Mastering LUA Scripts for ArduPilot Parameter Management (2023)

In the realm of ArduPilot firmware customization, LUA scripts play a pivotal role in accessing and modifying parameters. Efficient parameter handling is crucial for optimal performance, and in this guide, we delve into advanced techniques to streamline this process.

Enhancing Performance with Local Variables

While LUA scripts provide direct access to ArduPilot parameters, optimizing this process is essential for speed. The conventional method of name-based parameter retrieval can be sluggish. An alternative approach involves creating local variables using the Parameter user data method. By initializing parameters and avoiding name searches, scripts gain a significant speed boost.

local SCR_ENABLE = Parameter()
local parameter = SCR_ENABLE:get()

This method not only enhances speed but also streamlines the code, making it more readable and efficient.

Unleashing the Power of Parameter Objects

ArduPilot's parameter manipulation methods extend beyond the standard param: functions. Parameter objects provide a faster and more organized way to access and modify parameters. Initialization, configuration checks, and value retrieval become seamless, eliminating the need for slow name searches.

local TRICK_ID = Parameter()
local trick_id = TRICK_ID:get()

Embracing Parameter objects ensures that scripts execute with optimal efficiency, a crucial factor in demanding applications.

Dynamic Parameter Addition

LUA scripts not only interact with existing parameters but can dynamically add new ones. This capability empowers scripts to introduce custom parameters for diverse applications. The process involves creating parameter groups, each capable of holding multiple parameters.

local PARAM_TABLE_KEY = 72
assert(param:add_table(PARAM_TABLE_KEY, "AERO_", 30), 'could not add param table')
assert(param:add_param(PARAM_TABLE_KEY, 1, 'TRICK_ID', 0), 'could not add param1')
assert(param:add_param(PARAM_TABLE_KEY, 2, 'RPT_COUNT', 0), 'could not add param2')

By incorporating this flexibility, scripts can adapt to unique requirements without the limitations imposed by firmware-defined parameters.

Unveiling the Intricacies of ArduPilot Parameters

Understanding how parameters work in ArduPilot is fundamental to effective scripting. Parameters, defined in the firmware, possess default values and specific types. During boot-up, the firmware initializes RAM variables for each parameter, utilizing default values or stored changes from non-volatile memory.

LUA-created parameters, although existing similarly to firmware parameters, require explicit script execution for visibility within Ground Control Stations. Creating a parameter table and adding parameters enable their recognition and access, ensuring they persist across reboots and power cycles.


Mastering LUA scripting for ArduPilot parameter management is a gateway to unlocking the full potential of your UAV projects. By optimizing access methods, embracing Parameter objects, and dynamically adding parameters, your scripts can achieve unparalleled efficiency. Stay tuned for more insights into ArduPilot customization and take your UAV projects to new heights.


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