Unmanned Systems Technology 036

98 PS | AriAscend UAV ID system W ith official publication of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) final Remote ID rule for UAVs now imminent, within a couple of months all those that must be registered will have to be fitted with systems that broadcast their identity and location data in a format that can be directly received and interpreted by mobile devices (writes Peter Donaldson). While DJI has demonstrated its direct- to-phone remote ID system that uses Wi-Fi Aware from the Wi-Fi Alliance, AriAscend has patented a system that can use multiple radio frequency bearers, including wi-fi. It includes airborne hardware and software, downloadable apps for smart devices, a proximity alerting system and database access. In 2017, AriAscend’s founder Kenji Sugahara published a paper in which he argued that any such identification system should separate the “digital licence plate” that acts as a UAV’s ID from the FAA’s remote pilot database, and that access to it should only be granted to authorised users. AriAscend’s patent covers the transmitter attached to or embedded in the UAV, whichever bearer it uses. Options include but are not limited to Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, RFID, ZigBee, Wibree, Ultra Wideband and Wireless USB. Apart from the ID, information encoded in the transmission would include GNSS-derived latitude, longitude and altitude. The computing environment aboard the UAV is also covered, and the patent illustrates a generalisation of such an environment in functional blocks. These demarcate a processing unit, volatile or non-volatile memory, long-term storage, input and output devices and comms connections, along with the software that controls the collection and transmission of the data. The rest of the capability will reside in software, on the smart devices and in the secure connection to the operator database. The patent also includes examples of the GUIs that provide an insight into the software’s functionality. For example, the app on an unauthorised device would present two screens. The first would have On and Off buttons for the proximity alerts, another to view a list of stored codes that include time and date stamps, a settings button to allow the user to choose the number of codes to be saved and whether to receive notifications and enter credentials. The second screen would show a map with the locations of the user and any UAVs in range, along with their tracks including time and date, as well as a button to send the information to an authorised device. An authorised device would have three screens. The first would have one button that allows the user to search for UAVs using criteria including ID codes, and another that accesses stored IDs for detected UAVs plus a list of registered ID codes. The second screen would show a map, as with an unauthorised device, but with an operator look-up button instead of the send button. The third screen would display the operator’s name and address, the UAV model and what it is licensed to do, such as commercial operations. In this way, the amount of information that has to be transmitted from the UAV is kept to a minimum, and the operator’s privacy is protected to the same extent that a car driver’s identity is, even when anyone can read the vehicle’s number plate. Now, here’s a thing “ ” February/March 2021 | Unmanned Systems Technology A UAV operator’s privacy is protected to the same extent as a car driver’s, even when anyone can read their licence plate