Drones are aircraft without a human pilot, crew or passengers. Originally developed for military missions, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have taken off and are increasingly used in a growing number of commercial sectors. However, it is necessary to guarantee that the information on your positioning is reliable from a legal point of view. In this context, the EU-funded CERTIFLIGHT project team will propose a new U-space service for the legal certification of fingerprints generated by UAS. Specifically, it will create a digital service for the generation of certified reports of flight tracks and UAS flight records. The core of the system is a digital device for the global civil satellite navigation/internet of things system. Tracking information is encrypted for instant transmission to the CERTIFLIGHT platform and permanently stored on a private blockchain node.
The rising number of UASs (drones) led to the introduction of additional specific rules and procedures for their use (i.e., EU regulatory package 2021/664 U-space) where UASs are expected to operate alongside sport/ultralight and General aviation (GA) aircrafts. For this class of aircrafts and UASs there is no certified component capable of ensuring a positioning information trustable enough as evidential value from a legal perspective.
In response to this need, CERTIFLIGHT project proposes a new U-space service for the legal certification of tracks generated by UASs and aircrafts flights, through the introduction of a new disruptive EGNSS-IoT digital system.
CERTIFLIGHT features a software platform that offers to its customers (UAS Operators, GA Pilots) a digital service for the generation of certified reports of flight tracks and the flight logs of UASs and GA aircrafts, especially for safety related and commercially valuable applications, paving the way for a new class of U-space business services that include the activation of Smart Contracts (i.e. contracts activated when specific conditions are met as flying specific routes for drone parcel delivery). In addition, the recorded tracks may be useful for enforcement (i.e., sanctions for airspace infringement) as well as for possible accident or incident investigations.
The core of the system is a digital EGNSS/IoT device installed on UASs and GA manned aircraft, equipped with an OSNMA Galileo/EGNOS enabled receiver, capable to guarantee the authenticity of their position information at the origin, without the possibility to be counterfeited or spoofed. Tracking information is cyphered for transmission to CERTIFLIGHT platform in real time and permanently stored to a private Blockchain node, unalterable once stored. Galileo OSNMA service acts as unique global enabler for this service, ensuring the authenticity of positioning data at the origin.