Last month, AirMap, Alphabet’s Wing and Kittyhawk.io demonstrated a network-based remote ID application on the InterUSS Platform™. The successful demonstration illustrates that a remote ID solution exists today for drone operations in networked areas, without the need for additional infrastructure or technology.

About the Demonstration
AirMap, Wing, and Kittyhawk.io are each UAS Service Suppliers (USS) of the FAA’s Low-Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) for authorization to operate drones in U.S. controlled airspace. During the demonstration, multiple DJI and Wing drones were flown in controlled airspace, each connected to a unique USS, which exchanged data via a branch of the open source InterUSS Platform™.

Non-participating bystanders were able to visualize the drone operations in their vicinity in real time on a smartphone application, no matter which USS the drone was connected to. Only safety information was shared, protecting operator and consumer privacy.

airmap wing kittyhawk.io remote id demo

Above: Wing and AirMap smartphone applications displaying a complete picture of nearby UAS operations utilizing network-based remote identification

wing network remote id demo

Image courtesy of Wing

Network-Based and Local Broadcast Remote ID
There is a global consensus among airspace stakeholders that remote identification is necessary before widespread advanced drone operations can be achieved. But many disagree on the best path forward in establishing and enforcing remote identification without imposing a burden on the operator or infringing upon privacy rights.

By validating an operator’s identity through their respective USS, network-based remote identification offers a trusted picture of who is flying a drone, without requiring any additional information or equipment from the operator. This makes network-based remote ID an easy and effective way to facilitate transparent and accountable UAS operations – which increasingly provide valuable and personal services to the public in highly-networked locations.

Networked remote ID is also flexible. As new security needs arise, or technology implementations improves, network-based remote ID allows industry and operators to evolve to adopt new standards and realities, quickly and simply.

In remote areas where network coverage is sparse, remote identification data broadcasted by drones can be integrated into the same network remote identification apps. In this case, drones share information using integrated ground control station or cellular tracking devices. The AirMap UTM Platform supports networked and local broadcast remote ID.

“Before such wide-scale drone operations as autonomous deliveries can take place, we need to ensure that regulators – and the public – can easily assess whether or not a particular drone belongs to a good actor or requires intervention,” said Ben Marcus, Co-Founder and Chairman of AirMap. “Network-based remote identification applications like AirMap’s Drone Aware, augmented by local broadcast solutions when available, help airspace managers enforce aviation regulations while cultivating public trust in drone and also protecting the privacy of drone operators.”

The Demo in Detail

  • The demonstration involved three operators and three UAS (2 DJI and 1 Wing Delivery). Each operator logged into their respective USS (Wing, AirMap, and Kittyhawk.io) with a validated identity.
  • Each operator requested airspace access authorizations for their flights via their respective USS LAANC capabilities. Wing, AirMap and Kittyhawk.io are all LAANC providers.
  • When the remote identification display applications were launched, the InterUSS platform was used to discover which USS were operating UAS flights in the area. Each USS provided relevant UAS data and the aggregated set was provided to both the Wing and AirMap remote identification applications. This allows for data sharing only as needed, providing a complete picture without the need for a single entity to have access to drone operations everywhere.
  • AirMap, Wing, and Kittyhawk.io used industry standard authentication (OAuth 2.0) and security (HTTPS) for communications to the InterUSS platform and between USSs. LAANC already provides OAuth 2.0 authentication, and those credentials (or similar) can be used to authenticate communication between USS and to the InterUSS platform.