconfig
    Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


The Flight Controller is basically in charge of keeping the drone flying. It also takes the input from the remote control and moves the drone around.

The Mission Computer is most likely some sort of PC with mission planning software. This usually has some human interface to help visualize the mission.

Once the planning is complete the mission can be transferred to the flight controller and the drone will attempt the go the the specified location and do the specified action.

The Flight Controller would normally have some sort of real-time operating system (or at least deterministic) in order to respond quickly enough to keep flying. This would be something like ArduPilot.

The mission planner software would need a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. and is usually run on a PC, tablet, etc. Something like QGroundControl or Mission Planner.

The Herelink integrates the remote control and mission planner in one unit, but still relies on a Flight Controller to be on the drone.

There is also a Beagle Bone Blue which pretty much puts it all on one board.


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