USBL trials and ROV positioning


I have managed to borrow a USBL system for a few days for some trials in a couple of weeks. The beacon is quite small and will fit quite well on the side of the BROV.

Can I input a NMEA string into QGC to show beacon position and is there anyway you can display a nautical chart into QGC? I am trying not to go down the route of a profession navigation package as they eye wateringly expensive.



The next companion update will have a program that accepts NMEA sentences from an arbitrary source as GPS input. PM me if you want to try it before it is released (no eta yet).

QGC only has support for the online map providers that you may choose from in the General tab of the Application Settings page.

@jwalser Can we also get a NMEA GPS out as well? I have a design in the early stages where it will be useful.

@julesh I’ve been playing with Mapbox and Esri tokens to try to get either raster or electronic charts to work. No luck yet, but I’ll keep the forum informed if I make a breakthrough. NOAA does have a tile service, but not sure how to get that one integrated:

Kevin and others, if you can elaborate some more on what sort of information you think would be commonly useful and who provides (free or otherwise) the maps/information we want then we can start making a plan on how to incorporate it in QGC.


You bet, I’ll make a separate topic as charts types are a bit complicated.

Hi Jacob

Thanks for getting back. Your new update will it handle two NMEA inputs one from the ROV, one from the vessel. Also It would be nice to be able to input a lat/long manually (WGS84 to go with GPS) so you have a target position. So you can know where things are relative to each other?

The chart display would be nice but time consuming I would imagine to implement?


This is just for ROV position via NMEA data. The waterlinked system will show the boat position and ROV position, but I have yet to implement something for generic input for GCS (boat) position in QGC.

It’s possible to do right now, but a bit hacky/workaroundish. This stuff is all still in development.

You bet.


With the the water link system I noticed a little screen in the pelicase what information is that showing you, vessel position and the ROV position relative to the vessel (via the transducers). What is the working depth we are talking about here and will have the ability to take in a sound velocity profile to correct for ray bending?


Hi @julesh, There is no screen, but rather a diagram that shows you the local coordinate system axes drawn on the box. The waterlinked system is rated to 100m depth and accounts for the depth and temperature of the water at the locator. I am not more familiar with the operating principles than that. We can ask @Torgeir for any other details.

We will show both the boat position and ROV position and headings on the map in QGC so you will see the relative location of the vehicles.