In recent years considerable effort has been expended world-wide into the development of technologies, procedures and standards that will allow Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to become fully integrated into the Air Traffic Management (ATM) environment. The communications architectures required to operate UAS in this environment will form the foundation upon which many technologies, systems and operational procedures will be based. There are many architecture options available and acceptable but no single, obvious solution. It was essential to explore these options in order to advice regulators on the approach to be adopted.
The objective of this study was to provide an initial input and guidance for the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) process. This has been achieved through a Preliminary Impact Assessment on the safety and other factors that will be affected by the architecture(s) used for UAS communication systems. In particular, the use of the electromagnetic spectrum emerged as one of the key factors to be considered when selecting the proper architecture. The work carried out in this project is essential to satisfy the safety criteria required for UAS to be operated in non-segregated airspace. Some of the architectures could be implemented through the Communication Service Provider.