WO2019186246A1 - Mobile information exchange between a network system and one or more external systems - Google Patents

Mobile information exchange between a network system and one or more external systems Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2019186246A1
WO2019186246A1 PCT/IB2018/052239 IB2018052239W WO2019186246A1 WO 2019186246 A1 WO2019186246 A1 WO 2019186246A1 IB 2018052239 W IB2018052239 W IB 2018052239W WO 2019186246 A1 WO2019186246 A1 WO 2019186246A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
network
identifier
uav
operator
management
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PCT/IB2018/052239
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French (fr)
Inventor
Attila TAKÁCS
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Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)
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Priority to PCT/IB2018/052239 priority Critical patent/WO2019186246A1/en
Publication of WO2019186246A1 publication Critical patent/WO2019186246A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W4/00Services specially adapted for wireless communication networks; Facilities therefor
    • H04W4/30Services specially adapted for particular environments, situations or purposes
    • H04W4/40Services specially adapted for particular environments, situations or purposes for vehicles, e.g. vehicle-to-pedestrians [V2P]
    • H04W4/44Services specially adapted for particular environments, situations or purposes for vehicles, e.g. vehicle-to-pedestrians [V2P] for communication between vehicles and infrastructures, e.g. vehicle-to-cloud [V2C] or vehicle-to-home [V2H]
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G5/00Traffic control systems for aircraft, e.g. air-traffic control [ATC]
    • G08G5/003Flight plan management
    • G08G5/0034Assembly of a flight plan
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G5/00Traffic control systems for aircraft, e.g. air-traffic control [ATC]
    • G08G5/0047Navigation or guidance aids for a single aircraft
    • G08G5/006Navigation or guidance aids for a single aircraft in accordance with predefined flight zones, e.g. to avoid prohibited zones
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G5/00Traffic control systems for aircraft, e.g. air-traffic control [ATC]
    • G08G5/0047Navigation or guidance aids for a single aircraft
    • G08G5/0069Navigation or guidance aids for a single aircraft specially adapted for an unmanned aircraft
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W12/00Security arrangements, e.g. access security or fraud detection; Authentication, e.g. verifying user identity or authorisation; Protecting privacy or anonymity ; Protecting confidentiality; Key management; Integrity; Mobile application security; Using identity modules; Secure pairing of devices; Context aware security; Lawful interception
    • H04W12/06Authentication
    • H04W12/63
    • H04W12/71
    • H04W12/72

Abstract

A method for exchanging data between a network system and an external system is described. The method includes associating a device with the network system; adding, by a mobile information exchange (MIX) service of the network system in response to the device associating with the network system, an entry in a domain identifier subscription map (DISM) of the network system, wherein the entry includes a device identifier of the device and a management system identifier, wherein the management system identifier indicates a management system that manages movement of devices in an area in which the device is operating; and exchanging data between the network system and an external system based on the entry in the DISM, wherein the data is associated with the device.

Description

MOBILE INFORMATION EXCHANGE BETWEEN A NETWORK SYSTEM AND ONE OR MORE EXTERNAL SYSTEMS

FIELD

[0001] Embodiments of the invention relate to the field of managing information exchanges between network devices; and more specifically, to managing the exchange of information between a network system and one or more external systems via a mobile information exchange service.

BACKGROUND

[0002] There is increasing interest in using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’s (UAVs) for a wide variety of applications throughout society and, in particular, small UAVs (sUAVs). Examples include delivery services, aerial photography and film making, remote sensing tasks for agriculture, city planning, civil engineering, and support for public safety and rescue services. These applications all involve the use of UAVs operating at low altitudes and often above urban areas. In some situations, the UAVs are manually flown by their operator while in other situations the UAVs may be flown using some level of autonomy where a human operator monitors multiple aircraft and intervenes only when trouble arises.

[0003] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are defining an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Traffic Management (UTM) system. The UTM system is composed of several components, including a UAV Service Supplier (USS), which is an entity that manages, approves, and de-conflicts UAV flights. The USS is used by UAV operators who are the actual users of UAVs. The USS can access various data sources to make safe and efficient use of the airspace.

[0004] One important element in managing UAVs is ensuring that UAVs have adequate and reliable network connectivity. Terrestrial mobile networks can be used to provide network connectivity for UAVs during flight; however, there is no standard way to exchange information between network systems and the various entities of the UAV ecosystem (e.g., elements of the UTM system). Therefore, information exchange is governed by bilateral agreements and individualized interface solutions, which are not scalable for wide adoption.

[0005] Although described above in relation to UAVs, the above issues with communications between network systems and UAV systems are also experienced by other mobile devices, including devices, which, similar to UAVs, rely on some amount of autonomous navigation. Accordingly, there is a need for a more scalable information exchange solution between network systems and mobile device systems that these network systems serve. SUMMARY

[0006] A method for exchanging data between a network system and an external system is described. The method includes associating a device with the network system; adding, by a mobile information exchange (MIX) service of the network system in response to the device associating with the network system, an entry in a domain identifier subscription map (DISM) of the network system, wherein the entry includes a device identifier of the device and a management system identifier, wherein the management system identifier indicates a management system that manages movement of devices in an area in which the device is operating; and exchanging data between the network system and an external system based on the entry in the DISM, wherein the data is associated with the device.

[0007] As described above, the MIX service supports efficient communications between a network system (e.g., a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) system) and one or more external systems (e.g., an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Traffic Management (UTM) system). For example, in response to a request for information received by the network system in relation to a UAV, the MIX service may query the DISM using an identifier associated with the request (e.g., a UAV identifier) and utilize a corresponding entry in the DISM to fulfill the request (e.g., fulfill the request based on a network subscription identifier and/or a policy identifier of the entry). Accordingly, the MIX service in conjunction with the DISM provides a unified structure for managing fulfillment of requests and general communications with one or more external systems. Further, since the DISM is populated at the association or registration of the UAV with the network system, overhead and complexity associated with developing separate processes, agreements, and/or interfaces for each combination of external system and network system may be avoided.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The invention may best be understood by referring to the following description and accompanying drawings that are used to illustrate embodiments of the invention. In the drawings:

[0009] Figure 1 illustrates an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Traffic Management (UTM) system according to one embodiment;

[0010] Figure 2 illustrates an example flight plan with a set of coordinates according to one embodiment;

[0011] Figure 3 illustrates an example flight plan with a set of restricted areas/zones according to one embodiment;

[0012] Figure 4 illustrates an example flight plan with a designated clearance zone according to one embodiment;

[0013] Figure 5 illustrates a block diagram of a UAV according to one embodiment;

[0014] Figure 6 illustrates an example domain identifier subscription map (DISM) according to one embodiment;

[0015] Figure 7 illustrates a method for facilitating communications between a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) system and components of a UAV Traffic Management (UTM) system according to one embodiment; and

[0016] Figure 8 illustrates a computing/networking device according to one embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0017] In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth. However, it is understood that embodiments of the invention may be practiced without these specific details.

