Skip to main content

The UK and NASA are planning a drone-tracking system

The UK and NASA are planning a drone-tracking system

Share this story

The UK government is in talks with NASA about building a tracking system that could detect drones flying below 500 feet, the Under Secretary of State for Transport confirmed yesterday.

As spotted by Ars Technica UK, Lord Ahmad Tariq said the government is "in early discussions with NASA about the drone traffic management system." What, exactly, such a system would look like is still unclear, though: Tariq said eventually trials will be needed "to test the robustness of the technology."

Such a system — which would track both civilian and commercial drones — would be an ambitious project, but the idea may be catching on: NASA has reportedly partnered with Verizon on a similar system. Meanwhile, legislators argue over how best to tackle privacy concerns, with the the governor of California recently vetoing a bill that would have barred drones from flying within 350 feet above property without permission.