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Remote ID Broadcast Module for drones

Byron

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Since we may now have to retrofit our drones with a "Remote ID Broadcast Module", why not go all out and include other features in the module such as telemetry and even tracking and location broadcasting. An all-in-one unit may provide added features and solve a number of problems.
 

kenmavic2zoom

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I think the idea is to provide a low cost generic remote id that you can connect/configure to each of your drones and simply provide the basic information. if you could buy these at amazon for $25 and they connect back to your drone thru bluetooth so you attach with velcro and you only needed one even though you ave 6 drones, that would be ideal.
 

bikerdave

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I'm gonna think a bit outside of the box, here. There is still a bit of speculation/confusion as to what the new rulings actually entail, and how we, as fliers, and the manufacturers need to address them.

Evidently, it would be impossible for the FAA (or whomever) to keep real-time data on each and every drone in the country simultaneously, especially if they relied on internet connectivity to accomplish it. Internet connections are not available in the majority of rural areas where a lot of pilots enjoy flying and photographing nature or events.

With that being said, it would seem that the FAA/gov/etc. are interested more in identifying infractions as they occur, or shortly thereafter. That is where an RFID type of tracking would be most beneficial to them.

Most, if not all, commercially available drone systems on the market today are equipped with WiFi transmit/receive radios. WiFi, although technically a short-range radio link, is extremely effective in line-of-sight situations. It would seem that a simple firmware modification that sends a packet of identification data via WiFi at specified intervals would allow an observer (within range, of course) to positively ID the aircraft in question, and take whatever action necessary.

Please keep in mind that I'm not an expert, by any means. I'm a licensed Amateur Radio operator (over 50 years) with a fairly good understanding of RF fundamentals, and a self-taught, self-described "computer geek"! I just think that there should be a fairly simple solution, if we're persistent enough to find it.

Enough for tonight...
Happy New Year!
 

skydioconvert

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Unfortunately I don't think the information needed to comply with the new FAA Remote ID system can't simply be obtained with a simple firmware mod.

I maybe wrong but for the same reasons manned aircraft need separate hardware to identify themselves in the airspace, so will our unmanned aircraft.
 

DrKnome

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The FAA Executive Summary is worth a read.


It is clear during the comment period they ruled out options that would not make sense, like requiring network connectivity (see major changes summary at bottom).

30 months until it takes effect. Manufacturers have 18 months to comply.

To me from my electrical engineering perspective, it reads like they tried to adopt an approach that could be reasonably met by a firmware modification for wifi equipped craft (option 1, broadcast only by Wifi or Bluetooth). The limitations on actually doing this may be not just firmware but the features of the wifi chipset used in a device. Can it operate in access point mode and simultaeously broadcast information? There might be power issues related to doing this.

Worst case, someone will come out with a 3rd party option 2 solution. It will be clunky and independent -- a very lightweight GPS that broadcasts via Bluetooth, for example. Take a look at APRS kits used by amateur radio operators to broadcast location for things like balloon flights. This one weights 7g. Yes it broadcasts at VHF, but chipsets can be changed. And yes it cost a lot. PicoAPRS - Word's smallest APRS Transceiver (Tracker) with KISS-TNC & Digipeater by DB1NTO

I think the manufacturers and market will figure this out whether it be option 1 or option 2.
 

skydioconvert

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The true test of whether anyone can come up with a solution really hinges on when the clock actually begins to start ticking and how quickly the FAA finalizes specific test requirements.

If they stick to the 2-3 year time frame currently proposed it leaves very little time to go through a typical government approval process. Even taking advantage of proven off the shelf technology will mean everything will have to go right on the first pass.

Hope I'm wrong but I think recreational flying with reasonably priced Remote ID isn't probably in the cards....
 
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Relatively new Skydio recreational owner, but if I had a cell phone with an app that could capture the required FAA info, couldn't I duct tape that to the drone and comply? The phone could obviously get GPS info and transmit it via wifi, bluetooth or cell.
 

skydioconvert

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Relatively new Skydio recreational owner, but if I had a cell phone with an app that could capture the required FAA info, couldn't I duct tape that to the drone and comply? The phone could obviously get GPS info and transmit it via wifi, bluetooth or cell.
Even if you could get around the problem of not having any externally mounted device interfere with the S2's OA system would it be wise to attach an expensive attachment to an already expensive drone?

Would the FAA consider such a solution adequate given all the different types and qualities of cell phones?

Without a separate device uniquely dedicated to meeting the Remote ID requirements chances are slim that it would get FAA approval.
 

kenmavic2zoom

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this is going to get done; not a problem. drone delivery companies like amazon, google, and ups need this and drone manufacturers believe they agreed to this as concessions. I have no doubt this will be accomplished on time and within budget. /s /s /s
 
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skydioconvert

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No doubt it will happen for commercial (Part 107) drones but for recreational drones there's a LOT less incentive.
 
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Relatively new Skydio recreational owner, but if I had a cell phone with an app that could capture the required FAA info, couldn't I duct tape that to the drone and comply? The phone could obviously get GPS info and transmit it via wifi, bluetooth or cell.
What I was getting at is that I believe the 'technology' of nearly all cell phones may be able to meet the requirements. If you were to strip away the big screen, camera, audio support, and large battery, you may be able to have the same technology in a much smaller and lighter package. Battery life would not need to be more capable of more than a few hours between charge.

Jim
 

skydioconvert

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What I was getting at is that I believe the 'technology' of nearly all cell phones may be able to meet the requirements. If you were to strip away the big screen, camera, audio support, and large battery, you may be able to have the same technology in a much smaller and lighter package. Battery life would not need to be more capable of more than a few hours between charge.

Jim
No need to strip down a cell phone.....
The device referenced by DrKnome (Post #5 in this thread) describes a device that probably already begins to meet much of what the FAA is looking for.... without a better described set of requirements from the FAA its anyone's guess if a third party developers can "cross all the T's and dot all the I's" in the required time frame.
 

Tomahawk903

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I am just wondering if there will be any legal challenges to the remote ID that goes into effect with drones?. they can add a remote ID to the drone, Then why not to any remote device that we have in the market? Let's make it fair for everyone who uses a remote with a device.
 

skydioconvert

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Legal challenges usually come from groups having money.... recreational pilot groups (AMA, etc,) don't have deep enough pockets or the hutzpah to even get involved,

Besides what the FAA is trying to do helps the big guys so they'd have no reason to fight it legally.
 

UNIXman

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I'm hoping for an ancillary device that attaches with 3M's velcro fasteners so it can be moved from drone to drone. I have several drones, both DJI and Skydio2's, and I'd like to split the cost among my livery. And a power source that is small and light weight like button batteries. I'm visualizing something on the order of those removable strobes that many of us use.
 

kenmavic2zoom

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I'm hoping for an ancillary device that attaches with 3M's velcro fasteners so it can be moved from drone to drone. I have several drones, both DJI and Skydio2's, and I'd like to split the cost among my livery. And a power source that is small and light weight like button batteries. I'm visualizing something on the order of those removable strobes that many of us use.
I am hoping this is the case as well for those of us who are recreational pilots and have only one ID but apparently you can't do this if you are commercial 107 and you have multiple registration IDs....one for each drone. in that case, it sounds like each drone will need their own specific RID.
 

skydioconvert

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Stumbled across a very good interview with Jason Schappert that answered many questions regarding the FAA's "Final" Remote ID ruling.

 

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