There’s a very good chance that drone sightings will be common in the skies
above most major cities as they’re put to use in commercial applications like
last mile and medical deliveries, traffic management, supporting firefighters
and inspection services. NXP is researching innovative solutions for keeping
that traffic safe from collisions and hackers.
The challenge is complex, considering the risks. Drones need to avoid one
another and land, takeoff and navigate in potentially cluttered and often
uncertain spaces filled with moving and stationary obstacles. They must be
impervious to illicit intrusions, whether from bad actors who might want to
control them, or hackers interested in stealing the data they use or collect.
And, because a majority of them will need to operate autonomously, beyond the
line-of-sight of human controllers, drones need to be able to sense, process
and respond to situations, as well as communicate with manned aviation (both
in-air and ground control). The market for such drones is expected to grow by
25% every year between now and 2029 when it will reach over US$34 billion.
Bright minds. Bright futures. NXP team members create breakthrough technologies that advance our world.
The future starts here.
In a UDVeo consortium project, we investigate inter-vehicle communication for
conflict avoidance and real time tracking as well as enabling airspace
integration with manned aircraft using our proven 802.11p D2X technology
(standardized tech that also enables vehicle-to-infrastructure [V2X]
communications for vehicles on the road), together with the widely adopted PX4
open source flight and vehicle stack from the
Dronecode foundation .
Some of the areas we’re researching with UDVeo and through other projects
Authentication — Giving drones a hardware “secure element” so that each
drone’s identification is validated and only interacts with authorized users
(much like the tech used to identify documents and credit cards). Secure
elements on board the vehicle can also be used to validate and secure each
component (i.e a GPS module) that makes up the larger system.
Avoidance — Exploring “anti-collision transponders” that rely on precise,
real-time communications to exchange positioning information, while also
preparing for what’s out-of-sight through sophisticated reflections analysis
able to anticipate and trigger safe movements in crowded airspaces (much
like we’ll experience during Level 5 autonomous driving).
Low Latency — Finding ways to enable fast direct communication and
reconnection of dropped signals between drones that approach at extremely
high speeds while reducing exposure to hackers.
Teams — Testing methods for drone-to-drone communication so multiple units
can collaborate on tasks, such as search-and-rescue or maintenance work.
Our goal is that this work will support and inform air space regulation that
will help manage drone traffic, as well as spur additional technological
innovation that will keep them safely in the skies of a city near you.
Here is more information on NXP drone projects:
City-ATM with DLR
Air2X with DLR
UDVeo with HSU, DLR, Consider-IT and others
MyGalileoDrone with Consider-IT
Explore more on safety at
Aerospace and Mobile Robotics page.