The FAA is set to authorize as many as eight industry-financed projects to examine various options for airborne drone identification, according to a notice published in December in the Federal Register.
Drone DJ relays a report from the Wall Street Journal which indicates that the goal of the program is to “verify technologies and provide real-world data to hasten broader regulatory steps aimed at significantly expanding commercial uses of unmanned aircraft.”
The inability of authorities to identify and track drones has been a major hurdle to the integration of UAVs into the National Airspace.
The announcement of the remonte-identification initiative just before Christmas went by largely unnoticed, but could have significant impact. The agency plans to concentrate on small-scale, short-term field trials before developing long-term strategies, according to the report.
One of the major issues preventing drone flights over people or populated areas is the lack of identification and tracking options that are dependable and reasonable priced, according to the report. A major question that remains to be answered is whether such data will be broadcast using cellular technology or IP networks.