The European Workshop on UAS Direct Remote Identification, which took place in February 2021, featured numerous topics and discussions about Remote ID and unmanned aircraft system integration into the national airspace. While the US and Europe don’t have the same standards regarding airspace and drones, Remote ID will work similarly across the globe. Read more about the different standards here: Explaining the US, EU, and FR Remote ID standards
During the exchange on topics related to the practical deployment of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Direct Remote Identification technology, we found these Questions and Answers to be most helpful to learn more about Remote ID and how drones will integrate into the national airspace.
Speakers at this workshop include European industry leaders as well as panel experts from leading drone manufacturing and technology companies.
Mr. Thierry LEGRAND (CEN-CENELEC)
Mr. Jean-Pierre LENTZ (EC DG DEFIS)
Mr. Antonio MARCHETTO (EASA)
Mr. Christophe MAZEL (ASD-STAN)
Mr. Lionel CLARISSE (Thales for ASD-STAND SG5)
Soren FRIIS (Intel)
Ronald LIEBSCH (DJI)
Marine BALLIT (Parrot)
Thomas MARKERT (Dedrone)
Jan BROUX (Unifly)
Remote ID Questions & Answers
Is the draft standard "prEN 4709-02" available somewhere? Google did not help me here.
Draft standards are not freely available, but this link gives you more information alreadyabout prEN 4709-02: https://standards.cen.eu/dyn/www/f?p=204:110:0::::FSP_PROJECT,FSP_ORG_ID:72429,6378&cs=1CE12293FC0503061603281BB9AF6E697
Does this indeed track user (drone pilot) location in addition to drone location?
Yes, it does. It will be detailed further.
Having the position of the pilot being "public" to anyone interested is no privacy anymore. Having that information available to law enforcement should be good enough.
Privacy is a fundamental right for all citizens;however, members of the public have the priority over the drone pilot as they are not responsible for the drone operation. Due to the technology used, the DRI provides a balanced solution as the pilot position will only be accessible to those citizens potentially affected by the operation of the drone (need to have the drone in line of sight at a relatively limited distance). Enforcement authorities may not always be available to enforce privacy and studies have demonstrated that privacy issues can often be solved without the intervention of law enforcement authorities.
The problem with most Broadcast Drone IDs is that those are easily spoofable. IETF is developing a secure id protocol in DRIP working group https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/drip/about/. Will those extensions be supported in EU standards?
Contrary to the NRI, DRI is not a safety critical item. Its main purpose is to support security and privacy. Simplicity and low cost is an important characteristic of the function to enable its application on most of the drones.The exact specification needed for DRIP support is not yet clear (as the DRIP work is still ongoing). Hence, support for DRIP is currently not included, just as it is not yet included in the ASTM Remote ID standard.
What does DRI stand for?
Some commonly used abbreviations in the presentation are:
- UA = Unmanned Aircraft
- UAS = Unmanned Aircraft System
- DRI = Direct Remote ID (Broadcast Remote ID)
- NRI = Network Remote ID (over an internet connection)
- GDPR = General Data Protection Regulation
- OPRN = Operator Registration Number
Remote ID. What is the regulation's requirement for "Broadcast" vs possible network solutions?
The main difference between the DRI requirement defined in Regulation 2019/945 and a network solution is that DRI “ensures the direct periodic broadcast from the UA in a way that it can be received directly by existing mobile devices within the broadcasting range” while the NRI ensures “the transmission from the UA in a way that it can be received through a network”.
@ Mr. Lentz - what was the exact reasoning to keep DRI and NRI separate? It would seem there are practical benefits to using ONE ID?
The reason is that we need different solutions to answer different needs. Security and privacy request the possibility to receive the identification data directly from the drone without the need to rely on an intermediary like a U-Space service provider. This requires that the drone broadcasts directly the information to a receiver. On the contrary the purpose of the NRI is to connect in a secure way the drone to the U-Space.
Does the DRI broadcast the pilot data, how is the pilot private information (name, address etc) protected by data security?
Only the operator registration number and the pilot location (or the take-off position of the drone) are broadcasted. Operator’s registration data are kept by the authority in a database not accessible to the public.
For Jean-Pierre Lentz: Is there any concern from the EC about private DRI receive networks, like flightradar24, being used to track all drone flight data and collect sensitive business or personal data about where and when UAS operate?
It is expected that the limited range of the broadcast will strongly limit the possibility to aggregate data. In case this however happens, the situation will have to be assessed (and appropriate action taken, if deemed necessary - for instance faces and car number plates are blurred on street view).
