my lab is starting a project where we will build medium-sized (1 to 2m wingspan) fixed-wing aircraft for the purpose of mapping large forested areas, for conservation purposes.
We will be building the planes using Pixhawk autopilot. Up to now, my experience was limited to multicopters and I have used the PX4 software stack for research purposes (ROS control, etc). I am now wondering what would be the best software stack for this project, whether PX4 or ArduPilot would be the better choice.
In this project, the planes will be used as a mapping tool instead of as a research platform. Thus I would strive for a well-tested and feature-rich (i.e. user friendly) stack, instead of a research-oriented stack. On the other hand, later on in the project, we will want to use the smaller plane for research (vision-based control, etc), but not for a year at least.
So, my question is: for our current goals, is ardupilot the better choice? With PX4 stack is difficult to know exactly what is supported or well tested since documentation is not as complete as with ArduPilot project. Moreover, I feel Pixhawk moves quite faster in development so it is also difficult to track.
Sorry if the question seems offtopic for this forum, but maybe someone else tried PX4 stack for this purpose and has some feedback about this choice.