I got a quick question. When we control a drone using an RC transmitter, in this case, are we communicating with the drone via MAVLink? Or there is another protocol?



1 Answer 1


You haven't provided much context, so I will try to answer this as broadly as possible.

The communication protocol between the RC Transmitter and the drone can be one of many, however (usually) not MAVLink. The following is said on the Ardupilot Copter documentation page for example:

ArduPilot autopilots are compatible with the following receiver output protocols:

  1. PPM-Sum receivers
  2. SBus receivers
  3. IBUS receivers
  4. FPort Receivers
  5. Spektrum SRXL2,DSM, DSM2, and DSM-X Satellite receivers
  6. Multiplex SRXL version 1 and version 2 receivers
  7. CRSF receivers (including ExpressLRS systems)
  8. Graupner SUM-D
  9. Parallel PWM outputs encoded to PPM-Sum using an external encoder

The MAVLink protocol has a message, RC_CHANNELS_OVERRIDE, to override info recieved from the RC transmitter, so You can control the drone using MAVLink, but as far as I am aware that is not something that is commonly used to directly control like you would with any of the protocols listed above.


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