Arising from several perceived needs, there is a call for the capability for the remote identification of any individual RPA.  Examples include: law-enforcers wish to be able to identify any operator who is breaking regulations; private individuals may wish to know who might be invading their privacy; accident investigators need to establish ownership and airports may want to know who is flying in their airspace.  Traditional aircraft identification has included identity information physically attached to the airframe and side numbers clearly displayed on the exterior of the aircraft, in addition to each aircraft having a ‘callsign’ to identify it to ATC.

While indentity plates, numbers and callsigns may be applicable to RPA there is a call for the ability to identify a RPA remotely, when it is impossible to inspect an identification plate, see a number on a very small aircraft and without communications to the remote pilot.

There is an assumption that this can be achieved by electronic means or e-Identification and several options are being explored.  Coded light signals are also being explored.

Further Reading

Electronic Conspicuity. The Autumn 2020 edition of the CAA's Clued Up Future Vision has a special focus on the use of Electronic Conspicuity (EC) and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones.  Click here to download a .pdf copy.

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