In other instances, well-known circuits, structures and techniques have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure the understanding of this description. Those of ordinary skill in the art, with the included descriptions, will be able to implement appropriate functionality without undue experimentation.

[0018] Bracketed text and blocks with dashed borders (e.g., large dashes, small dashes, dot- dash, and dots) are used herein to illustrate optional operations that add additional features to embodiments of the invention. However, such notation should not be taken to mean that these are the only options or optional operations, and/or that blocks with solid borders are not optional in certain embodiments of the invention.

[0019] References in the specification to“one embodiment,”“an embodiment,”“an example embodiment,” etc., indicate that the embodiment described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but every embodiment may not necessarily include the particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Moreover, such phrases are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. Further, when a particular feature, structure, or characteristic is described in connection with an embodiment, it is submitted that it is within the knowledge of one skilled in the art to affect such feature, structure, or characteristic in connection with other embodiments whether or not explicitly described.

[0020] In the following description and claims, the terms“coupled” and“connected,” along with their derivatives, may be used. It should be understood that these terms are not intended as synonyms for each other.“Coupled” is used to indicate that two or more elements, which may or may not be in direct physical or electrical contact with each other, co-operate or interact with each other.“Connected” is used to indicate the establishment of communication between two or more elements that are coupled with each other.

[0021] An electronic device stores and transmits (internally and/or with other electronic devices over a network) code (which is composed of software instructions and which is sometimes referred to as computer program code or a computer program) and/or data using machine-readable media (also called computer-readable media), such as machine-readable storage media (e.g., magnetic disks, optical disks, read only memory (ROM), flash memory devices, phase change memory) and machine-readable transmission media (also called a carrier) (e.g., electrical, optical, radio, acoustical or other form of propagated signals - such as carrier waves, infrared signals). Thus, an electronic device (e.g., a computer) includes hardware and software, such as a set of one or more processors coupled to one or more machine -readable storage media to store code for execution on the set of processors and/or to store data. For instance, an electronic device may include non-volatile memory containing the code since the non-volatile memory can persist the code even when the electronic device is turned off, and while the electronic device is turned on that part of the code that is to be executed by the processor(s) of that electronic device is copied from the slower non-volatile memory into volatile memory (e.g., dynamic random access memory (DRAM), static random access memory (SRAM)) of that electronic device. Typical electronic devices also include a set or one or more physical network interface(s) to establish network connections (to transmit and/or receive code and/or data using propagating signals) with other electronic devices. One or more parts of an embodiment of the invention may be implemented using different combinations of software, firmware, and/or hardware.

[0022] A system, according to one embodiment, is presented herein that supports efficient communications between a network system and one or more external systems. For example, the system may provide a framework for supporting communications between a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) system and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Traffic

Management (UTM) system, which controls/manages an airspace for a set of UAVs. In particular, the 3GPP system may include a mobile information exchange (MIX) service that manages requests for information and responses to the one or more external systems. The MIX service may utilize various components in the 3 GPP system for support, including network controllers (e.g., Mobility Management Entities (MMEs) and 2G Serving General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Support Nodes (SGSNs)), Home Subscriber Servers (HSSs), Policy and Charging Rules Functions (PCRFs), and Domain Identifier Subscription Maps (DISMs)). In this configuration, a DISM may include entries for various pieces of user equipment (UE), including UAVs operating in the 3GPP system and mobile devices of UAV operators. The entries in the DISM may be populated upon association or registration of the UAV with the 3GPP system and may include one or more of a UAV identifier, a network subscription identifier, a UAV operator identifier, a UAV Service Supplier (USS) identifier, and a policy identifier. In response to a request for information received by the 3GPP system, the MIX service may query the DISM using an identifier associated with the request (e.g., a UAV identifier) and utilize a

corresponding entry to fulfill the request (e.g., fulfill the request using a network subscription identifier and/or a policy identifier of an entry in the DISM). Accordingly, the MIX service in conjunction with the DISM provides a unified structure for managing fulfillment of requests for information to one or more external systems. Further, since the DISM is populated at the association or registration of the UAV with the 3GPP system, overhead and complexity associated with developing separate processes, agreements, and interfaces for each combination of external system and 3GPP system may be avoided.

[0023] Although described herein in relation to UAVs and associated systems (e.g., a UTM system), the systems and methods described herein may be similarly applied to other pieces of mobile equipment. In particular, the systems and methods described herein may be utilized by any mobile device that relies on some amount of autonomous navigation and/or is supported by a traffic management system that manages the airspace/area traversed by the mobile device. Accordingly, the use of“UAVs” herein is for purposes of explanation and is not intended to limit the description.

[0024] Figure 1 shows an air traffic system 100 for managing a flight of a UAV 104, according to one embodiment. The air traffic system 100 may be used for managing the flights of one or more UAVs 104 that are controlled/operated/piloted by corresponding UAV operators 106. The UAVs 104 may be interchangeably referred to as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) or drones throughout this description. The air traffic system 100 may be divided into two logical portions: a UTM system 100A and a 3GPP system/architecture 100B. In this configuration, a mobile information exchange (MIX) service 102 of the 3GPP system 100B provides a uniform system/interface for exchanging information between components of the 3GPP system 100B and external systems (e.g., the UTM system 100A, including a UAV Service Supplier (USS) 120 and a UAV 104, and/or law enforcement system 142).

[0025] Although described in relation to a 3GPP network system, the systems and method described herein may be used in conjunction with any type of network system or any set of network systems. In some embodiments, the systems and methods described herein are utilized for multiple network systems providing network access to a single airspace. Thus, the use of the single 3GPP system 100B is illustrative rather than limiting.

[0026] In some embodiments, the UAVs 104 may be small or miniature UAVs, which are unmanned aircraft that are small enough to be considered portable by an average man and typically operate/cruise at altitudes lower than larger aircraft. For example, a small UAV may be any unmanned aircraft that is fifty-five pounds or lighter and/or is designed to operate below 400 feet. Although the embodiments described herein may be applied to small UAVs, the systems and methods are not restricted to aircraft of these sizes or that are designed to operate at particular altitudes. Instead, the methods and systems described herein may be similarly applied to aircraft of any size or design and with or without an onboard pilot/operator. For example, in some embodiments, the methods and systems described herein may be used for UAVs 104 larger than fifty-five pounds and/or UAVs 104 that are designed to fly above 400 feet. [0027] The UAVs 104 are aircraft without an onboard human controller. Instead, the UAVs 104 may be operated/piloted using various degrees of autonomy. For example, a UAV 104 may be operated by a human (e.g., the UAV operator 106) located on the ground or otherwise removed and independent of the location of the UAV 104. For example, a UAV operator 106 may be located on the ground and acts to directly control each movement of a UAV 104 or a group of UAVs 104 through a radio control interface (e.g., a command and control (C2) interface). In this embodiment, the UAV operator 106 may transmit commands via a radio interface to cause the UAV 104 to adjust/move particular flight instruments (e.g., flaps, blades, motors, etc.) for the purpose of following a flight plan or another set of objectives. In other scenarios, the UAV operator 106 may provide a flight plan to the UAV 104. In response to the flight plan, the UAV 104 may adjust/move particular flight instruments to fulfill objectives of the flight plan. In these embodiments, a human operator may monitor the progress of the flight plan and intervene as needed or as directed. In some embodiments, the UAV operator 106 may be viewed as a remote human controller, a remote digital controller, an onboard digital controller, or a combination of the preceding.

