French drone laws, Tracking ID transmission methods

Laws have apparently passed thanks to lobbying of DJI and a few others in france that now require an identification packet to be transmitted as per the document I just posted.

A couple of questions for the likes of @Buzz and other Linux peeps… first, can we add a packet like this to AP_Sync? or OpenSolo?
And second, could a firmware be made for the ESP wifi modules that listens to Mavlink, then frames this up correctly?

All ardupilot users in France will need a solution ASAP, or they will be grounded.

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law project translation.pdf (23.9 KB)

…reads the spec. …
I’ve seen worse specs. At first review, this one seems like it might be achievable. Its basically broadcasting on 2.4ghz wifi the gps coordinates of the device itself , and the gps coords of the launch point, and a unique id for the manufacturer and unique serial number too, and a timestamp and other protocol stuff.

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NO mention of ERP and anything ? Then It’s ok to transmit it let’s say 5mW ?
A single ESP8266 with connection to telemetry port will do it easily.

You right, there is no more specs mentions. I hope a single ESP8266 can make the job, it would offer a cheap solution for arducopter users

Who will manage the serial numbes for the ArduPIlot based custom builds ?
Otherwise there is going to be a lot of APM -00000000001 flying around :wink:

The transmitter part isn’t in the law for 2019 in France.
But there will be a new law starting from 2019 that will be reatroactif on all vehicles, so be prepared to update your drones according to the law.
Law text are available at

So Pierre get ready to register APM-0000001 & 007 & 666 !!
Just read this:

This requirement does not apply to most of the drones we are flying
des aéronefs non captifs dont la masse est inférieure ou égale à 25kg et dont la motorisation respecte les limites suivantes :
aéronef non motorisé ou comportant un seul type de propulsion
moteur(s) thermique(s) de cylindrée totale ≤ 250 cm3
moteur(s) électrique(s) de puissance totale ≤ 15 kW
turbopropulseur(s) de puissance totale ≤ 15 kW
réacteur(s) dont la poussée totale ≤ 30 daN, avec un rapport poussée/poids sans carburant ≤ 1,3

For french speaker, you can fin some explaination on this there :

So I repeat : NO WORRIES for now ! IT INS’T the law ! Just a public consultation … nothing fix and it is clear (according to DGAC and other major actor) that is won’t pass as it (or at all )

There will be no implementation from ardupilot side of this law.
Ardupilot, as an open source project, will never meet the law requirements :
“Le dispositif de signalement électronique ou numérique mentionné à l’alinéa premier de l’article L. 34-9-2 et au I de l’article R. 20-24-2 du code des postes et des communications électroniques est programmé au cours de sa production et ne dispose d’aucune solution native permettant une modification de ses réglages par un tiers pour les champs identifiés comme obligatoires.”

In approximate english : “The electronic or digital reporting device referred to in the first paragraph of Article L. 34-9-2 and I of Article R. 20-24-2 of the Post and Electronic Communications Code is programmed during its production and has no native solution allowing a modification of its settings by a third for the fields identified as mandatory.”

Moreover, the law will impact all aircraft, not only multirotors with FC, so it will certainly be a separate autonomous electronic device.

I also doubt ardupilot team obtain the manufacturer’s trigram which is provided by the minister in charge of civil aviation. This trigram is obtained by an officiel request from each manufacturer through CERFA document.

@ppoirier, all the exemptions you mention does not figure in the linked document…

@furynick, yep, the ping signal must send a unique serial number, and i’m pretty sure Hex can get manufacturer trigram easily. If they need i will offer support to Hex team.

Even if a trigram could be obtained, the source code is open source so any code in ardupilot to provide data through an esp8266 will never meet the the law requirement.
This French law don’t need to be taken in account from ardupilot point of view.

Why did you think that ‘any code in ardupilot to provide data through an esp8266 will never meet the the law requirement’ ?

I explain that in my previous message :

I bolded the important part, as an open source project, any line of code may be altered by anyone and false information might be sent through esp8266. French authorities will never accept that.

If the FC can’t provide a non modifiable serial, the micro controller can do. For exemple, a PX2.1 can only provide the telemetry infos required, the micro controller can send it though the wifi module and add a unique serial number (defined by the manufacturer of the module) in the pinged signal. Your throughs ?

Each autopilot has a non modifiable hardware serial number.

So this can be provided for the Identification.

the question is how to get it ?


I’ve a different reading of this law.
They don’t want to get the specific ID of a flight controller.

They want to have the ID of the beacon, the electronic module that will emits wifi frames.
This ID will be managed by the manufacturer.