Preliminary Design and Capacity Study of Automatic Dependent Surveillance for Drones

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The consumer drone sector is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decades. In Europe alone, some predictions show as many as seven million drones will be flying by 2050. This poses a challenge for surveillance. In this paper, we study an Automatic Dependent Surveillance system concept similar to the one for current aircraft surveillance, which allows the drone to broadcast information about itself without external input. The study’s main contents are threefold. The first consists of recommendations made based on literature. Then, we perform a simulation approach to examine system capacity and related constraints through a sensitivity study is done. Finally, a hardware proof-of-concept, consisting of inexpensive and simple off-theshelf components, is built and tested. We have demonstrated that such a system is indeed feasible. However, the carrier frequency and code allocation must be changed to prevent interference with the current aircraft’s automatic surveillance system. The simulation and capacity study tests the limitation of such a system in high-density scenarios, and provide recommendation for additional work on hardware, format, and modulation techniques to enable such a system. Finally, the hardware test shows that an inexpensive commercial-of-the-shelf implementation with a range of approximately 200 meters is possible, on hardware drawing less than five Watts of power.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event12th SESAR Innovation Days - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 5 Dec 20228 Dec 2022
Conference number: 12


Conference12th SESAR Innovation Days
Abbreviated titleSESAR 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Automatic Dependent Surveillance
  • UAV
  • U-Space
  • ADS-B

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