Remote ID – What Does it Mean for C-UAS?

September 12, 2023 | Sandra Welfeld

Remote ID (RID) refers to a drone’s transmission of its location and certain identification data in a standardized, public, and non-encrypted format. This feature – sort of a digital license plate for drones –empowers regulatory bodies, law enforcement agencies, and airspace managers to accurately monitor and track drone activity.

Remote ID regulations are already in effect in several countries and are in various stages of adoption or consideration by more. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States is implementing the Remote ID rule, which requires manufacturers to produce Remote ID-capable drones by December 2022.  This rule mandates remote identification for certain size categories of drones, ensuring the disclosure of critical information such as location, and altitude of the drone and its control station or take-off location. This regulatory framework plays a vital role in strengthening pilot accountability and ensuring safer skies for all airspace users.

Why do we need it? Remote ID lays the foundation of the safety and security groundwork needed for more complex drone operations. Remote ID also helps the FAA, law enforcement, and other federal agencies locate the control station when a drone appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or where it is not allowed to fly.”                      (FAA, UAS Remote Identification)

Remote ID capabilities support the long-range detection, identification and tracking of drones. This allows for early detection of unauthorized or illegal drone flights or operations, enabling timely response measures to mitigate potential risks, as allowed by evolving regulations. In addition, to enhance the effectiveness of counter-UAS solutions, Remote ID data could be seamlessly merged and enriched with other drone-related information. This integration provides a comprehensive situational awareness picture, enabling C-UAS operators to make informed decisions. By embedding the Remote ID data layer across various configurations, and networked systems of sensors, real-time display, API integration, and analysis and replay capabilities become available for authorized C-UAS users.

C-UAS and Remote ID – Integration but not Dependency

Counter-drone technologies can now integrate Remote ID information, monitor drone operations (location, altitude), and, if in violation of drone regulations, identify the unauthorized or non-compliant drone. While recognizing that Remote ID is an important feature for a C-UAS system – as it will be able to read, receive, and use the Remote ID information broadcast from the drone, it is important to emphasize that C-UASs not be dependent on it. Bad actors may still disobey, disable and/or distort Remote ID etc. –this is why C-UAS needs to understand and respond based on other information and methods as well. By being able to determine the type of drone, and accurately determine the drone position, including take-off and pilot position in real-time, a counter-drone system can help security officials deal with the unauthorized or non-compliant drone flight. RF cyber technology used for detection, tracking and identification provides accurate detection and can be fully integrated, if permitted and needed, with cyber-takeover mitigation for an end-to-end solution. RF cyber-detection can determine not only the drone position but also its take-off position, and possibly track the remote controller.

By incorporating Remote ID capabilities, we can enhance threat coverage, ensure compliance with global standards, and enrich situational awareness for more effective counter-UAS response. The FAA’s Remote ID rule sets a significant precedent, underlining the importance of standardized identification and tracking mechanisms. Through these advancements, we pave the way for a safer and more harmonious integration of drones into our airspace.

Sandra Welfeld is the Marketing Content and Communications Lead at D-Fend Solutions. A senior marketing executive with strong passion for all things content, Sandra brings vast experience in B2B marketing, while focusing on translating the “tech” into marketing, whether in blog posts, brochures, or social media.

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