What is LADDAS®?
The Local Area Drone Dispatch and Authorization System (LADDAS®) is a central flight management system for commercial and public sUAS flights.
LADDAS provides first responders and commercial entities with the ability to:
- Manage their sUAS fleet
- Manage their licensed pilots
- Manage the LADDAS transponders
- Track and Monitor their fleet while in operation
- Notify pilots of incidents directly from the Central Hub Application
- Select operators and users within the system or outside the system of a need to support an existing sUAS operation ("Convergence")
- Associate FAA drone registration ID with LADDAS registration
- Create permissible sUAS flight areas and temporary no-fly zones
- Monitor and record sUAS flight activities
- Provide Live Streaming Video of All LADDAS enabled sUAS in operation
- Execute Facial Recognition Against Captured Image and Video Data from active sUAS
All of this is accomplished while leaving control of the sUAS with its operator. This allows sUAS operators to fly their aircraft in a safer air space, and to record their flight details.
LADDAS consists of four elements:
- Drone Operator's Display Application
- LADDAS HUB Application for Dispatch
- Microsoft® Azure™-based LADDAS Cloud Communications Backbone
- Drone-Mounted Transponder
Drone-Mounted Transponder/Supported Drone API
The LADDAS sUAS-Mounted Transponder is a small GPS tracking and communications device. The Transponder receives GPS satellite time and location information. The Transponder then notifies the LADDAS system where the sUAS is located by transmitting geospatial information over cellular traffic.
The LADDAS sUAS mobile application understands supported drone's application interface and when our mobile system is used with a support platform, no transponder is required for the capture of geospatial data. The mobile application is able to retrieve all geospatial information directly from the drone in operation.
sUAS Operator's Display Application
The LADDAS sUAS Operator's Display Application operates on any hand-held device with cell capability, such as cell phones or tablet computers. The sUAS operator's display application has the ability to:
- Activate flight operation to which enables the Hub to properly manage tracking and monitoring of the sUAS during operation
- Deactivate flight operation, provides the ability to end active flight to enable pilot to move and establish separation of flight data
- Receive and process notifications from LADDAS HUB Application
- Receive and process LADDAS Convergence notifications
The LADDAS HUB Application operates on any Windows® 10 based personal computer. It provides first responders and commercial entities with the ability to set temporary no-fly zones, register sUAS operators, maintain flight records, and send messages to LADDAS enabled sUAS operators.
The HUB serves as the central dispatch system and is able to communicate via notifications and convergence with LADDAS pilots operating in the field.
Microsoft® Azure™-based LADDAS Cloud Communications Backbone
The LADDAS backbone operates on the Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform. This provides seamless global communication capability among sUAS, operators, and administrators. The LADDAS backbone can expand to meet increased data throughput and performance requirements without additional infrastructure expense.
How Does LADDAS Work?
LADDAS uses its sUAS registration information to track and record first responder, and commercial sUAS flights operating within the LADDAS system. Commercial and public use sUAS may register with the LADDAS Administrator prior to conducting flight operations. The sUAS-Mounted Transponder will transmit the flight data, along with the drone registration number to LADDAS. This records flight data to demonstrate that the sUAS is operating within any flight parameters established by the FAA Part 107 rules and regulations.
A LADDAS system in one area will be able to interface and communicate with other LADDAS systems. This "distributed network" will allow tracking of sUAS over a large area of the National Airspace System.
LADDAS provides first responder and commercial entities using sUAS with the ability to track and monitor active sUAS flights in the NAS and local airspace. During flight operations all sUAS flight data is provided to LADDAS. Administrators of the HUB Application are able to monitor flight operations in near-real-time and provide active pilots with notifications that relate to changes in flight plan, deviations from pre-determined flight plans, and other notification messages that the dispatch deems necessary to ensure safe flight operations.
LADDAS Benefits for Local Governments and Regulatory Agencies
LADDAS simplifies the ability for local governments and regulatory agencies to monitor sUAS flights. Exceptions to FAA and local regulations can be detected, and pilots can be identified and notified. This also helps to ensure compliance to privacy, noise and nuisance regulations. The ability to gather geospatial information during the flight for auditing purposes is crucial in providing transparency about the use of sUAS for public safety and provides for public awareness.1
LADDAS Benefits for Emergency Responders
LADDAS can be used to help Emergency Responders to operate sUAS for the purpose of providing for public safety. The integration of LADDAS into the first responder fleet enables responders to focus on the operation while the flight activities are monitored from a central location to ensure the active drones are able to support the operation to its full potential.