[0028] Throughout this description, a flight plan may be also referred to as a flight mission and may include one or more points of a path (e.g., a starting point, an ending point, and/or a set of waypoints, where each are defined by longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates), a set of velocities, a set of altitudes, a set of headings/directions, a set of events (e.g., capture video at prescribed times or locations, hover over an area for a specified interval, etc.), a

time/expiration/duration, and a set of restricted zones/areas. For instance, the flight plan 200 shown in Figure 2 includes the flight path B. The flight path B indicates that the UAV 104 is to take off from location Al (corresponding to a first set of longitude and latitude coordinates) and travel to location A2 (corresponding to a second set of longitude and latitude coordinates) using the path B. The path B may be separated into the segments B 1 and B2. In this scenario, the UAV 104 is restricted to an altitude between 300 feet and 400 feet and a velocity of 100 miles/hour during segment Bl and an altitude between 350 feet and 400 feet and a velocity of 90 miles/hour during segment B2. The above altitude and velocity limitations are merely exemplary and in other embodiments higher altitude and velocity limitations may be assigned/issued for a UAV 104 (e.g., altitude limitations above 400 feet and velocity limitations above 100 miles/hour).

[0029] In another example, as shown in Figure 3, a flight plan 300 may indicate that the UAV 104 is to take off from location Al, travel to location A2, and avoid a set of restricted zones 302A and 302B. In this example, the UAV 104 is directed to reach the target location A2 without entering the set of restricted zones 302A and 302B. The restricted zones may be relative to geographical location (defined by a set of coordinates), an altitude, and/or a velocity. For example, the UAV 104 may be permitted to enter restricted zone 302A but only at a prescribed altitude and/or only at a prescribed velocity.

[0030] In still another example, shown in Figure 4, a flight plan 400 may provide clearance for the UAV 104 to fly in a designated clearance zone 402. The clearance zone 402 may be a confined area associated with an altitude range (e.g., between 400-500 feet) and/or an expiration/duration (e.g., an expiration of 11 :40PM). In this example, the UAV 104 may fly anywhere in the designated clearance zone 402 until the clearance has expired.

[0031] Although the flight plans described above are provided in relation to diagrams, flight plans may be encoded/presented using any format. For example, a flight plan may be represented and passed to the UAV 104 using an extensible markup language (XMU) based format or another encoding or representation that is decodable and parseable by a machine.

[0032] Figure 5 shows a block diagram of a UAV 104 according to one example embodiment. Each element of the UAV 104 will be described by way of example below and it is understood that each UAV 104 may include more or less components than those shown and described herein.

[0033] As shown in Figure 5, a UAV 104 may include a set of motors 502 controlled by one or more motor controllers 504, which control the speed of rotation of the motors (e.g., rounds per minute). As used herein, the term engine may be used synonymously with the term motor and shall designate a machine that converts one form of energy into mechanical energy. For example, the motors 502 may be electrical motors that convert electricity stored in the battery 506 into mechanical energy. The UAV 104 may include any number of motors 502 that are placed in any configuration relative to the body and/or an expected heading of the UAV 104.

For example, the motors 502 may be configured such that the UAV 104 is a multirotor helicopter (e.g., a quadcopter). In other embodiments, the motors 502 may be configured such that the UAV 104 is a fixed wing aircraft (e.g., a single engine or dual engine airplane). In these embodiments, the motors 502, in conjunction with other elements of the UAV 104 serve to keep the UAV 104 in flight and/or propel the UAV 104 in a desired direction. In some embodiments, the UAV 104 may not include motors 502 for propelling the UAV 104 forward. In this embodiment, the UAV 104 may be a glider or lighter-than-air craft (e.g., a weather balloon).

[0034] As noted above, the motors 502 are controlled by one or more motor controllers 504, which govern the speed of rotation of each motor 502. In one embodiment, the motor controllers 504 may work in conjunction with actuator controllers 508 and actuators 510 that control the pitch/angle/rotation of propellers, flaps, slats, slots, rotors, rotor blades/wings, and other flight control systems 514. The motor controllers 504 and actuator controllers 508 may be managed/controlled by one or more processors 512A that are communicatively coupled to a memory 512B and one or more interfaces 512C.

[0035] In some embodiments, the memory 512B may store instructions that when executed by the processors 512A cause the UAV 104, via adjustments to settings/parameters of the motor controllers 504 and actuator controllers 508, to move in a particular direction (vertical or horizontal) or maintain a particular flight pattern (e.g., hover at a particular altitude).

[0036] The UAV 104 may communicate with one or more other devices using the one or more interfaces 512C. In one embodiment, one of the interfaces 512C in a UAV 104 may comply with a 3GPP protocol. For example, an interface 512C may adhere to one or more of Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) (including General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)), UMTS (including High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)), and Long-Term Evolution (LTE). In some embodiments, one or more interfaces 512C in the UAV 104 may allow a UAV operator 106 and/or other parts of the UTM system 100A to control or provide plans/instructions to the UAV 104.

[0037] In one embodiment, the UAV 104 may operate in the Evolved Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) 118A, the Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN) 118B, and/or the GSM EDGE Radio Access Network (GERAN) 118C using one or more of the interfaces 512C. The E-UTRAN 118A, the UTRAN 118B, and/or the GERAN 118C may be administered by a network operator (e.g., a cellular network operator) and the UAV 104 may be a subscriber to one or more of these networks 118A, 118B, and 118C. The E-UTRAN 118A, the UTRAN 118B, and/or the GERAN 118C may comprise various network devices. Each of the network devices may, in some embodiments, be electronic devices that can be communicatively connected to other electronic devices on the network (e.g., other network devices, user equipment devices (such as the UAV 104), radio base stations, etc.). In certain embodiments, the network devices may include radio access features that provide wireless radio network access to other electronic devices such as user equipment devices (UEs) (for example a“radio access network device" may refer to such a network device). For example, the network devices may be base stations, such as an eNodeB in Long Term Evolution (LTE), a NodeB in Wideband Code Division Multiple Access

(WCDMA), or other types of base stations, as well as a Radio Network Controller (RNC), a Base Station Controller (BSC), or other types of control nodes. Each of these network devices that include radio access features to provide wireless radio network access to other electronic devices may be referred to as cells, towers, cellular towers, or the like. In some embodiments, an interface 512C in a UAV 104 may assist in estimating a geographical location of the UAV 104 based on communications within the E-UTRAN 118 A, the UTRAN 118B, and/or the GERAN 118C.

