The Drone Identity -- Investigating Forensic-Readiness of U-Space Services

This EngageKTN project will investigate forensic-readiness requirements of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), to help identify causes of safety and security related air traffic incidents. It is a collaborative effort between researchers at The Open University (OU) and NATS. The project will contribute to addressing the vulnerabilities and global security of communications, navigation, and surveillance systems in air traffic management (CNS/ATM). Security and safety incidents in such `systems of systems' are challenging to investigate, particularly given the diverse digital technologies and human behaviours involved, and the different degrees of automation involved. Unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones) are increasingly creating challenges for managing the safety of the aircraft that share the airspace with them. Recent high-profile incidents at airports arising from unidentified drones (such as those at Gatwick and Heathrow airport), underline the urgent need to investigate the risks and incidents in such managed airspaces. The collection and use of forensic data associated with drones and surrounding physical contexts is key to effective investigation. The research will be conducted in the context of U-Space, focusing on the architecture and concept of operations for European unmanned traffic management (UTM), and the ability to preserve such vital information as evidence for forensic investigations.

Partners and Investigators

The Open University

Dr. Yijun Yu
Prof. Bashar Nuseibeh
Prof. Blaine Price
Prof. Andrea Zisman
Prof. Arosha Bandara


Dr. Anthony Rushton
Dr David Bush


Email: Office: +44 (0) 1908 6 55562