Wing, AirMap and Kittyhawk.io demonstrate network-based drone identification solution

Reinaldo Negron
Jan 15 · 2 min read

When you see a car driving by your house, you can identify it by its license plate. The same holds for an aircraft which is identified by its tail number or callsign. But what about a drone?

No longer merely a tool for hobbyists, photographers and filmmakers, drones are providing increasingly useful services: from surveying land, to inspecting infrastructure and delivering goods to customers. As more drones begin to fly in populated areas, people need a way to identify them to create the same level of transparency and accountability that exists today for aircraft and cars. However, unlike a car, a drone’s registration number needs to be transmitted digitally so it can be remotely identified, since it would be difficult to see physical licence plates on drones given how small they are and how quickly they can fly. Governments around the world are taking steps to require remote identification for drones, and the drone industry is demonstrating solutions we’ve built that are ready to use today.

On December 17, Wing, AirMap and Kittyhawk.io performed simultaneous drone flights to demonstrate our interoperable network remote ID solution in the controlled airspace of San Francisco International Airport. We showed that any person could use Wing’s or AirMap’s remote ID application on their smartphone to identify drones flying within a mile of their location, highlighting that network remote ID can provide transparency while protecting the privacy of drone operators and consumers of drone services.

Wing, AirMap and Kitthawki.io demonstrate our network remote ID solution

To demonstrate this, three drones were flown in the same area, each managed by either Wing’s, AirMap’s or Kittyhawk.io’s systems (known as UAS Service Supplier (USS)), which also obtained approvals to fly in controlled airspace using the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification (LAANC) system. When someone opened a Wing or AirMap remote ID application on their smartphone, the USSs shared data with one another to provide a complete picture of nearby drones. This data was shared over the Internet using the InterUSS Platform™, an open-source solution for data sharing between USS, which does not store user data and uses best-practices for data protection. Our network solution also provided a trustworthy picture of who was flying, because the drone operator’s identity is validated using the same security mechanisms required to get access to airspace via LAANC.

Last month’s demonstration showed that industry-led network remote ID solutions are secure, free, capable of protecting privacy, and require little infrastructure from the Government to deploy. Most importantly, its a system that is ready to be deployed today, giving us all appropriate visibility into drone operations.

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Reinaldo Negron

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Leading Wing’s UTM efforts

Wing Blog

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