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Re: [Paparazzi-devel] support of multiple UAVs?

From: David Conger
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] support of multiple UAVs?
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 12:07:03 -0400


>From at least 2005 (when I first found Paparazzi) multi-drone control
with a single GCS ground station has been working very well.

Here is a video from 2007 showing a drone in Germany and another in
France being controlled from Berlin Germany over a mobile Internet

2007!!!! ... can you imagine that's quite a long time ago in Drone
years. No other open source project at the time even flew properly
much less in a configuration anything like this.

If there is a single drone to single GCS limit is it not Paparazzi GCS
you are using. Possible one of the others? QGround Control?

Even more interesting info about multi-drone flights:
Paparazzi airframe configuration tool assigns an aircraft ID which is
used by GCS to plot each aircraft with a different colored trace. As
you fly each drone will have it's own color assigned. Full control of
each is maintained via the same buttons and commands and a nice
colored trace of the flight path is seen.
Even more interesting is the security built in via a shared (aircraft
and GCS) hash code. A hash is done at compile time that assures only
the GCS with the correct hash code will send data to the aircraft that
is accepted. If someone else runs Paparazzi and tries to control your
drones the aircraft code will reject the messages as invalid without
having the proper hash code. At the time even some (maybe all) of the
military drones did not have this security.
Note: For the flight you see in the video they had to share the hash
code to the operators in Berlin.

Imagine all the new features you find inside Paparazzi today (if you
search) if this was circa 2005 I'm talking about now.  ;)

It is expected few people outside Paparazzi (and many inside) still
are not aware of so many powerful features inside. Everyone in a truly
open project like this is more interested in coding and building vs
marketing and selling. It's a good sign I think of a truly open
project that you do not see so much marketing and hype to get you to
buy something.

What I have seen is the Paparazzi foundation is very cutting edge even
today. Cutting edge things like Ivy, OCaml, run the risk of lack of
adoption. Like Beta vs VHS for video tape wars a superior way to do it
can fail to gain wide adoption. I encourage everyone to learn Ivy,
learn OCaml vs trying to pull these powerful things out from under
Paparazzi. They are not trivial to substitute or replace and are IMHO
key components.

Do not be misled by Apache IVY. Here is the Ivy inside Paparazzi:

GCS is written in this (Caml):

There are so many cool, useful, features in GCS. Sure it does not look
like an F35 cockpit but look at the troubles complexity brings (joking
about F35 problems). From day 1 I have followed other ground control
stations and feel they are trying to be too much like an airplane
cockpit. Drone control should not be like airplane control. You are
interacting with it not flying it. GCS is what you need how you need
it and flexible an extensible. Please review this:

I hope this reply helps you to realize you have a lot of exciting new
features to learn about with Paparazzi. Ones that exist now and are
just waiting for you to learn and use now.

I hope for any newbies or those on the fence watching Paparazzi that
you have learned Paparazzi is the best project for real work
yesterday, today and tomorrow. Maybe someday the others will catch up
but I doubt it. Paparazzi is constantly evolving and adding new
features. Now if only Parrot would adopt it and mention Paparazzi
instead of QGround Control their product would be perfectly aligned
for the new FAA rules. Imagine BeBop and ARDrones doing gas pipeline
surveys, following miles of power lines and looking at the top of cell
towers. Parrot has the capacity to delivery huge volumes quickly so
should a major telco or power company adopt these they could get them
in their hands quickly. :)

David B Conger

On 2/16/15, Hector Garcia de Marina <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hi guys,
> I guess this is not new here. I was wondering if there was/is any effort
> for integrating to the system more than one vehicle at the same time.
> With integration to the system I mean monitoring and communicating to
> multiple vehicles in the GCS and communication among vehicles without
> passing to the GCS.
> The objective is to perform some formation control. I guess this would be
> interesting for certain scenarios where flying in formation is a
> requirement or an improvement/advantage. The formation is not only
> restricted to a platoon with a particular shape, but surveillance of an
> area following a trajectory where the distance between vehicles has to be
> constant or another applications.
> This year I will have time for making efforts in this direction. But since
> I never took a look at the GCS, I do not know how difficult will be to
> implement a "multivehicle" feature (or if there exists one already!).
> In addition, what is the status of PPZ with ChibiOS? A new stable version
> of ChibiOS is going to be released (3.0) with a lot of important changes
> but I guess the PPZ branch is using 2.6.x right?
> Cheers
> --
> H├ęctor
> Webpage:


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