US company writes software to remotely identify drones

San Francisco, USA – Following the release of the final rules for unmanned aircraft in the USA, and the European Commission Regulations on UAS, American airspace security provider Dedrone now offers software that enables clients to identify drones in flight using their Remote IDs.

Remote Identification is practically the registration plate for drones, which enables authorised individuals to acquire information about a drone in flight, like identity, location, and altitude of the drone and its control station or take-off location. If a drone flies into prohibited places, for example, authorities will be able to directly get in touch with the drone’s control station through getting their information through Remote ID.

As of the first of January this year, drones in the USA and Europe (at least the 27 countries in the European Union) are required to have a Remote ID system on their drones that has all the registration data required by the law. Drones can meet this law by either purchasing drones with an inbuilt radio frequency of WIFI system that can broadcast their identity when so required; or attach such equipment to a drone while it is in flight. The Federal Aviation Administration has a third way, in which drones may not be required to broadcast their information, provided they are flying in an FAA-recognised identification area, they are a community-based organisation, or an education institution.

For the first two options, Dedrone claims to have now created software that can communicate with drones and get their registration information.

“Using Dedrone, security providers will be able to read Remote ID data through Dedrone’s intelligent software system to identify the drone operator, operator’s location, drone type and drone location in real time,” the company said in a statement. “Dedrone’s proprietary database of drone activity, DroneDNA, automatically references Remote ID data as well as identifies any unauthorised or noncompliant drone activity. In the event of an unauthorised drone alert, Dedrone users can respond to the threat and ensure their airspace is protected against the consequences of unwanted drones, from espionage, contraband delivery, or terrorism, while allowing authorized drones to proceed with their normal flight operations.

The company added that its global footprint will ensure that its customers will be able to leverage the latest regulations around the world.

“Dedrone is committed to continuous product development and ensuring our product and services are future-proof,” said Dedrone CEO, Aaditya Devarakonda. “Regardless of flight regulations, or a drone pilot’s adherence to them, Dedrone provides security leaders with the assurance that they are seeing all airspace activity, and protecting their operations, assets and information from malicious and unauthorized drone threats.”

DJI, the largest drone maker in the world, has for long advocated for the implementation of remote identification laws for drones, in the hope that they will help wade off espionage allegations that have dogged the company in the USA, Japan and other countries; threatening their stranglehold dominance in the commercial industry.

“DJI has long supported the FAA’s Remote ID initiative because it will enhance drone accountability, safety and security,” said DJI at the time the rules were released in the USA. “The Federal Aviation Administration’s deliberative process of reviewing over 50,000 public comments has resulted in a rule that will serve the whole industry, as operators move on to more complex drone operations that save lives and benefit society. We are reviewing the final rule to understand how DJI can take steps towards complying with the FAA’s upcoming requirements.”  

Interestingly; with the with the remote ID and registration requirements applying to drones that weigh 250grams in the USA and 200grammes in Japan, DJI went on to release a new drone, the DJI Mavic Mini; which weighs exactly 249grammes. The Japanese version of the Mavic Mini weighs – yes, you guessed right – 199grammes.

That is one hell of a coincidence.

Sadly, for Africa, indications are such laws and requirements for drones to have remote identification capabilities are still a long way away; because we still have to agree on common drone regulations as regional aviation bodies, let alone as a continent. The last time we heard, a committee had been formed to look into the issue of establishing harmonised drone laws across continent.

That was six months ago.


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