ASTM sets new F3623-23 standard for surveillance data dissemination by SDSPs

International standards body ASTM International has established F3623-23 Standard Specification for Surveillance Supplementary Data Service Provider (SDSP) in an initiative co-led by MatrixSpace and INVOLI.

SDSPs support UAS operators by supplying air traffic surveillance, weather, terrain, obstacle clearance and other data specific to the area of operation, particularly for the challenges at the under-400 feet airspace common to autonomous operations.

To date, various sensors such as radar, Lidar, optical, Transponder Modes A, C, or S and ADS-B, have lacked a common platform to collect and disseminate surveillance data. UAS operators must establish individual, point-to-point connections to different sensor providers, which is cumbersome and costly. They then receive track data regarding an intruder from different sources and must validate each track.

This global SDSP standard establishes benchmark requirements for collecting air traffic surveillance data and then disseminating it to users. SDSPs can now develop data fusion capabilities for a single, fused track, eliminating the complexity and providing a “one-stop shop” for surveillance services.

Akaki Kunchilia, MatrixSpace Airspace Regulations lead said: “Industry-driven standards are essential for the UAS industry to ensure requirements are based on practical, real-world implementations and SDSPs play a vital role in expanding the UTM ecosystem and the overall safety of UAS operations. This standard allows them to focus on product development adhering to this standard which in turn ensures a level of integration not previously possible. As radar and other sensing capabilities become more advanced, we can integrate them easily into the wider surveillance service.”

Manu Lubrano, INVOLI CEO said: “As low-altitude BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) autonomous and semi-autonomous flight proliferates, there is a growing need to provide a standard way to monitor air activities for collision avoidance. This is one of the key challenges facing the UAS industry to operate safely and at scale. This standard allows SDSPs to provide complex but streamlined surveillance data to multiple users and, in turn, enable more BVLOS flights.”

The ASTM International recently published another SDSP standard for weather information. These efforts incentivize the UAS industry to build products that comply with these standards and have high confidence from the regulators. Regulators worldwide consider compliance with the standards one of the top requirements for operational approvals, says the press release.

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