The UK Catapult Project shows a path for wide-scale drone adoption, as participant Wing explains: demonstrating safe, scalable, and secure management of drone traffic – using Network ID.
Wing’s blog post announces the publication of results for the six month simulation project: and makes clear their support of the U.K.’s philosophy on Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), a federated system that leverages network ID (NET-RID) technology for Remote ID for drones. The UK system differs significantly with the published Remote ID rule in the U.S., which is focused only on broadcast technology.
“Today the UK Government’s Connected Places Catapult along with Wing and other industry partners shared the results of a six-month simulation of an “open-access” drone traffic management system. This successfully demonstrated how unmanned aircraft performing tasks from emergency response to delivering groceries could share the sky safely with each other, and with larger aircraft,” says the blog post.
“…The result is an open ecosystem in which multiple drone traffic management solution providers can operate simultaneously and in harmony with one another. Each provider applies to join the ecosystem, and once approved, can access and share airspace information and flight data with airspace authorities and one another. This data sharing is facilitated through a secure digital platform that doesn’t require human controllers to act as intermediaries. Additionally, by leveraging network remote identification (NET-RID) technology, the ecosystem enables third-party observers to identify nearby operators, bringing an unprecedented level of transparency to this new frontier of aviation.”
The UK Catapult Project demonstrated the alternative NET-RID approach to remote ID for drones that both the UK and Europe have taken: in a simulated emergency scenario, for example, participants were able to easily establish the purpose of media aircraft and emergency aircraft and allow for smooth deconfliction with the no-fly zone.
When the Remote ID rule for the U.S. was published in December, it was a surprise to some that the rule no longer contained provisions for network ID, as it had in earlier versions. Wing spoke out against the broadcast – only provision, saying that the rule as published posed unexpected consequences for the American consumer, and created privacy concerns for drone operators and businesses.
“As countries around Europe plan to comply with these regulations and establish their respective ecosystems, the outcome of the UK Connected Places Catapult demonstration represents a viable, efficient and safe solution that could (and should) be taken into consideration as a path to a future in which drones become a helpful, seamless aspect of our everyday lives,” says the Wing blog post.
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 penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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