What is Remote ID?
Remote Identification is the ability of a drone in flight to provide identification and location information that can be received by other parties. Remote ID assists law enforcement, the FAA and other federal agencies, as well as anyone with the appropriate mobile app, in finding the controller when a drone is flying where it is not allowed to fly or appears to be flying in an unsafe manner. Remote ID also provides the groundwork for the safety and security foundations required for complex drone operations.
Who needs Remote ID?
While Remote ID is currently not mandatory, the final ruling by the FAA on Remote ID will require most drones operating within the US airspace to have Remote ID installed. Drone manufacturers must comply with the rule’s final requirements by September 16, 2022. The operational compliance date upon which all drones will be required to have Remote ID capabilities is September 16, 2023. The European Union’s aviation regulation body, the EASA, has similar requirements.
Why is Remote ID important for drones?
Remote ID is a critical component of drone BVLOS operations. Remote ID helps organizations such as the FAA and other federal agencies, as well as law enforcement agencies, determine and locate where a control station is located for when a drone appears to what seems to be flying in a manner that is deemed unsafe, or is flying in an area where it is not allowed to fly. In addition, Remote ID lays the safety and security foundations and groundwork needed for the complex drone operations which can be carried out when operating drones BVLOS.
FAA Remote ID requirements
According to the FAA, there are three ways in which drone pilots will be able to comply with Remote ID requirements:
Fly a drone that has been manufactured with a built-in Remote ID broadcast capability. This requires manufacturers to build the drones with the Remote ID capability already onboard.
Retrofit an existing drone with an add-on Remote ID broadcast module. The advantage to this is that is allows you to keep using the equipment you are currently using, without the need to adopt to new hardware. The downside is that retrofitting the drone may impact the drone’s weight or performance.
Fly a drone at a special FAA-recognized identification area (FRIA), in which case Remote ID broadcast capability is not required. However, when flying in an FRIA, the drone and the pilot must both be located within the FRIA's boundaries at all operation times. In addition, the pilot must be able to constantly be in visual contact with the drone throughout the duration of the flight, at all times.
A robust solution for EASA-compliant drones
EASA has declared that all BVLOS drones must be equipped with Remote ID. While initially, the mandated solution is Direct Remote ID, in the future regulations may change to require the communication of information to a third-party service provider. This Network Remote ID functionality will enable the tracking of drones over longer distances, and allow the safe coordination of more complex missions in national airspace.
What will Remote ID Broadcast?
A standard Remote ID-enabled Drone, or a drone with a remote ID broadcast module, should be able to transmit the following message elements:
A unique identifier for the drone (required)
The drone’s latitude, longitude, geometric altitude, and velocity (required)
An indication of the latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of control station (standard) or take-off location (broadcast module)
A time mark
Emergency status (Standard Remote ID Drone only)
The Elsight Remote ID is an integral part of the Elsight Halo BVLOS communication solution. When you use the Elsight Halo you receive absolute connection confidence and extended communication coverage for all BVLOS operations. You also receive the built-in Remote ID module, this with no added room required on the drone, providing minimal impact on the SWaP (size, weight and power) budget of the aircraft. Halo supports Bluetooth and cellular network Remote ID, and is currently working on implement Wi-Fi. With Elsight’s Halo you will be ready with a Remote ID solution well before the compliance date comes into effect. While others will struggle as the compliance date approaches in order to implement Remote ID onto their drones, manufacturers and operators using Elsight’s Halo will not have to worry.