As the UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) gets underway, Intel is claiming a leadership role in the development of new drone regulations.
Intel is a partner in four of the ten sites chosen by the FAA to participate in the IPP, testing drone applications currently outside the boundary of FAA regulations. The IPP will last several years and feedback from the projects will inform future laws.
“Intel is a participant in four of the 10 sites and may participate in operations in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant, Oklahoma; the city of San Diego; the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, Herndon, Virginia; and the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority in Tennessee,” says Intel in a release yesterday.
“I’m honored that Intel’s Drone Group is participating in such critical programs to pave the way for new and expanded commercial UAS operations. By working with the U.S. government, as well as various other industry partners, we can demonstrate the magnitude of a drone’s potential when integrated into our nation’s airspace in a responsible way,” said Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager, Intel drone team.
Yesterday, Intel participated in trial projects in Oklahoma, the Choctaw Nation. “Intel flew night missions using a thermal sensor on the Intel® Falcon™ 8+ drone. This application could be used to look for lost cattle, as well as learn more about the habits and tendencies of local wildlife,” says yesterday’s release. “In addition, Intel performed the first public demonstration of Open Drone ID, an open standard that offers a solution for the remote identification and tracking of UAS.”
“Future missions at Choctaw may include drones for agricultural applications, public safety and infrastructure inspections, with planned beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations over people and more nighttime operations. The plans are to invest in mobile ground-based detect-and-avoid radars and advanced weather infrastructure.”
Intel is taking a major role in several of the technology initiatives that could shape future drone regulations. In addition to working with NASA on the unmanned traffic management projects, the company is working on the Open Drone ID project – leading the ASTM F38 Remote ID Standard and Tracking Workgroup.
“Open Drone ID is designed as an open standard that offers a solution. It is a beacon-based (wireless drone identification) solution that enables drones to be identified when within range of a receiver, like a smartphone,” says Intel. “The current draft specification is based on Bluetooth 4.2 broadcast packets and Bluetooth 5 (long-range) advertising extensions. With this technology, each aircraft can broadcast its unique ID, location, direction, altitude, speed, make/model, base location and other related data.”
Drone regulations are of major importance in the U.S. now, as the 2018 FAA Reauthorization package approaches the Senate floor and the Department of Justice and Homeland Security debate the threat that drones pose as a terrorist tool. Intel’s close relationship with the FAA, their incumbent position in the top enterprise organizations around the world, and their willingness to invest heavily in the drone space may help to shape drone regulations in a way more friendly to the commercial market.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.