[0038] A UAV operator 106 may maintain a connection 134 with a corresponding UAV 104. The connection 134 may be established through one or more interfaces 512C and may form a wireless command and control (C2) connection that allows the UAV operator 106 to control the UAV 104 through direct commands and/or through issuance of a flight plan. In some embodiments, the connection 134 may additionally allow the UAV operator 106 to receive data from the UAV 104. For example, the data may include images, video streams, telemetry data, and system status (e.g., battery level/status). In some embodiments, the connection 134 may be a point-to-point (e.g., mesh) connection while in other embodiments the connection 134 between the UAV operator 106 and the UAV 104 may be part of a distributed network. In one embodiment, the connection 134 is separate from the access networks E-UTRAN 118A,

UTRAN 118B, and GERAN 118C while in other embodiments the connection 134 is part of one of the access networks E-UTRAN 118A, UTRAN 118B, and GERAN 118C.

[0039] In one embodiment, the UAV operator 106 may maintain a connection with other elements of the UTM system 100A. For example, the UAV operator 106 may maintain connection 136 with a UAV Service Supplier (USS) 120. In some embodiments, the connection 136 may be a point-to-point connection while in other embodiments the connection 136 may be part of a distributed network. In one embodiment, the connection 136 is separate from the access networks E-UTRAN 118A, UTRAN 118B, and GERAN 118C while in other embodiments the connection 136 is part of one of the access networks E-UTRAN 118A,

UTRAN 118B, and GERAN 118C.

[0040] In one embodiment, the UAV 104 may maintain a connection with the USS 120. For example, the UAV 104 may maintain the connection 138 with USS 120. In some embodiments, the connection 138 may be a point-to-point connection while in other embodiments the connection 138 may be part of a distributed network. In one embodiment, the connection 138 is separate from the access networks E-UTRAN 118A, UTRAN 118B, and GERAN 1118C while in other embodiments the connection 138 is part of one of the access networks E-UTRAN 118 A, UTRAN 118B, and GERAN 118C. In one embodiment, the connection 138 may allow the transmission of one or more pieces of data to the USS 120, including telemetry,

authentication/authorization (e.g., using a subscriber identity/identification module (SIM) based identity to check UAV 104 registrations and authorizations), reports and logs (e.g., to establish liability in case of accidents), and commands to ensure compliance and safety (e.g., land immediately). The connection 138 may alternatively provide access to a data center to provide storage for the UAV 104 (e.g., storage of video streams or images captured by the UAV 104). [0041] In one embodiment, the connection 136 allows the UAV operator 106 to transmit data to or receive data from the USS 120 regarding a current, past, or future flight. For instance, the connection 136 may allow the UAV operator 106 to convey to the USS 120 one or more of the following: airspace information, alarms and notifications, authentication/authorization (e.g., use of a subscriber identity module (SIM) based identity to check UAV 104 and pilot/UAV operator 106 registrations and authorizations), and reports and logs (e.g., to establish liability in case of accidents).

[0042] In some embodiments, the UAV operator 106 may transmit a proposed flight plan to the USS 120 via the connection 136. In one embodiment, the UTM system 100A may include a plurality of USSs 120. The set of USSs 120 may alternatively be referred to as a USS network. Each USS 120 offers support for safe airspace operations based on information received from a set of stakeholders and other information sources. The USSs 120 may share information about their supported operations to promote safety and to ensure that each USS 120 has a consistent view of all UAV 104 operations and thus enable the UAVs 104 to stay clear of each other.

[0043] As noted above, the USSs 120 may receive information from a variety of stakeholders and information sources such that the USSs 120 may determine whether a proposed flight plan is authorized to proceed. For example, the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) may provide directives and constraints to the USSs 120 via the Flight Information Management System (FIMS) 122. The FIMS 122 provides administration officials a way to issue constraints and directives to the UAV operators 106 and/or the UAV 104 via a USS 120. Such constraints and directives may be based on information received from the National Airspace System (NAS) Air Traffic Management (ATM) system 124 and/or other NAS data sources 126. In this example, the ATM system 124 could be used to mark certain restricted areas (e.g., airports and military bases) for the UAV 104 or restrict flights over forest fire areas or other spaces which are normally permitted for the UAV 104. In addition to the airspace state and other data provided by the ATM system 124 and other NAS data sources 126, the FIMS 122 may provide impact data, which may describe effects caused by the UAV 104 to a common airspace. Although described in relation to U.S. regulatory authorities, the systems and methods described herein may be similarly applied using any regulatory authority/agency overseeing any

jurisdiction/territory/airspace.

[0044] In addition to constraints and directives received from the FIMS 122, the USSs 120 may receive data from supplemental data service providers 128. These supplemental data service providers 128 may provide various pieces of data that are used by the USSs 120 in planning and authorizing a flight plan, including terrain, weather, surveillance, and performance information. The supplemental data service providers 128 may communicate amongst each other to insure consistency and accuracy of information. In some embodiments, the

supplemental data service providers 128 may provide data that is presented/transmitted to UAV operators 106 via the USS 120 for the planning of a flight plan/mission.

[0045] In some embodiments, as will be described in greater detail below, a MIX service 102 in the 3GPP system 100B may provide a standardized/uniform system/interface for external systems to exchange information and invoke services of the 3GPP system 100B. In particular, since the MIX service 102 runs within the trusted domain of the 3GPP system 100B, the MIX service 102 has direct access to services and data of the 3GPP system 100B through internal interfaces. This direct access to services and data of the 3GPP system 100B allows the MIX service 102 to exchange information with external systems while still allowing the network operator of the 3GPP system 100B to control the granularity and/or type of information provided to each external system.

[0046] In one embodiment, the MIX service 102 may be communicatively coupled to various support services, including a Home Subscriber Server (HSS) 110, a Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) 112, and a Domain Identifier Subscription Map (DISM) 114. For example, the MIX service 102 may request information from the HSS via the Lh or SLh interfaces. The HSS 110 may contain or have access to a master user database that supports network access. For example, the HSS 110 may contain or have access to subscription-related information

(subscriber profiles) for performing authentication and authorization of users (e.g.,

authentication of an account associated with an interface 512C of the UAV 104). In some embodiments, the HSS 110 can provide information about the subscriber's location and Internet Protocol (IP) information. In some embodiments, the HSS 110 may function similarly to a GSM home location register (HLR) and/or an Authentication Centre (AuC).

[0047] As noted above, the MIX service 102 may be communicatively coupled to the PCRF 112. The PCRF 112 is a service function that is responsible for all Quality-of-Service (QoS) and bearer configurations for all attached user equipment (UE) (e.g., the UAVs 104). In some embodiments, the PCRF 112 may use Policy and Charging Enforcement Functions (PCEFs) in different gateways to enforce that the allowed/reserved QoS and bearer configurations are applied. The PCRF 112 may reside on a Packet Data Network (PDN) Gateway node, through which all UE bearers are routed.

