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Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Thoughts about the GCS

From: Michele Santucci
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Thoughts about the GCS
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2010 09:47:35 +0200

Hallo Roman, Hallo everyone,
The JAUS protocol itself it's not a military standard anymore then I don't think that someone
should be afraid of any moral issues.
Anyway I have enough experience working on UV to say that, today, being compliant with a
military standard can also have some positive drawback.
As I was stating in the previous email the complexity and/or the overhead of this protocol
(or similar) is the real THING to be taken into account. For my point of view this's not
something that will fit easily into any microUAV since its computational overhead may have
some unwanted drawbacks into platform physics.
P.S. (reply to Chris) being Open (with a capital O) it's not just a matter of architecture... it's a
matter of will and facts Sorriso Emoticon.
    bye by[t]e{s}... TuX!

Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Thoughts about the GCS

Hi everyone, hi Michele,
I am very glad that finally there is a some sort of standard to follow if one wants to implement a communication protocol for a new project.
However, I have several questions as to viability of JAUS for the paparazzi.
1. Paparazzi is a mature project with its own reliable and robust protocol.
2. Range of projects that use Paparazzi is pretty significant with airplanes as small as 30cm span where weight savings is a primary concern.
Adding this standard compliance at system level will require an additional on-board translator taxing performance and adding weight to the system. By the way, we already have some unnecessary in my opition, steps in communication protocol, such as adding CRC to paparazzi protocol messages when they are wrapped into XBee protocol which also has error control.
3. If we consider a system as an airplane+ground station when it would be relatively easy to add some JAUS translator thanks to the openness of the Paparazzi messaging and Ivy bus. So than JAUS entry point and exit point from/to Paparazzi will be the ground station.
As far as I understood from the JAUS specs, there is no such a hierarchy level as airplane+ground station..
Also, do we really want a compliance to a military standard at all?
What do you guys think?
Roman Krashanitsa
2010/6/24 Michele Santucci <address@hidden>
Hi Roman, Hi everyone,
I don't know either Gator team or Peter Ifju so I don't know if they're involved in OpenJaus.
For my knowledge of JAUS the standard is an US DoD spin-off tought for military Unmanned
Veichles (it started for Unmanned Ground assets and then it's been generalized to generic UV).
In my company we're going to use it to open-up the communication protocol of our UV.
I think this's a good starting point to open further Paparazzi structure of course keeping under
control the complexity and the overhead of a multipurpose protocol.
    bye by[t]e{s}... TuX!

Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:38 PM
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Thoughts about the GCS

very good find! Do you know if this is done by Gator team and Peter Ifju? I was not aware that they are involved with this kind of through software spec development. Or may be it's not them..
I think, the spec is so high-level and general that at the current stage, any autopilot will fit or can be made to fit. Well, unless they will try to specify format of the node-level-and-below messages.
2010/6/23 Michele Santucci <address@hidden>
Hallo everybody!
even if this thread is apparently closed I would encourage anyone interested in GCS development
and/or in UAV<->GCS communication to give a look to OpenJaus (
I personally think that Paparazzi already have a good GCS and reliable protocol but IMHO keeping
in touch with the efforts of creating a standard it's never a bad idea.
    bye by[t]e{s}... TuX!

Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 3:43 PM
Subject: [Paparazzi-devel] Thoughts about the GCS

Hello everybody!

I have been observing the communication on the development board with regards to the future Paparazzi GCS development and the OCaml programming language.

I have my deepest respect for the work Pascal has done on the GCS and Paparazzi in general. Now that we have lost him I gradually start to comprehend the enormous hole he has left behind and the implications of using a programming language for the GCS that is not widely adopted.

As I understand the basic problem for future Paparazzi GCS development is the lack of OCaml programming skills that are present in the community. At the same time in the worldwide open source UAV communities there is a stronger and stronger desire for defining open standards for UAV <-> GCS communication and provide an open GCS development platform.  Is there a common solution to both problems?

I do not know! However, while surfing the internet I came across the QGroundControl from the PixHawk team that tries to provide open standards and a general UAV GCS (everything written in GPL-ed C++ Qt framework). I understand there would be quite a lot of work to transition the Paparazzi system to another GCS (reintegrate communication protocol, rewrite the generation of control parameters from the airframe file, etc.). But maybe in the long run the Paparazzi community and open source UAV communities in general could benefit from using a common GCS development platform.

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions about the future Paparazzi GCS development options.

Thank you and kind regards,


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