‘Remote ID’ drone tracking standard to be published by ASTM International

By on 17 December, 2019

A highly anticipated ASTM International standard aims to satisfy the growing demand for better identification and tracking of unmanned aircraft systems (commonly known as drones) in airspace systems worldwide.

Similar to the function of a car licence plate, the Remote ID standard supports technology that allows the general public and public safety officials to identify a drone using an assigned ID while preserving privacy of the operator’s personal identifiable information. The robust standard (to be published in the coming weeks with the designation F3411) was developed by the ASTM International unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) committee (F38).

Drone system architect at Intel Gabriel Cox said the new specification outlines how drones will transmit the assigned ID, location, speed, and direction by broadcasting over the air and/or sending over a wireless internet connection to a UAS service supplier (USS). “A receiver could be a common smartphone that will be able to associate the ID with the location of the drone,” he said.

“Remote ID is paramount for the continued integration of drones,” said Mike Glasgow, UTM Architecture and Standards, with Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc. “We believe that this new standard, that supports both broadcast and network systems, promotes growth while maximising the safety of our airspace and the communities where drones and drone companies will have a growing presence.”  He added: “Working with standard bodies like ASTM International on unmanned traffic management interoperability helps build a future ecosystem that fosters safety, efficiency, and scalability.”

Mr Cox noted that this development will help civil aviation authorities, public safety officials, drone manufacturers, service suppliers, independent software vendors, and hardware providers by providing a common interoperable standard. He also said Remote ID is key to unlocking the next step of more advanced drone operations.

“This new standard is yet another example of how technical standards are crucial to driving innovation on a global scale,” said Katharine Morgan, president of ASTM International, which recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Unmanned Traffic Management Association.  “We look forward to seeing even more ground-breaking standards come out of the hard work of our unmanned aircraft systems committee.”

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