NASA And Verizon Plan To Monitor Drones Using Cellphone Towers

As the number of drones flying through our airspace increases, NASA is developing a plan to keep track of and direct all these hovering devices.

The space agency has partnered with telecom company Verizon to develop technology to direct and monitor all of the commercial and civilian drones in the U.S.

According to documents obtained by The Guardian, Verizon signed an agreement last year with NASA “to jointly explore whether cell towers … could support communications and surveillance of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at low altitudes.”

Currently there is nothing stopping drone pilots from sending their aircraft pretty much anywhere they like, but NASA hopes the new system could enable geofencing of certain sensitive areas such as the airspace of the White House or Capitol Building in Washington. Geofencing uses GPS or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries and set a virtual barrier.


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