Drones, also known as uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs), have become progressively widespread for various uses, such as aerial photography, surveying, and package delivery. With the growing number of drones in the airspace, it’s essential to ensure that they can be safely and efficiently identified and tracked.
This is where remote identification (RID) comes in.
RID is a system that allows for the identification of drones in flight and enables the tracking of their movements. It is an important safety measure that helps authorities identify and locate drones that may pose a threat or operate illegally. If you’re planning to purchase a drone, selecting one approved for RID is crucial.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to choose a drone approved for RID, including what buyers need to know about the different RID systems available for drones.
Types of RID Systems
There are several types of RID systems available for drones. The most common types are:
This RID system uses a radio transmitter to send RID information, such as the drone’s location and identification number, to nearby receivers. The information is then relayed to the authorities.
This type of RID system uses a data link to transmit RID information to a network, such as a cellular network or the internet. The information is then relayed to the authorities.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)
This RID system uses a specialized transmitter to send RID information, such as the drone’s location and identification number, to nearby receivers. The information is then relayed to the authorities.
When deciding which type of RID system to use, consider the range of the system and the level of security it provides. Broadcast RID systems typically have a shorter range than network RID systems, but they may be more secure. Network RID systems, on the other hand, have a longer range and can transmit RID information to a broader area, but they may need to be more secure.
ASTM, an international standards group, has suggested a new standard for UAS remote identification that distinguishes between “Network” and “Broadcast” remote ID for drones. A “Network” solution necessitates a communication system, like LTE, 5G, or a satellite-based system. Sending and receiving signals between ground stations and drones would require the installation of a relay in the infrastructure.
An infrastructure-free “Broadcast” approach would use point-to-point signals to communicate with users in any setting, be it rural or urban. Bluetooth Wi-Fi, Apple’s Airdrop, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) are examples of broadcast technologies. An optional step toward making a Broadcast RID solution into a networked RID solution is to set up a grounded structure of terminals that connect to a centralized UTM (uncrewed traffic management) system. In Detect and Avoid (DAA) scenarios, broadcast technologies have an additional advantage because they can inform human aircraft about drones at altitudes above the effective range of LTE/5G.
There are four significant categories of the frequency spectrum that could be used by broadcast remote ID solutions; using some of these categories requires a license. The four varieties are:
The ISM bands, which Bluetooth operates on, are part of the unlicensed part of the radio spectrum. Devices using the unlicensed band should not generate interference and should be prepared for it. Since there is no RTO, the spectrum can help with anything, even RID, without fear of legal repercussions.
Licensed Shared Secondary Use
Since only primary and secondary users can operate in the licensed spectrum, it provides greater security for secondary users than unlicensed ones.
Licensed Shared Primary Use
With this kind of system, you can expect to be safe from interference and other licensed users. The underlying mechanism ensures communication and accessibility while reducing interference, and LTE is an example of how more than one person uses a licensed spectrum simultaneously.
Drone Shopping: What to Look for
When shopping for a drone, there are several things to consider to ensure that it is approved for RID. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind:
Compliance: Ensure the drone complies with RID regulations set by your country or region. In the US, the FAA has set a mandate for Remote ID to be in effect by 2022.
Type of RID system: Look for a drone that uses one of the RID systems approved by the authorities.
Communication capabilities: Ensure the drone can transmit RID information to the authorities.
Battery life: Consider the drone’s battery life, as some RID systems may require the drone to transmit RID information continuously, which can drain the battery quickly.
Other Considerations for UAVs
One of the flier’s primary considerations is the drone’s cost. RID-equipped drones can be more expensive than traditional drones, so it’s essential to consider your budget when shopping for a drone.
As mentioned above, some RID systems can drain the battery quickly, so it’s necessary to consider the drone’s flight duration when selecting.
Purpose of use
The purpose of the use is also another vital factor to consider. In the case of a commercial drone, you may require a more advanced RID system with a more extended range.
The Bottom Line
Overall, selecting a drone approved for RID is a crucial safety measure that can help ensure your drone’s safe and legal operation. So, consider every factor before buying one.