Drone Remote ID Protocol (drip)

Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) worldwide have initiated rule making for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Remote Identification (RID). CAAs currently promulgate performance-based regulations that do not mandate specific techniques, but rather cite industry-consensus technical standards as acceptable means of compliance. One key standard is ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) WK65041 [1]. This technical specification defines UAS RID message formats, and transmission methods. Network RID defines a set of information for UAS to be made available globally via the Internet. Broadcast RID defines a set of messages for UAS to send locally one-way over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. WK65041 does not address how to populate/query registries, how to ensure trustworthiness of information, nor how to make the information useful.

DRIP’s goal is to specify how RID can be made trustworthy and available in both Internet and local-only connected scenarios, especially in emergency situations. Some UAS operate in environments where the network or the devices or both are severely constrained [2] in terms of processing, bandwidth (e.g., Bluetooth 4 beacon payload is 25 bytes long), or battery life, and DRIP aims to function in these environments. The specifications produced by the WG will need to balance public safety authorities’ need to know trustworthy information with UAS operators’ and other involved parties’ privacy.

The working group will primarily leverage Internet standards (including HIP, EPP, RDAP, and DNS) and infrastructure as well as domain name registration business models. The WG will track and align with the requirements being developed by regulatory authorities, e.g., the International Civil Aviation Organization the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) delegated [3] and implementing [4] regulations, and the US Federal Aviation Administration (US FAA) [5].

The working group will work on the following items:

  • Requirements: the WG is expected to provide an informational document that lists the technical requirements for applying IETF protocols to the UAS Remote Identification (UAS RID) – that is the system for identifying Unmanned Aircraft (UA) during flight by other parties. These requirements also include showing that new or adapted identifiers from existing protocols conform and meet the specifications to be certified as a UAS RID.
  • Architecture: the WG will propose a standard document that describes the architecture that address the technical requirements and that will attempt to re-use protocols or architectures already standardized at the IETF.
  • Protocol design: while the primary purpose of DRIP WG is to leverage existing protocols, the specificities of the UAS environment are likely to require existing protocols to be extended or new protocols to be designed. The WG will focus on getting these protocols or extensions standardized, coordinating with other WGs relevant for the protocol(s) in question on the most appropriate home for any given piece of work.

[1] ASTM International F38 Committee Work Item WK65041 “Standard Specification for UAS Remote ID and Tracking”
[2] UAS Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee Recommendations Final Report 2017
SEP 30 https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/committees/documents/media/UAS%20ID%20ARC%20Final%20Report%20with%20Appendices.pdf
[3] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg_del/2019/945/oj
[4] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg_impl/2019/947/ojeg_impl/2019/947/oj
[5] Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM)

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