For the UAV world the integrity of GPS GNSS signals is of paramount importance. Without it, systems and devices of all types will be compromised. GPS satellites’ very precise and reliable time data is received by GNSS receivers which distribute this time data to multi-sensor positioning systems where precision timing has made sub-centimeter positioning and nanosecond-level timing an actuality. There is an urgent need for standardization of design practices and regulations to enable the myriad of different use cases for Unmanned Aerial systems.
Recently the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) released their Standardization Roadmap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Version 2.0). With this release, the ANSI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC) is seeking comments about the use and effectiveness of their roadmap to assist in future work efforts. The purpose of ANSI is to enable different industries to create “consensus standards.” ANSI standards are process-based by design, allowing all interested parties the opportunity to comment on and influence the consensus.
The complexity and interleaving of technologies are presented in the roadmap: airworthiness; flight operations; personnel training, qualifications, and certification; infrastructure inspections; environmental applications; commercial services; workplace safety; and public safety operations. This roadmap is available free at www.ansi.org/uassc.
The reality of today shows how criminals, terrorists, and other adversaries create havoc and mayhem by jamming GPS signals. Unfortunately, this jamming is no longer a military only threat – it has become a major threat to defense and commercial UAVs, with attacks becoming pervasive globally. A European Union study on interference of GNSS signals found evidence of ~500K interference events across 23 countries. Of these interference instances 12% were considered deliberate attempts to disrupt GNSS signals. And in the United States, NASA’s ARSA (Aviation Safety Reporting System) shows rising interference disruptions. These disruptions have reduced the reliability of GNSS transmissions. The ability to maintain resilient PNT is now essential to the fundamental performance of GNSS receivers.
ANSI recognizes that protection of GNSS from jamming interference is a clear and growing threat to drone operations and intend to ratify a standard to include recommendation and guidelines that indorse policies for UAVs to be equipped with appropriate anti-jamming and anti-spoofing technologies (www.ansi.org/uassc).
Looking forward, the next generation of UAVs will be a union of technologies and advanced capabilities including electric propulsion, innovative passenger arrangements, modifications to multiple types of public and private infrastructure, along with the new innovative aircraft. Adding the new emerging UAV to urban ground transport networks will revolutionize our lives. For the burgeoning UAV industry, George Jetson’s life of zipping through the sky in his flying car is becoming tomorrow’s reality. Can you imagine a future where instead of sitting in your car in traffic, you travel in an aerial vehicle, possibly unmanned?
The goal of ANSI/UASSC is to be inclusive, from manufacturers to end-users — or, in the case of UAVs, individuals from public- and private-sector avionic organizations and businesses including representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), other U.S. federal government agencies, standards developing organizations (SDOs), industry, academia, and others all collaborating together.
Our company infiniDome, provides front-end cyber solutions protecting wireless communications from jamming attacks. These protection solutions are tailored for defending the GPS systems which are at the heart of UAV systems, vehicle fleets and critical infrastructure as well as defense applications. In real-time, our products analyze where the interference is originates, precisely targets a null cancelling the attacking signals and then dynamically steers and adjust that null in order to combat the moving threat. GPSdome autonomously detects the hostile jamming signal, reports the event and continuously defends your system, without any input or requirement on the pilot or operator.
It is our strong feeling that all companies, individuals and associations linked with UAVs and their logistical services as well as future UAV initiatives need to be aware of ANSI’s roadmap. Ultimately, keen communication and understanding between associations is necessary to avoid misunderstandings which often lead to conflicts.
Several questions arise: Should the ANSI roadmap be the standard for the industry? Even when we say yes, will trade associations set protocols for developing the standards? What will be the impact on regulatory requirements? These and many others will arise, and it is important for all in the UAV industry to follow these developments closely.