FISHERS, Ind, (WISH) — Drones are beginning to take over the sky and as of now, there’s no way to detect who they belong to while in the air. One Carmel graduate is developing technology to be able to figure out who is who.
Essentially, it’s an identification service. Right now, there’s not a strong way of enforcing rules with drones in the air. But Aaron Pierce is working to change that process.
Pierce went to Carmel High School and then attended IUPUI where he volunteered with various aviation groups. He says a lot of people don’t realize that as soon as they start to fly their drone from their backyard – that’s under the purview of the FAA. Any drone that weighs more than .5 pounds has been registered with the FAA.
But that rule isn’t always followed.
This ID service would be beneficial for law enforcement. They would be able to tell who exactly is in the air. Pierce Aerospace is working with other integration partners so that this tool would wind up on police officers’ cellphones. The officer would open an app on their phone and it would tell them if the aircraft is authorized or unauthorized.
“They are a very easy technology to use and have a wonderful amount of use to them,” Pierce said. “But providing this identification piece helps to make sure that we get the right folks that have the right credentials to actually go, maybe perform that flight at a concert or wherever else it may be, while making sure we don’t have someone bringing an aircraft in, even if they have no ill intention, but help to prevent that unwarranted risk for playing a factor in that public event.”
Like anything, the IUPUI grad says a drone can be used for criminal activity, which he says has already happened in the Middle East.
Last year, Pierce had a contract with the United States Air Force and is currently working with the Army. Pierce says what he’s doing plays a role in helping to prevent that from happening in the United States. He says the threat that it could happen here is so real that the Department of Justice told Congress that there will be an incident.
The FAA is working on a rule for remote identification drones right now, which was mandated to them by Congress in 2018.