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Interest in using cellular connectivity to support Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is strong, and the 3GPP ecosystem offers excellent benefits for UAS operation. Ubiquitous coverage, high reliability and QoS, robust security, and seamless mobility are critical factors to supporting UAS command and control functions. In parallel, regulators are investigating safety and performance standards and Registration and licensing programs to develop a well-functioning private and civil UAS ecosystem which can safely coexist with commercial air traffic, public and private infrastructure, and the general population.
The 3GPP system can provide control plane and user plane communication services for UAS. Examples of services which can be offered to the UAS ecosystem includes data services for command and control (C2), telematics, UAS-generated data, remote identification, and authorisation, enforcement, and regulation of UAS operation.
The present document identifies the requirements for operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) via the 3GPP
This includes requirements for meeting the business, security, and public safety needs for the remote identification and
tracking of UAS linked to a 3GPP subscription.
An Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is the combination of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), sometimes called a
drone, and a UAV controller. A UAV is an aircraft without a human pilot onboard - instead, the UAV is controlled
from an operator on the ground via a UAV controller and may have some autonomous flight capabilities. The
communication system between the UAV and UAV controller is, within the scope of this specification, provided by the
UAVs range in size and weight from small, light aircraft often used for recreational purposes to large, heavy aircraft
which are often more suited to commercial applications. Regulatory requirements vary across this range and vary on a
The communication requirements for UAS cover both the Command and Control (C2) between UAV and UAV
controller, but also data uplink and downlink to/from the UAS components towards both the serving 3GPP network and
Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management (UTM) is used to provide UAS identification and tracking,
authorisation, enforcement, and regulation of UAS operations, and also to store the data required for UAS(s) to operate.
It also allows authorised users (e.g., air traffic control, public safety agencies) to query the identity and metadata of a
UAV and its UAV controller.
full Table of Contents for TS 22.125 Word version: 17.0.0