Christina Cardoza

Dec 13, 2016 2:54:55 PM

AirMap wants to lay out the foundation for drones to be implemented safely and securely into the national airspace. The company announced Drone ID, a digital identity certificate for drones. Drone ID was developed in collaboration with DigiCert, a security solutions provider.

The Drone ID certificate provides a validated aircraft identity number that can be loaded on the drone and shared with others.

“Another way to think about Drone ID: If you show your driver’s license at airport security, they don’t need to call the DMV to verify,” said Jared Ablon, Chief Information Security Officer of AirMap. “Drone ID works the same way, providing drones with an aircraft identity that has been authenticated by trusted authorities and doesn’t need to be verified each time it is used. When the drone uses Drone ID to sign data it shares, you know that data could only come from that unique device.”

Ablon said it is different than the FAA’s aircraft registration solution because it is a publicly-trusted SSL/TLS certificate that enables authentication and encryption for drones. “Much like how an Internet site you visit uses SSL certificates and public key infrastructure to encrypt the information you share, Drone ID can be used to encrypt and digitally sign information coming from the drone and shared with others in the ecosystem, enabling more efficient and secure communication from drone to drone, between drones and other aircraft, and with platforms providing airspace information and services, like AirMap.”

Drone ID can be used to enable encrypted video communication from a drone to another platform, authenticate commands, ensure ground communication, and verify information coming and set by a drone, according to Ablon.

Drones built with Intel Aero Platform for Developers and the Aero Ready to Fly Drone will be among the first drones to access Drone ID.

"The growing number of connected devices in our world requires scalable security solutions that use identity, strong authentication and encryption," said DigiCert CTO Dan Timpson. "Our work with AirMap is advancing secure drone operations and aircraft safety into a new era and is part of our focus across all industries to serve the security needs of new and emerging markets, including the Internet of Things."

Drone ID is expected to become available early next year.

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