[0048] As also noted above, the MIX service 102 may be communicatively coupled to the DISM 114. The DISM 114 maps identifiers of devices that are external to the 3GPP system 100B to network subscription identifiers used within the 3GPP system 100B (e.g., International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI)). Figure 6 shows an example DISM 114 with a

corresponding entry 600 for each pair of UAV identifiers 602 and network subscription identifiers 604. As shown in Figure 6, the DISM 114 may also store additional parameters associated with the UAVs 104. For example, a UAV operator 106 or owner of the subscription associated with a UAV 104 can be specified in the DISM 114 via a UAV operator identifier 606. Since one UAV operator 106 may have multiple subscriptions corresponding to multiple devices (e.g., multiple UAVs 104), multiple entries 600 in the DISM 114 may include the same UAV operator identifier 606. The UAV operator identifier 606 may be used to provide services to the UAV operator 106, charge the UAV operator 106, and generally manage access to information per UAV operator 106 instead of per individual subscription (i.e., per subscription identifier 604).

[0049] As also shown in Figure 6, each entry 600 in the DISM 114 may include a USS identifier 608 corresponding to a USS 120 associated with the UAV 104 identified in the entry 600. As noted above, a USS 120 coordinates the use of some scarce or regulated resources (e.g., a low-altitude airspace) across multiple UAVs 104 corresponding to one or more UAV operators 106. To this end, the network operator may need to provide information not just to the UAV operators 106 and/or UAVs 104, but also to the USSs 120. To assist with this communication of information, for each UAV 104 in the DISM 114 (i.e., each entry 600 in the DISM 114), a USS 120 may be identified through the use of a USS identifier 608. In some embodiments, the UAV operator 106 may identify/select a USS 120 from a plurality of USSs 120 and indicate this selection to the 3GPP system 100B (i.e., indicate this selection to the DISM 114). For example, a UAV operator 106 may include a USS identifier 608 in an association request with the 3GPP system 100B or in a request to configure or establish a subscription with the 3GPP system 100B. The association between a UAV 104 and a USS 120 may be updated in the DISM 114 at any time through a request from the UAV operator 106 or another component of the UTM system 100A to the 3GPP system 100B. Although described in relation to a USS identifier 608, the DISM 114 may alternatively or additionally include a UTM identifier. In one embodiment, the UTM identifier indicates the USS 120 associated with managing/controlling movement of the UAV 104.

[0050] In one embodiment, the DISM 114 may include policy information associated with a UAV 104. For example, as shown in Figure 6, an entry 600 in the DISM 114 may include a policy identifier 610. The policy identifier 610 may indicate what information, or the level of detail of information, may be shared with different entities (e.g., different levels of details for an associated USS 120 and for law enforcement system 142). For example, a set of policies associated with a policy identifier 610 may indicate that information associated with a UAV 104 can only be shared with the associated USS 120 (e.g., information may not be shared with another USS 120). The set of policies associated with the policy identifier 610 may further indicate that only information that is mandated by regulation is to be shared with the associated USS 120. In one embodiment, the policy identifier 610 may be set by the UAV operator 106 owning/associated with the corresponding UAV 104. Accordingly, the policy identifier 610 provides control for the UAV operator 106 to manage private/sensitive data.

[0051] In one embodiment, upon registering the UAV 104 with the 3GPP system 100B, including providing one or more of a UAV identifier 602, a UAV operator identifier 606, a USS identifier 608, and a policy identifier 610, the 3GPP system 100B provides a subscription identifier 604 to the UAV operator 106. As will be described in greater detail below, these identifiers 602-610 (in particular, the UAV identifier 602) may be stored in an entry 600 of the DISM 114 and may be used to exchange information between the UTM system 100A and the 3GPP system 100B via the MIX service 102. This exchange of information may be used for supporting flights of UAVs 104.

[0052] In some embodiments, the USSs 120 may receive constraints from public safety sources 130. This information may limit UAV 104 missions over areas when such flights may negatively affect public safety. For example, UAV 104 missions may be limited over areas that are currently hosting events with large crowds of people. In some embodiments, the public safety sources 130 may provide data that is presented/transmitted to UAV operators 106 via the USS 120 for the planning of a flight plan/mission. The USSs 120 may also make UAV 104 flight/operation information available to the public 132.

[0053] As noted above, the USS 120 may determine if a proposed flight plan is authorized in view of directives, constraints, and information received from various stakeholders/sources. After concluding that the proposed flight plan is authorized or not authorized to proceed, the USS 120 may transmit a response to the UAV operator 106. This determination may be facilitated by communication of information from the 3GPP system 100B via the MIX service 102 based on entries 600 in the DISM 114. In response to receiving an authorized flight plan, the UAV operator 106 may begin controlling the UAV 104 to effectuate the authorized flight plan or the UAV operator 106 may transmit the authorized flight plan or some set of instructions describing the objectives of the authorized flight plan to the UAV 104. Based on inputs from the UAV operator 106, the processor 512A together with instructions stored in the memory 512B may control the motor controllers 504 and/or actuators 510 to achieve the objectives of the flight plan.

[0054] In one embodiment, the MIX service 102 may be coupled to one or more controllers 116. For example, the MIX service 102 may be coupled to 2G Serving General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Support Node (SGSN) 116A and/or a 2G Mobile services Switching Centre (MSC) 116B corresponding to a GSM EDGE Radio Access Network (GERAN) 118C. In this embodiment, the 2G-SGSN 116A may communicate with the GERAN 118C via the Gb interface and the 2G-MSC 116B may communicate with the GERAN 118C via the A interface. The 2G-SGSN 116A and the 2G-MSC 116B may assist in managing charging/billing, location request management, authorization of location services, general operation of location services, and determining network connectivity and/or policy information for UAVs 104 or another piece of UE in relation to the GERAN 118C.

[0055] In some embodiments, the MIX service 102 may be coupled to a 3G-SGSN 116C and/or an MSC server 116D corresponding to a Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN) 118B. In this embodiment, the 3G-SGSN 116C and the MSC server 116D may communicate with the UTRAN 118B via the lu interface. The 3G-SGSN 116C and the MSC server 116D may manage charging/billing, location request management, authorization of location services, general operation of location services, and determining network connectivity and/or policy information for UAVs 104 or another piece of UE in relation to UTRAN 118B.

[0056] In some embodiments, the MIX service 102 may be coupled to a Mobility Management Entity (MME) 116E corresponding to an Evolved Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) 118A. In this embodiment, the MME 116E may communicate with the E-UTRAN 118A via the Sl interface. The MME 116E may manage charging/billing, location request management, general operation of location services, and determining network connectivity and/or policy information for UAVs 104 or another piece of UE in relation to E-UTRAN 118A.