DRI with a range of 2KM can allow for Operator ID and location harvesting. Privacy is possible for this data, but not provided in the standard.
Drones operation present a privacy risk for citizens that need to be addressed. It is on purpose that the data transmitted by the DRI are broadly accessible to the public. As explained above, the DRI is considered to be a way to protect citizen’s privacy in a balanced way, minimizing the impact on the drone operator.
Is it considered that all public could capture the DRI unique number, but only security forces could link this number with specific personal data through databases?
Yes that's correct.
Our company is operating in Specific category. Article 40 - Requirements for UAS operated in the ‘certified’ and ‘specific’ categories except when conducted under a declaration, point 5 requires us to be equipped with Remote Identification. In the slides, you mentioned that a specific category requires NRI. Where to find additional info for NRI and are you going to make a workshop for NRI?
Drones operating under U-Space will be required to connect to a U-Space service provider using the NRI function. As the U-Space regulation is still under preparation the NRI function is not fully defined yet. Article 40(5) of regulation (EU) 2020/1058 introduces the requirement for the drone operating under the specific category to be equipped with at least one remote identification system. This might however be subject to revision.
The proposed secret content of the Operator ID does NOT protect from spoofing information by bad parties. Is there concern about theft of Operator ID by parties that have 'evil' intent?
The purpose is not to protect against spoofing, but only to protect from the steel of the OPRN (as this number is openly broadcasted) Without the three secret characters, it is not possible to load the OPRN in the DRI (so you cannot load your neighbour’s OPRN instead of yours).
What about the role of the airspace observer?Is the AO considered as another pilot or general public?
If an airspace observer refers to a third party looking at the UA flying in the airspace, they should be considered as the general public. Alternatively, if they belong to Aviation Authorities, they may have access to a registration database. This will depend on Member States' decision.
In a dedicated area where let say there would be 10 UAVs located, how will it be possible to identify each drone with DRI (with the lack of accuracy) for each UAV?
Each UA broadcasts both their own unique ID and their location.
What are the most common technologies or radio interfaces used in the UAS? In the presentation appear Bluetooth and WIFI, is there other technology in use at this moment?
As the requirement from regulation EU 2019/945 has been established that DRI needs to be able to be received by commonly available smartphones there is only Wi-Fi or Bluetooth left as options.
WIFI/Bluetooth (2.4GHz) are compulsory? Are there any current plans in order to designate a no ISM band for this purpose?
The requirement is to allow anyone to easily receive the DRI on his standard personal device. So no intention to go to dedicated frequency bands and receiver devices.
Today in France we already have the digital signalling imposed by civil aviation. This system will have to be in addition?
We're currently working / exchanging with the French authorities in order to have a common approach between the EU DRI and the FR DRI when the standard will be published and reach the stage of Harmonized European Norm. Before this stage, the EU DRI has to be considered different (in addition with FR requirement).
Accessing the raw WIFI frames in Android requires ROOT access. Any thoughts on this?
Remote ID data contained in WIFI beacon frames can be accessed on Android without root access, the Dedrone DroneScanner app demonstrates that.
The issue I see is that the technology chosen is operating in the same frequency band (2.4GHz) that the widely used remote control on drones. This will mean the DRI system will most probably disturb remote control signal reception on the drone. Has this been taken into account when making the decision for BT and WIFI?
The way the standard is written allows UAS manufacturers to choose which of the 4 solutions shall be used to allow a safe operation and a stable C2 Link. That’s the reason why DJI and Parrot decided to use Wi-Fi and Intel on the other hand BT.
And has it already been communicated with the rest of the world and manufactures? Will this standard work in the rest of the world after all?
The ASD-STAN DRI specification is compliant with the ASTM Remote ID specification (and vice-versa). ASD STAN prEN4709-002 is harmonized to the ASTM F38 remote ID work (At least on the DRI part) and as well there are ongoing discussions in ISO TC20/SC16 to harmonize this piece of technology globally.
The full list of Remote ID questions and answers can be found here: https://ftp.cencenelec.eu/EN/AboutUs/OurServices/Training/Others/2021-02-09_QA_report_UAS_Workshop.pdf
The entire slide show presentation to this workshop can be found here: https://ftp.cencenelec.eu/EN/AboutUs/OurServices/Training/Others/2021-02-09_Webinar_UAS_DRI.pdf
You can watch the full recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf5JtEd7TVg