Thank you for your interest in the Intel Aero Platform! It sounds like you have a great project for your senior design. There is a Github for pymavlink that has some examples! Take a look at those examples, they should point you in the right direction!
Thank you Jesus,
I haven't taken the time quite yet to try executing some of these examples on our drone but will try running some of them asap.
I think a more refined question I can come up with is what steps need to be taken to fly the drone indoors, without GPS navigation? For example I'd just like to make the drone fly up maybe half a meter and then land.
I'm sure I might find an answer in the Github you mentioned, I'll just be out of town for the weekend and won't be able to check in on it until monday so I thought I'd drop another reply,
I do not recommend doing an indoor takeoff/land exercise due to the lack of GPS signal. For Indoor flights, you can try to use an indoor positioning system that sends NMEA 0183 format GPS data. Then you should be able to disconnect the GPS module and use an indoor positioning system. I have not tried this myself but give that a try and share your results with the community.