[0057] Each of the access networks GERAN 118C, UTRAN 118B, and E-UTRAN 118A may be composed of various network elements that act as attachment points for UEs, including the UAVs 104. For example, the access networks GERAN 118C, UTRAN 118B, and E-UTRAN 118A may each include one or more cells 140. In some embodiments, the cells 140 may be enhanced nodeBs (eNodeBs) and/or a radio base station (RBSs).

[0058] Turning now to Figure 7, an example method 700 according to one embodiment will be discussed for facilitating communications between the 3GPP system 100B and components of the UTM system 100A (e.g., USSs 120, UAVs 104, and/or UAV operators 106). The operations in the diagram of Figure 7 will be described with reference to the exemplary implementations of the other figures. However, it should be understood that the operations of the diagram can be performed by implementations other than those discussed with reference to the other figures, and the implementations discussed with reference to these other figures can perform operations different than those discussed with reference to the diagram. Although described and shown in Figure 7 in a particular order, the operations of the method 700 are not restricted to this order. For example, one or more of the operations of the method 700 may be performed in a different order or in partially or fully overlapping time periods. Accordingly, the description and depiction of the method 700 is for illustrative purposes and is not intended to restrict to a particular implementation.

[0059] The method 700 may commence at operation 702 with a UAV 104 associating with the 3GPP system 100B. In one embodiment, this association may include the UAV 104 transmitting an association request to a component of the 3GPP system 100B. For example, a UAV 104 may transmit an association request to the E-UTRAN 118 A, the UTRAN 118B, or the GERAN 118C, which includes one or more of a UAV identifier 602, a UAV operator identifier 606, a USS identifier 608, and a policy identifier 610. Each of the UAV identifier 602, the UAV operator identifier 606, the USS identifier 608, and the policy identifier 610 may be set by a UAV operator 106 or a component of the UTM system 100A. In another embodiment, the association at operation 702 may be the UAV operator 106 registering with the 3GPP system 100B or obtaining a subscription to network services provided by the 3GPP system 100B. For example, a UAV operator 106 may provide a UAV identifier 602, a UAV operator identifier 606, a USS identifier 608, and a policy identifier 610 to the 3GPP system 100B via a web interface at operation 702 to obtain a subscription to network services provided by the 3GPP system 100B.

[0060] At operation 704, the MIX service 102 of the 3GPP system 100B may add an entry 600 to the DISM 114 in response to the UAV 104 associating with the 3GPP system 100B at operation 702. The entry 600 may include a device identifier of the UAV 104 and a management system identifier, wherein the management system identifier indicates a management system that manages movement of devices in an area in which the UAV 104 is operating. In one embodiment, the device identifier is a UAV identifier 602, and the management system identifier is a USS identifier 608. For example, the entry 600 may include one or more of a UAV identifier 602, a subscription identifier 604, a UAV operator identifier 606, a USS identifier 608, and a policy identifier 610. For example, the UAV identifier 602, the UAV operator identifier 606, the USS identifier 608, and the policy identifier 610 may be received from the UAV operator 106 of the UAV 104 at operation 702 and used for adding the entry 600 at operation 704. In contrast, the subscription identifier 604 may be assigned by the 3GPP system 100B in response to the UAV 104 associating with the 3GPP system 100B at operation 702.

[0061] At operation 706, the MIX service 102 may facilitate the exchange of data/information between the 3GPP system 100B and one or more external systems (e.g., the UTM system 100A and/or the law enforcement system 142). In one embodiment, the exchange of information at operation 706 may be conducted between the UAV operator 106 and the 3GPP system 100B. For example, the UAV operator 106 may communicate with the MIX service 102 and request specific services/network resources for the duration of a flight of a UAV 104. This request may include a UAV identifier 602 of the UAV 104 and may request specific connectivity characteristics during the flight for the identified UAV 104 (e.g., low latency, bandwidth for streaming, a network slice, etc.). In addition to the UAV identifier 602, the UAV operator 106 may provide additional information about the flight (e.g., a description of the flight path of the UAV 104) that the 3GPP system 100B may use to configure or optimize resources for the provisioning of the requested network resources (e.g., reserve resources along the flight path of the UAV 104). Following receipt of the request for resources, the MIX service 102 may assess the availability of resources for the flight and transmit a response to the UAV operator 106 indicating either acceptance of the request (i.e., the 3GPP system 100B will fulfill/meet the requirements of the request) or denial of the request (i.e., the 3GPP system 100B will not be able to fulfill/meet the requirements of the request). This response to the request by the MIX service 102 may be based on inputs from one or more components of the 3GPP system 100B, including one or more of the controllers 116A-116E, the HSS 110, the PCRF 112, and the DISM 114. For example, the MIX service 102 may determine availability of resources based on a traffic indication as indicated by one or more of the controllers 116A-116E and/or subscription information indicated by the DISM 114 and the HSS 110.

[0062] In some embodiments, granular knowledge of traffic in the area covered by the 3GPP system 100B may be factored when analyzing requests for network resources from UAV operators 106. For example, a UAV operator 106 may request network resources in the 3GPP system 100B for use with high bandwidth video streaming along a particular flight path. With knowledge of the locations of various UAVs 104, the MIX service 102 may determine if such requests can be fulfilled. In particular, upon receipt of a request for resources in the 3GPP system 100B and a flight path for a UAV 104, the MIX service 102 may determine which cells 140 should be used by the UAV 104 at different locations along the flight path to ensure fulfillment of the network resources. In one embodiments, determination of the ability to fulfill network resource requests may be based on examining the locations of UAVs 104 listed in the DISM 114 to determine UAV 104 traffic adjacent particular cells 140. Based on actual or expected network congestion around particular cells 140, the MIX service 102 may select appropriate/available cells 140 to meet the network resource request. This selection of cells 140 may be downloaded to the UAV 104 for use along the flight path. This knowledge of traffic patterns in the area covered by the 3GPP system 100B may be relative to time such that cell 140 assignment/reservation along the flight path is associated with times to account for the variability of traffic in each area. [0063] In one embodiment, the exchange of information at operation 706 may be conducted between the USS 120 associated with the UAV 104 and the 3GPP system 100B. For example, the MIX service 102 may transmit a query to the USS 120 to confirm whether a requested flight mission for the UAV 104 has been approved by the USS 120. In one embodiment, the query requesting confirmation that a flight mission was approved may be based on a request from a UAV operator 106 for services from the 3GPP system 100B. In particular, the MIX service 102 may retrieve a USS identifier 608 from the DISM 114 based on the UAV identifier 602 received from the UAV operator 106. Thereafter, the MIX service 102 may transmit a corresponding query to the corresponding USS 120 associated with the retrieved USS identifier 608 to confirm approval for the flight mission.

