Security Framework for Uncrewed Aircraft Systems
ASTM International’s unmanned aircraft systems committee (F38) is developing a proposed standard that will help identify communications security principles and relevant frameworks for securing ad hoc uncrewed aircraft system communications.
ASTM member Drew Van Duren says that the proposed standard (WK84631) will identify and describe a tailorable approach to securing aircraft-to-anything (A2X) broadcast-type applications. “With the phenomenal scaling of UAS operations worldwide, there is a burgeoning need for UA and other aircraft types to be able to communicate ad hoc, safety-related data with each other, not just with air traffic control or their operators. Networks are simply not omnipresent, and they can introduce unacceptable latency.”
According to Van Duren, the security of such links is vital, particularly in safety-critical applications such as detect-and-avoid (DAA) and related maneuvering.
“The proposed standard will describe the types of security controls available and the appropriate use of cryptographic, credential-based solutions for implementing those controls,” says Van Duren. “The standard will also address the trade-space between various security options available and their impacts on messaging overhead, utilization of radio frequency spectrum, and demands imposed on trust management infrastructures.”
Van Duren also notes that in addition to this proposed standard, the committee will apply the security principles by standardizing an authentication and integrity mechanism for ASTM’s broadcast remote ID standard (F3411-22a).
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“The more participation we get from different types of stakeholders, the better,” says Van Duren. “For example, there is an enormous relationship between security controls, cryptographic trust credentialing, and evolving national/international polices that can influence how the security is used to maintain minimum thresholds of trust.” Because of this, Van Duren notes, the committee is interested in participation from stakeholders involved in both technical and policy aspects of UAS security.