What You Need to Know About Drone Remote Identification For Better navigating

What is broadcast and direct remote identification? And what is the difference with network remote ID? In this article, we explain everything about drone remote ID.
remote identification

When it comes to drone operation within the EU, there is a regulation that stands out. Almost all open-category aircraft should have an installed drone remote identification system. It enables the number of the operator to be known at all times to the authorities, as well as the public. The name of this system is DRI or  “Direct Remote Identification.”

Drone Remote Identification in a Nutshell

Just like cars have license plates, a drone needs to have a registration number that shows who is piloting it. According to EU regulations, this number should always be accessible to both the police and the public. But because drones can be small, high up, or far away, just having a number isn’t enough to identify them easily. That’s why they need to provide a simple digital way to access this information through an app on a smartphone.

If you’re interested in flying a drone in the city, whether it falls into the Specific or Open Category, you need to sort out your registration as a UAS operator. Right after the registration is completed, you will receive an Operation Registration Number. This is a unique number required for flying your drone. With it, people nearby can access the drone data using a simple app on their phone, without the need to be right next to it. The app can be found in any store, and it will show the operator registration number, the serial number of the drone, the time stamp, the route course, and the position of the remote pilot.

conceptual overview of drone remote identification

How to Prepare a Drone Remote ID

In the European Union, there’s a rapid growth in the use of drones for various purposes – from recreational, such as light shows, to commercial, such as search and rescue. This has necessitated a set of regulations that ensure both safety and security. These regulations are set by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and they establish a framework that governs the operation of drones in European skies.

One critical aspect of these regulations is the drone remote identification of drones rule, which requires drone operators to adhere to specific identification standards. To comply with this remote ID drone rule, there are three options available:

  • Using a Broadcast or Direct Remote ID – This system shares the drone remote identification with nearby devices using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The name of this system can vary depending on where you are. In Europe, it’s known as “Direct Remote ID,” while in the US, it’s called “Broadcast Remote ID.”
  • Using a Network Remote ID – This method isn’t available yet, but it will rely on cellular networks to send the drone’s data. It will use a mobile network connection to transmit information over longer distances. In the near future, Remote ID will integrate with U-space, a dedicated airspace management system. For this to work, cellular networks will be needed to transmit the drone data.

Once you understand these options, you can choose the most suitable method to equip your drone and create a more responsible and safer environment.

What are Remote ID Modules?

If you own an older model, you might need to equip them with a Remote ID module. Remote ID modules are essentially add-ons that can be installed on drones to help them comply with remote ID regulations. Once equipped, an operator can transmit necessary identification and location information, ensuring a safe and compliant flight. However, keep in mind that this module is not needed for newer models, as it comes integrated with the device.

Who Needs to Use Local Remote ID (Direct or Broadcast)?

According to more recent rules in both the EU and the US, the majority of drones that weigh more than 249 grams (or about 0.55 pounds) will need to have a DRI installed by a specific date. For EU operators, it will be mandatory from January 1st 2024, and from March 16th 2024 for operators in the US. This applies to drones used for fun as well as those used for business, such as agriculture drones and various delivery drones.

There are some exceptions for certain models or for drones used by the government, and those exceptions vary across the regions. Besides the EU and the US, several other countries are either adopting similar rules or are in the process of creating them. It’s important for operators to understand and follow DRI specific to their area. 

Who Needs to Use Network Remote ID?

Within the EU, the use of network drone remote identification will be a requirement for the upcoming U-space air zones. This system is designed to ensure a stable and secure link between drones and their operators within the U-space. It is crucial for various activities such as Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights, drone deliveries, and the coordination of manned and unmanned aircraft sharing the same airspace. As for now, there is no requirement for Network Remote ID in the US.

Who Can Access the Information Broadcasted From My Drone?

When it comes to data broadcast, the Direct Remote ID only sends information to the nearby area. Anyone equipped with the right kind of receiver or smartphone app can pick up this data, which is transmitted via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, the approved technologies for the Remote ID Display system. However, the name of the pilot and their private information can only be inquired by authorities in the member states registry if needed.

On the other hand, the Network Remote ID shares information with authorities, participants in the U-space, partners in the flight, and service providers. This ensures that the whole operation is secure in the designated airspace.

Navigate the Future of Airspace With UASolutions

Ensuring responsible and regulated drone operations is more important than ever since the sky is becoming the next frontier for innovation and development. And with drone remote identification, operating your devices in the sky will be better. Navigating through various Means of Compliance  and Remote ID rules may seem challenging, but you don’t have to handle it on your own. 

At UASolutions, we believe that the airspace belongs to everyone, and we’re here to enable easier, democratized access to it. From assisting with authorization procedures to coaching your team on SORA compliance and preparing essential documentation, we will be your partners.

Reach out to UASolutions today, and let us guide you in soaring to new heights with confidence and peace of mind. We will do so by providing you with full alignment with current regulations. Let us unlock the sky’s potential together.