The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and industry have partnered to develop a capability to manage national airspace drone traffic, called the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) system.
The UTM will roll-out in phases and is a cloud-based software architecture that seeks to manage the organized flight of drones registered with the FAA. It is similar to air traffic management, but uses an automated cloud-based system. Any person or entity flying in the UTM system will need an interface to a UAS Service Supplier (USS) to submit flight intent to other users and receive authorizations for specific access. This will allow drone users to communicate with the UTM for pre-flight schedules and announce airspace use.
Because heightened drone traffic also produces challenges for law enforcement as they try to identify and interdict illicit activity, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working closely with NASA and the FAA to develop its own independent USS to monitor traffic and enable greater transparency.