US: The Linux Foundation today announced it will host the InterUSS Platform Open Source Project to enable trusted, secure and scalable interoperability between UAS Service Suppliers (USSs) that advances safe, equitable and efficient drone operations. Initial contributors include both industry and regulatory organizations Wing, AirMap, Uber and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA).
Similar to the evolution of cities, our skies are becoming busier with traffic. In an effort to unleash innovation and ensure safety, aviation regulators around the world are implementing UAS Traffic Management (UTM, also referred to as U-Space) to support rapidly increasing and highly diverse drone operations. Under UTM, a set of USSs (also known as U-Space Service Providers orUSPs) assist drone operators to conduct safe and compliant operations.
USSs can provide service in overlapping airspace and share data when required to support services such as a strategic deconfliction of flight plans and remote identification and industry is developing standards for this data sharing through organizations such as ASTM International. The InterUSS Project provides a forum for collaboration and development of standards-compliant, open source implementations that facilitate communication in the UTM/U-Space environment.
The InterUSS Platform supports a range of UTM / U-Space services by facilitating communications between USSs and implements the Discovery and Synchronization Service (DSS) defined in the ASTM Remote ID standard. This includes two primary functions. First, it enables a USS to discover other USSs from which it needs to obtain information about flights and constraints in the airspace. Second, it provides mechanisms that require a USS to prove that it is aware of those flights and constraints.
The InterUSS Platform accomplishes these functions without requiring any personally identifiable information and enables the USSs to share data only when necessary. The InterUSS platform was developed by industry in consultation with regulators and standards bodies around the world. It also provides a framework for interoperability in NASA’s UTM Technology Capability level demonstrations and the FAA’s UTM pilot program.
“Drones and their interoperability represents one of the most important areas of innovation across the technology industry,” said Mike Dolan, vice president of strategic programs, the Linux Foundation. “We’re excited to support the InterUSS Platform and global developer community to advance drone operations around the world.”
The Foundation will use an open governance model, including a Technical Advisory Council (TAC) comprised of a variety of technical stakeholders in the drone space. Project inclusion will be determined by a review and curation process managed by the TAC.
“The InterUSS Platform enables that any drone operator, enterprise or individual can have safe and equitable access to airspace,” said Andreas Lamprecht, CTO at AirMap. “This open source implementation of the ASTM standard for the Discovery and Synchronization Service represents a huge step forward in nurturing an open, interoperable and diversified market for UAS services.”
“Drone-based deliveries have the potential to get products to people quickly and conveniently. Rolling out standards-compliant UAS traffic management services intelligently means creating a universal and secure communication protocol that drone operators can use for safely sharing the airspace. We believe this technology should be open. That’s why Uber is proud to join the InterUSS-Platform as a Premier member, as we believe this open project will advance the technology to make safe drone operations a standard feature in our lives,” said Tom Prevot, director of airspace systems at Uber Elevate.
“Interoperability through open standards is essential for a UTM ecosystem in which each USS can participate and innovate to address the unique needs of their customers,” said Reinaldo Negron, Wing’s Head of UTM. “As a compliant implementation of the ASTM Discovery and Synchronization Service, the InterUSS Platform provides the foundation for that interoperability. Wing is looking forward to continuing our collaboration with industry partners and regulators to build safe and effective solutions for UTM.”
Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), Switzerland
“From an authority point of view, a close cooperation between industry and regulators is essential to ensure optimal conditions for Switzerland to remain a competitive location for innovation and digitalization in aviation worldwide. The Discovery and Synchronization Service is a key element of the Swiss U-Space Architecture and the development of its open source implementation, the InterUSS-Platform, is an important effort towards interoperability. Joining the Linux Foundation is therefore a logical step forward to ensure that FOCA can effectively perform its role as an enabler and oversight authority,” said Lorenzo Murzilli, Leader of Innovation and Digitalization Unit and Head of the Swiss U-space Program.