Applying V2X technology to drones: Page 5 of 6

November 10, 2017 //By Derek Tang, NXP
Drones have emerged as one of the fastest growing markets for a unique ecosystem of electronics. Drones need to navigate their environments and as a result will benefit from technologies that help them find their way and avoid danger. Fortunately, this technology already exists in different yet related technology areas. V2X (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure) communication using IEEE802.11p is a technology used to improve traffic safety and efficiency.

[3] Be safer by cooperative flying

Along with the excitement of the market potential of drones there is concern when it comes to public safety. In Jan 2015, a DJI Phantom crashed on the White House lawn, which immediately put the safety issue of drones under the spotlight. How V2X systems resolve drone safety issue?

 

[3.1] Real-time air space management based on V2X communication and security system

How can we keep drones away from airports and crowds? The current solution is to set no-fly zones by manufacturer. To identify which areas should be restricted is formidable. And to maintain its correctness over time is even more challenging. 

A real-time air space management system can be much more efficient. The foundation of such a system is standardized communication, where 802.11p is a good candidate, as drones can understand commands from the air space controller.

Which frequency can be used? Obviously, a dedicated channel is essential to limit interference. There are 7 channels allocated to V2X services in 5.9 GHz band. Currently there is industry discussion on sharing channels with Wi-Fi. Since drones are becoming an important part of the transportation system and will have a major impact on public safety, it makes more sense to open one V2X channel to drone instead of Wi-Fi.

Certainly, security must be enforced in the system. Drones and air space controllers must be able to identify each other remotely to avoid unauthorized manipulation. Here the V2X security system can also be reused, which is designed with the purpose to secure the communication between vehicles and infrastructures.

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