AriAscend, an Oregon unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) drone services and data company, proposed a remote identification technology and framework to allow authorities and citizens to identify drones in air.
“AriAscend understands the frustration felt by many lawmakers, law enforcement, and citizens at what they feel are reckless or intrusive activities by drone owners,” said Kenji Sugahara, CEO of AriAscend and Policy Director of the 25,000 member Drone User Group Network. “However, we believe that any solution needs to be narrowly tailored, accessible, inexpensive, technologically simple, and balanced. Our solution achieves those goals while ensuring both accountability and remote pilot privacy.”
In November of 2015, AriAscend shared documents and e-mails that outlined a proposal for in-air identification of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) with the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), EPIC, DJI, the University of Southern Denmark, Loretta Alkalay, and others. Those communications formed the basis of AriAscend’s whitepaper.
On March 22, 2017, AriAscend submitted a proposal for in-air identification in response to AUVSI’s call for proposals. One week later on March 29, 2017, the FAA and AUVSI held a session on remote identification at the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Symposium held in Reston, Virginia. The participants discussed remote identification and the upcoming FAA Advisory and Rulemaking Committee (“ARC”) addressing this issue.
The whitepaper can be downloaded here.
“Serving on the UAS Workgroup that advises the Oregon legislature, we hear the complaints of UAS spying and flying dangerously. Even if the complaints are without merit, we understand the frustration faced by citizens and law enforcement at the apparent lack of accountability,” said Kenji.
To be effective, AriAscend believes that any solution has to be universally accessible. The normal citizen should be able to capture the encrypted digital ID without having to buy any additional hardware. The proposed solution envisions utilizing Bluetooth beacons so that anyone with a cellphone or Bluetooth enabled handheld device could capture the encrypted digital ID.
AriAscend suggests that any identification system separate the digital “license plate” or ID of the UAS from the FAA’s remote pilot database, and that lookup should be limited to authorized users to prevent vigilantism. Regulations should mirror those that regulate access to personal information in state motor vehicle records or mirror the Drivers Privacy Protection Act, 18 USC 2721. Only authorized individuals such as law enforcement should be able to perform any cross referencing and lookup of personal information.
AriAscend has proposed a cost effective, accessible, technologically feasible, localized, and effective way of creating accountability for UAS and their operators. The solution provides a narrowly tailored approach to identify UAS while in the air while preserving pilot privacy.
Further, AriAscend also believes that this framework should be part of a larger solution. AriAscend believes that it makes sense to have different identification schemes for different types of operations. For example, Bluetooth may be adequate for lower altitude operations ADS-B out could be required for higher altitude operations.
AriAscend hopes that these ideas are integrated into the recommendations of the FAA’s Advisory and Rulemaking Committee as part of the identification ecosystem that is necessary to secure our airspace, ensure accountability, and advance the UAS industry.
Source: Press Release