Drone Registration Enforcement

The FAA now requires drone owners to register any device weighing more than 0.55 lbs. (250 g).

For drones currently in the field, enforcing this new law might be problematic, as it relies on the honor system to some extent. But for new devices, NXP offers an easy enforcement method.

How it Works

NXP’s drone registration solution uses low cost NFC technology to easily enforce compliance.

  • Manufacturers could include an NFC reader within the drone housing. NXP makes this step straightforward by providing reference designs for drop-into-place design ease.
  • Upon registration, consumers could receive an official government-issued registration certificate that comprises an NXP encrypted NFC tag in adhesive label form.
  • Upon adhesion to the drone housing, the drone control electronics would wirelessly read the certificate. If valid, the drone microcontroller enables functionality. If not, the drone will not power up.

Benefits

Electronic registration provides more than just ease to government regulatory bodies, it also facilitates regulation of that drone to ensure the safety of all citizens.

  • Upon application of the registration certificate sticker, the NFC chip inside the sticker could convey identification information to the drone microcontroller, such as the registration number, model/serial number of the drone, and its zoning classification. Because this information would now be housed with the drone, drone manufacturers could chose to broadcast select details, such as the classification information, via appropriate long-range wireless communication while in flight.
  • If the drone flew within restricted airspace (near airports, sensitive government sites, stadiums, large public events, etc.), flight controllers could obtain the classification information (something virtually impossible to obtain visually) from the drone and thereby verify its authority (or lack thereof) to travel within a particular space, in order to help prevent potential catastrophes.