To comply with NPNT, how many software’s & hardware's do you need for flying a drone?
DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation) has defined a NPNT i.e. No Permission No Take-off as mandatory compliance for all RPA in India. One of the fantastic architectural concepts of NPNT framework is capability of RPA to take permission in digital format using digital certificate keys. Digital certificate is used for securing data between Digital Sky and RPA. The digital certificate is used to sign the data and then encrypt/decrypt the data. This end to end secure communication of data is meant to avoid any kind of man in middle attack. As per NPNT process, each flight requires permission from Digital Sky platform. The permission comes as part of software process, where client software sends request to Digital Sky platform and and gets PA (Permission Artefact) in response after successful exchange of digital keys. The functionality of sending requests to digital sky platform can be implemented in multiple ways.
Method A – A GCS Software that communicates with Digital SkyAn integrated GCS Software with an inbuilt ability to communicate with the Digital Sky platform to get the Permission Artefacts (PA). In this method addition hardware or software is not needed, but the GCS software manages all the transactions and uploads the PA to RFM device to parse and use the digital keys to comply with the NPNT process.
Method B – An additional Software put into a hardwareIn this, a separate software installed on an additional hardware is used to get PA from Digital Sky platform and upload it to RFM device. Both the methods have their individual pros and cons which we’ve explained in a separate article here. Now, apart from GCS software, the pilot also uses an RC controller for flying the mission on field. So in order to make it convenient, it helps if an RC controller has GCS built into it. But if one does not have GCS in the RC controller, the pilot will essentially require the following three things simultaneously:
- RC controller hardware
- Native GCS software like Mission Planner or similar
- Third Party Software for NPNT process to obtain PA.