FAA UAS Declaration of Compliance

There are several drone manufacturers which have obtained Declaration of Compliance from FAA (see link):

My questions are:

  1. How many of these drones manufacturers uses Ardupilot or PX4 or any other open source firmware and hardware?
  2. Are there any flight controllers acceptable to FAA, such as HolyBro Pixhawk, ProfiCNC Pixhawk Cube, etc.?
  3. Is open source hardware and firmware acceptable to FAA?
  4. If I understand correctly, Opensource is not for commercial application, and in order to use open source you must obtain/pay licensing fee. What is the process for obtaining Ardupilot and Mission planner license?


Some answers

  1. Unless you have access to FAA database, nobody can know. And even with the data PX4 allow relicensing and a lot of companies hid they are using ArduPilot. So unknown number. But considering it need a huge amount of money and some time to make a drone autopilot, a consequant part should be based on open source

  2. Don’t see why some hardware won’t comply.

  3. Yes they comply. May need some parameters change thus.

  4. Where did you read that ? Open source just means that the souce code of a software is available. It doesn’t prevent commercial application.
    Some license does. But that isn’t the case for ArduPilot that is FOSS : free open source software. So we provide the software for free and the source code. Same for Mission Planner.
    Nevertheless, ArduPilot is GPLv3 license which means that if you modify the software, you need to provide your client the source code of your modified software!

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Thanks for your answers. The reason I was asking these questions because I was upgrading a hexcopter with Pixhawk Cube and MAPIR camera for agricultural work, and due to Remote-ID requirement I was shopping for a RI-Module and landed on the FAA page (Link in my original post) that listed 100s of companies and their UAS with DoC.
So a question came to mind what will it take to get a DoC that lead me to ask these questions.

If I understand your answers:

a) I can use Pixhawk cube and Ardupilot FW for commercial application. No licensing is required.
b) I can fill out all the paperwork from FAA and request DoC for a hobby grade UAS for commercial application. Like registering a car with DMV :slight_smile: