The Unmanned Plane Techniques Authentication System consortium introduced – Drones Information
Aerial view of downtown Atlanta, Georgia.
Connected Places Catapult is working with the IoT Security Start, ANGOKA partners and Cranfield University to protect drone communication as part of the UASAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems Authentication System) project.
Connected Places Catapult has teamed up with ANGOKA Ltd, a Belfast-based cybersecurity start-up, and Cranfield University to carry out an exciting project to support and protect the future of drones and autonomous aircraft.
The UASAS project was funded by UK Research and Innovation’s Future Flight Challenge, part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, to revolutionize aviation and drone use.
Drones are poised to become ubiquitous devices – they don’t require runways, can be small and agile, and can hover over and survey areas that may be too risky for humans. Its commercial potential is staggering and companies like Wing (a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company) and Amazon are already beginning to explore this market. Delivery of goods and medicines, search and rescue as well as infrastructure, monitoring of agriculture and the environment are just a few of the many use cases that drones will soon become part of everyday life, for business and personal use.
In order for drones to truly take off, however, it must be ensured that communications, which are critical to controlling and flying the drones, are protected. Without this key element, there is a risk of drones being hacked and hijacked by nefarious actors, endangering not only the drone’s mission but also the environment. Securing drone communication ensures that national infrastructure such as airports and mobile towers are also protected.
The UASAS project brings these three people together to create an authentication system that provides a trusted identification service for the use of drones. This system protects communications from potentially devastating cyber attacks. Through trustworthy identification, companies can ensure that drones are flying in the correct zones and are not adversely affecting other parties, increasing overall confidence in drone technology.
Mark Westwood, Chief Technology Officer at Connected Places Catapult, said, “With drones becoming a part of everyday life, highly reliable and resilient security and authentication systems are one of the essential components to ensure safe use. We look forward to being part of a project that will build confidence in drone technology and support the growth of a valuable market sector. “
ANGOKA is very pleased to work with such future-oriented and resourceful partners and to build on our work in the NCSC Cyber Accelerator in terms of authentication and identity management for drones and IoT devices. With the advancement and spread of drone technology, solutions to protect your communication and identity are becoming more important than ever.
Yuri Andersson, CEO of ANGOKA, commented: “Securing the communication of drones and unmanned vehicles will have a major impact across industries, from logistics to emergency response. We are excited to lead this innovative project with world class partners who will pave the way for safe and ubiquitous use of drones. “
Dr. Saba Al-Rubaye, Lecturer for Autonomous and Networked Systems and Project Manager at Cranfield University, said: “We are very pleased to be working with ANGOKA and the Connected Places Catapult on this exciting project to protect communication systems for controlling drones in flight ensure they are able to safely complete their missions while protecting the environment. Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles have enormous scope to transform aviation activities and services. This project will help to use this potential in a safe way. “