[0064] The query to the USS 120 may include the UAV identifier 602 and information associated with the fight mission. The information associated with the fight mission may include a flight path, a mission identifier, and/or a hash of an approval key (i.e., a unique key/identifier transmitted by the USS 120 to the UAV 104 and/or the UAV operator 106 to confirm approval of a flight mission). In particular, the hash of the approval key is provided from the USS 120 to the UAV operator 106 upon approval of a mission. The hash of the approval key is thereafter provided to the MIX service 102 by the UAV operator 106 as a reference to the approved flight. The MIX service 102 may verify the validity of the hash of the approval key by transmitting the hash of the approval key to the USS 120. The USS 120 may confirm whether the hash of the approval key corresponds to an approved flight mission for the UAV 104. Using a hash of the approval key ensures privacy regarding the flight is maintained (i.e., details of the flight are not disclosed) while providing a secure, unaltered, and indisputable reference to the 3GPP system 100B that can be crosschecked and recognized by the USS 120.

[0065] In some embodiments, a USS 120 may transmit requests to the 3GPP system 100B via the MIX service 102. For example, the USS 120 may request information about UAVs 104 assigned to its supervision or operating in an area managed by the USS 120. This request can be on-demand or periodic. For example, the USS 120 may query the 3GPP system 100B via the MIX service 102 for the connectivity status or locations of UAVs 104 assigned to its supervision or operating in an area managed by the USS 120. In response, the MIX service 102 provides a list of UAV identifiers 602 that are associated to the requesting USS 120 along with the connectivity statuses of these UAVs 104. For instance, the MIX service 102 may query the DISM 114 using the UAV identifiers 602 or the USS identifier 608 of the requesting USS 120. The subscription identifiers 604 returned from this query may be analyzed using one or more components of the 3GPP system 100B (e.g., the controllers 116A-116E, the HSS 110, the PCRF 112, and/or location services) to determine one or more properties of the UAVs 104 (e.g., connectivity statuses and/or locations of UAVs 104). The USS 120 may use the connectivity statuses and/or position information provided by the MIX service 102 to verify the information reported by the UAVs 104 and/or UAV operators 106. To ensure privacy, the MIX service may provide connectivity statuses and/or position information without referencing UAV identifiers 602. Instead, a random identifier or a reference to an unknown identifier may be associated with the provided connectivity statuses and/or position information. In this fashion, the USS 120 may be made aware of the position of all entities in their area, including those not under their control/management. Although described as the MIX service 102 providing connectivity statuses and/or position information in response to a request, in some embodiments, connectivity statuses and/or position information may be provided on a periodic basis (e.g., every five minutes).

[0066] In some embodiments, the MIX service 102 may provide generic information about connectivity services/resources to components of the UTM system 100A at operation 706. For example, network coverage information may be provided to one or more of UAV operators 106 and USSs 120. In particular, UAV operators 106 or USSs 120 may request connectivity information for a particular flight by specifying a flight path (e.g., the start and end points of the planned flight). In response, the MIX service 102 may provide a network coverage map along the flight path to the UAV operators 106 and/or the USSs 120. For USSs 120, the network connectivity map of the whole airspace managed by a particular USS 120 may be provided to the USS 120 with updates provided periodically. In some embodiments, an updated coverage map may be pushed to USSs 120 and/or UAV operators 106 in response to network failures or temporal congestion in the network system. The USSs 120 and/or UAV operators 106 may incorporate coverage information in the decision making about planning and approval of flights.

[0067] In another embodiment, the exchange of information at operation 706 may be conducted between law enforcement system 142 and the 3GPP system 100B. In particular, law enforcement system 142 may transmit a query to the 3GPP system 100B via the MIX service 102. For example, the law enforcement system 142 may transmit a request for a location of a UAV 104 corresponding to a UAV identifier 602. In this example, the UAV identifier in the request may be used to locate a subscription identifier 604 via the DISM 114. The subscription identifier 604 may thereafter be used to determine the location of the UAV 104 using one or more components of the 3GPP system 100B. In one embodiment, the MIX service 102 may interface with one or more controllers 116 and/or a mobile positioning system of the 3GPP system 100A to determine and return the most accurate location information for the UAV 104. This location information for the UAV 104 may assist the law enforcement system 142 to take action against the UAV operator 106 when the UAV 104 is located/flying in an unpermitted area (e.g., the UAV 104 is flying in restricted airspace). In some embodiments, the DISM 114 may include subscription identifiers 604 for non-airbome devices (e.g., mobile devices that are not UAVs 104). For example, a mobile phone may be registered as a device to receive UAV 104 flight authorizations while a non-cellular radio link is used to fly the UAV 104. In this case, the DISM 114 may include an entry 600 associated with the mobile phone. In this embodiment, the UAV identifier 602 for the entry 600 is an identifier associated with the UAV 104 (e.g., an identifier for the UAV 104 used by a corresponding USS 120). When law enforcement determines that the UAV 104 is performing illegal actions (e.g., harassing individuals), the law enforcement system 142 may transmit a location query to the 3GPP system 100B via the MIX service 102 with the UAV identifier 602 of the UAV 104. In response, the MIX service 102 may return the location of the mobile phone associated with the UAV operator 106 of the UAV 104, such that law enforcement may take appropriate legal action against the UAV operator 106. In some embodiments, more than one UAV identifier 602 may be included in an entry 600 and/or associated with a single subscription identifier 604. For example, a first UAV identifier 602 may be for a UAV 104 and a second UAV identifier 602 may be for a mobile phone of the UAV operator 106. In this embodiment, an external system (e.g., the UTM system 100A or the law enforcement system 142) may include either of the UAV identifiers 602 in a location query to the MIX service 102.

[0068] In some embodiments, the MIX service 102 may track all ongoing flights of UAVs 104 based on entries 600 in the DISM 114 at operation 708. This knowledge of ongoing flights may be used to reconfigure network components to optimize communication resource usage at operation 710. For example, if several UAV 104 flights are taking place concurrently in a particular area, radio resources in the 3GPP system 100B around this area may be temporarily assigned/prioritized for UAV 104 usage to minimize interference in the network. In this embodiment, prioritization may be based on subscription identifiers 604 in the DISM 114.

Since 3GPP system 100B resources are only set aside for UAV 104 use around a limited area, the overall capacity of the 3GPP system 100B is not impacted while providing support for the impacted area. In one embodiment, the MIX service 102 may periodically determine the location of UAVs 104 to determine configurations that would improve network resource usage. Again, this configuration may be based on subscription identifiers 604 in the DISM 114.

[0069] As described above, the MIX service 102 and the DISM 114, in conjunction with various other components of the 3GPP system 100B, supports efficient communications between a the 3GPP system 100B and one or more external systems (e.g., the UTM system 100A and/or the law enforcement system 142). Accordingly, the MIX service 102 and the DISM 114 provide a unified structure for managing fulfillment of requests and general communication with one or more external systems. Further, since the DISM 114 is populated at the association or registration of the UAV 104 with the 3GPP system 100B, overhead and complexity associated with developing separate processes, agreements, and interfaces for each combination of external system and network system may be avoided.

