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Mission Control for Raspberry Pi



Author: Andrew Hazelden

Last Updated: 2014-02-10

Category: GPS

Downloaded: 863 times

Followed by: 4 users

License: MIT license  

Mission Control is a ground station program that allows you to plot the GPS based latitude, longitude, and altitude of your Raspberry Pi using a MikroElektronika GPS Click Board. The program has a graphical dashboard, and supports sharing the GPS position data via the internet using a Google Earth KMZ file.

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The live data for Mission Control is provided by a MikroElektronika GPS Click board that is connected to the Raspberry Pi via a USB connection on /dev/ttyACM0.

Mission Control Dashboard

Mission Control Dashboard

The Mission Control Dashboard Updates in Real-time

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The Live Dashboard View on Raspbian

The Live Dashboard View on Raspbian

You can track your position in real-time using Mission Control's SDL based dashboard display.

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Firefox Google Earth WebView

Firefox Google Earth WebView

If you have the Google Earth WebView plugin installed you can track the Raspberry Pi in a remote web browser.

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Google Earth Tracking

Google Earth Tracking

Mission Control also provides a KMZ export file that can be used in Google Earth. The KMZ file has a snapshot of the graphics dashboard and a waypoint log of the GPS Click's trail. The KMZ export is updated every 10 seconds.

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Once you unpack the Mission Control archive  you can install the software by running:

      sudo sh ./  

This will copy the Mission Control software to the /opt/missioncontrol/ folder. The installer adds the SDL libraries and Apache using apt-get. This installer package is designed to be used with Raspbian.

The Apache web sharing folder is located at:


For this demo the raspberry pi should have the IP address set to If you want to use a different IP address you need to update the address stored in the HTML file:

You also need to update the Raspberry IP address stored in the kml file:


A MissionControl.desktop shortcut is placed in the /home/pi/Desktop folder. The desktop item makes it easy to run Mission Control. The Mission Control program will launch and connect to the GPS Click via the /dev/ttyACM0 serial port connection at 115200.

The preferences for the Mission Control program are stored in a plain text preference file:       /opt/missioncontrol/gps_prefs.usf  

You can change the serial port device, and the baud rate in the gps_prefs.usf file.

[Mission Control Folder

[Mission Control Folder

This is the /opt/missioncontrol/ folder after installation.

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Starting Mission Control

Step 1. Connect your MikroElektronika GPS Click board to the Raspberry Pi USB port.

Step 2. Double click on the "Mission Control" icon on your PI's desktop to start the program.

Double Click

Double Click

You can double click the desktop icon to start Mission Control.

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If you are using the Raspbian LXDE window manager, you can also start Mission Control with the Internet > Mission Control menu item. You can start Mission Control with the debugging info visible by running the Internet Menu > Mission Control Terminal menu item.

The raw NMEA GPS log file can be viewed with the Internet Menu > GPS Tracklog menu item. This command opens the /opt/missioncontrol/gps_log/tracklog.gps file in the nano text editor.

Mission Control can be started from the command line by typing the following command in the LXterminal:   



Step 3. At this point the Raspberry Pi system should show the live Mission Control gauges.

You can now start your web browser on your desktop / laptop / mobile system and track the Raspberry PI using the Mission Control web interface. (You need to have Google Earth installed on your desktop to access the Mission Control webgui. )

Open your desktop system's web browser and access the Raspberry Pi's internet address:

If you want to view the Mission Control KMZ file directly in Google Earth you can download the current file using the URL:

A live network Google Earth KMZ file is accessible at:

The link.kmz file is neat because it refreshes Google Earth regularly and downloads the latest Mission Control data.

A plain text NMEA GPS tracklog is saved on the Raspberry Pi at:


This logfile is overwritten every time the Mission Control program is launched.


Fullscreen Mode

You can switch between windowed and fullscreen modes by tapping the TAB key on your keyboard, or by clicking in the Mission Control window.

View Layouts

The Mission Control preference file (/opt/missioncontrol/gps_prefs.usf) has an option that allows you to choose between three different window layouts:

# View Layout 0=Vertical Block Layout, 1=Horizontal Layout 5up, 2=Horizontal Layout 6up
@view_layout 1

Setting the @view_layout value to 0 uses a vertically arranged block layout. This vertical layout fits nicely on the Raspberry Pi screen if you decide to use the composite video connection and lower the screen resolution to 640x480.

Setting the @view_layout to 1 uses a horizontal layout with 5 gauges. This layout fits nicely on a 1024x768 screen.

Setting the @view_layout to 2 uses a horizontal layout with 6 gauges.

Vertical Block Layout

Vertical Block Layout

The vertical layout works well on NTSC and PAL screens.

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Horizontal Layout 5 Up

Horizontal Layout 5 Up

This view works well on smaller monitors.

View full image




Celebrate a birthday by blowing out a virtual candle. This example was created in celebration of MikroElektronika's 10th Birthday! You get to blow out the candle on a cupcake by tapping the touch screen on a mikromedia dsPIC 33 board. After two seconds the candle lights itself up again and you can repeat the process.

[Learn More]

Using a GPS Click on a Raspberry Pi


gps2udp is a script that connects a MikroElektronika GPS click board via USB to a Raspberry PI. The serial GPS data is pushed out through a UDP socket onto the network interface. The GPS is set to run at 115200 baud using the stty command.

[Learn More]

ACH SpeakUp Multimeter Demo


This project shows how to use the SpeakUp Click board as a standalone device with a multimeter acting as a display to show feedback from each of the voice commands. There is an accompanying 10.5 minute long step-by-step video tutorial that shows how to create this project from the beginning.

[Learn More]