Open Drone ID is a project to provide a low cost and reliable “beacon” capability for drones so that they can be identified when within range of a receiver. The current implementation is based on Bluetooth* 4.2 Broadcasts Packets (Advertisements) and Bluetooth 5 (long range) Advertising Extensions. A WiFi implementation and a network access APIs are under development.
Such advertisements can be used by the general public, law enforcement, critical infrastructure managers, ATC, or other drones to give better situation awareness of the airspace around them.
The information (messages) sent is divided into static and dynamic data where the static data is broadcast less frequently than dynamic data. These messages are “connectionless advertisements” that do not require any acknowledgement from the receiver.
While Bluetooth 4.2 has a range limit of 200-400m, Bluetooth 5 long range can go 4x the distance. In the Open Drone ID Bluetooth Broadcast specification, the drone is required to implement both BT5 and BT4 approaches (using BT5 hardware) so that basic receivers (like current cell phones) will work as well as new ground-based and new phone receivers that can take full advantage of the range improvements with the newer Bluetooth standards.
WiFi implementations are expected to have a similar range to BT4 when using similar antennas.
This project will provide an open specification as well as code examples to enable quick implementation of the specification.