[0070] As noted above, although described above in relation to UAVs 104 and associated systems (e.g., a UTM system 100A), the systems and methods described herein may be similarly applied to other pieces of mobile equipment. In particular, the systems and methods described herein may be utilized by any mobile device that relies on some amount of autonomous navigation and/or is supported by a traffic management system that manages the airspace/area traversed by the mobile device. Accordingly, the use of UAVs 104 herein is for purposes of explanation and is not intended to limit the description.

[0071] Each element of the air traffic system 100 may be composed of or otherwise implemented by a set of computing/networking devices. For example, Figure 8, illustrates a computing/networking device 800 according to one embodiment. As shown the

computing/networking device 800 may include a processor 802 communicatively coupled to a memory 804 and an interface 806. The processor 802 may be a microprocessor, controller, microcontroller, central processing unit, digital signal processor, application specific integrated circuit, field programmable gate array, any other type of electronic circuitry, or any combination of one or more of the preceding. The processor 802 may comprise one or more processor cores. In particular embodiments, some or all of the functionality described herein as being provided by a component of the air traffic system 100 may be implemented by one or more processors 802 of one or more computing/networking devices 800 executing software instructions, either alone or in conjunction with other computing/networking devices 800 components, such as the memory 804.

[0072] The memory 804 may store code (which is composed of software instructions and which is sometimes referred to as computer program code or a computer program) and/or data using non-transitory machine -readable (e.g., computer-readable) media, such as a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium (e.g., magnetic disks, optical disks, solid state drives, read only memory (ROM), flash memory devices, phase change memory) and machine-readable transmission media (e.g., electrical, optical, radio, acoustical or other form of propagated signals - such as carrier waves, infrared signals). For instance, the memory 804 may comprise non volatile memory (e.g., a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium 810) containing code to be executed by the processor 802. Where the memory 804 is non-volatile, the code and/or data stored therein can persist even when the computing/networking device 800 is turned off (when power is removed). In some instances, while the computing/networking device 800 is turned on, that part of the code that is to be executed by the processor(s) 802 may be copied from non-volatile memory into volatile memory (e.g., dynamic random-access memory

(DRAM), static random-access memory (SRAM)) of the computing/networking device 800.

[0073] The interface 806 may be used in the wired and/or wireless communication of signaling and/or data to or from computing/networking device 800. For example, interface 806 may perform any formatting, coding, or translating to allow computing/networking device 800 to send and receive data whether over a wired and/or a wireless connection. In some embodiments, the interface 806 may comprise radio circuitry capable of receiving data from other devices in the network over a wireless connection and/or sending data out to other devices via a wireless connection. This radio circuitry may include transmitter(s), receiver(s), and/or transceiver(s) suitable for radiofrequency communication. The radio circuitry may convert digital data into a radio signal having the appropriate parameters (e.g., frequency, timing, channel, bandwidth, etc.). The radio signal may then be transmitted via the antennas 808 to the appropriate recipient(s). In some embodiments, interface 806 may comprise network interface controller(s) (NICs), also known as a network interface card, network adapter, local area network (LAN) adapter or physical network interface. The NIC(s) may facilitate in connecting the

computing/networking device 800 to other devices allowing them to communicate via wire through plugging in a cable to a physical port connected to a NIC. In particular embodiments, the processor 802 may represent part of the interface 806, and some or all of the functionality described as being provided by the interface 806 may be provided in part or in whole by the processor 802.

[0074] While the flow diagrams in the figures show a particular order of operations performed by certain embodiments of the invention, it should be understood that such order is exemplary (e.g., alternative embodiments may perform the operations in a different order, combine certain operations, overlap certain operations, etc.).

[0075] Additionally, while the invention has been described in terms of several embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention is not limited to the embodiments described, can be practiced with modification and alteration within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. The description is thus to be regarded as illustrative instead of limiting.

Claims

CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A method (700) for exchanging data between a network system (100B) and an external system (100A, 142), the method comprising:
associating (702) a device (104) with the network system;
adding (704), by a mobile information exchange (MIX) service (102) of the network system in response to the device associating with the network system, an entry (600) in a domain identifier subscription map (DISM) (114) of the network system, wherein the entry includes a device identifier (602) of the device and a management system identifier (608), wherein the management system identifier indicates a management system (100A, 120) that manages movement of devices in an area in which the device is operating; and
exchanging (706) data between the network system and an external system based on the entry in the DISM, wherein the data is associated with the device.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the entry further includes one or more of (1) an operator identifier (606) that identifies an operator (106) of the device, (2) a subscription identifier (604) that identifies a subscription of the device in the network system, and (3) a policy identifier (610) that identifies a set of policies for exchanging data between the network system and the external system.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein the subscription identifier is assigned by the network system and the device identifier, the management system identifier, the operator identifier, and the policy identifier are provided by the operator of the device.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein the exchanging data between the network system and the external system comprises:
receiving, from the operator of the device or the management system, a request for conducting a mission in the area, wherein the request includes (1) network resource requirements for conducting the mission and (2) the device identifier; determining, by the network system, availability of the network resources for the mission based on the subscription identifier of the entry in the DISM; and transmitting, by the network system to the operator of the device or the management system, an indication as to whether the network resources are available for the mission.
5. The method of claim 3, wherein the exchanging data between the network system and the external system comprises:
transmitting, by the MIX service, a query to the management system to confirm whether a requested mission was approved by the management system, wherein the query includes the device identifier and information associated with the mission.
6. The method of claim 5, wherein the information associated with the mission includes one or more of a path, a mission identifier, and an approval key.
7. The method of claim 6, wherein the approval key is a hash of a unique identifier issued by the management system to the device or the operator of the device.
8. The method of claim 3, wherein the exchanging data between the network system and the external system comprises:
receiving, by the MIX service from the management system, a request for information regarding the device, wherein the request includes the device identifier;
querying, by the MIX service, the DISM using the device identifier to determine a
subscription identifier of the device; and
determining, by the MIX service using one or more components of the network system and the subscription identifier, one or more properties of the device.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the one or more properties include a location of the device and a connection status of the device to the network system.
10. The method of claim 8, wherein the one or more properties include a location of the operator of the device, wherein the subscription identifier is associated with a mobile phone of the operator.
11. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
tracking (708), by the MIX service, locations of the device and one or more other devices in the area based on entries in the DISM; and configuring (710), by the MIX service, network components to optimize communication resource usage in the network system.
12. The method of claim 1, wherein the device is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the area is an airspace.
13. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium (810) storing instructions which, when executed by a set of one or more processors (802) of a computing device (800), cause the computing device to perform the operations in any one of claims 1-12.
14. A network device (800) for managing an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) (104), comprising:
a processor (802);
a memory (804) coupled to the processor, wherein the memory includes one or more instructions that when executed by the processor cause the network device to perform the operations in any one of claims 1-12.
PCT/IB2018/052239 2018-03-30 2018-03-30 Mobile information exchange between a network system and one or more external systems WO2019186246A1 (en)

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