Green UAS: New program to vet commercial drones for security

green uas drone auvsi

The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has unveiled Green UAS, a new cybersecurity and supply chain risk assessment program for commercial drones. The program’s framework closely mirrors the Pentagon tech hub Defense Innovation Unit’s Blue UAS model. But it is aimed at those government and nongovernment users who do not immediately require Department of Defense (DoD) authority to operate commercial drones.

AUVSI is launching this initiative in collaboration with the Defense Innovation Unit. As such, Green UAS is being viewed as the new industry standard that validates commercial drones as cyber secure and helps to provide a wider variety of approved small UAS than the current Blue 2.0 list.

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Green UAS-cleared drones will be listed on the DIU Blue UAS Cleared Hub alongside Blue UAS 2.0 drones. This validation could be an important factor for many users, including federal government agencies, local law enforcement, first responders, state departments of transportation, as well as enterprises such as energy and utilities, telecoms, manufacturing, food and agriculture, logistics, and mapping/surveying companies. 

Further, Green UAS-cleared drones that have a DoD customer/sponsor will have the opportunity to transition to the Blue UAS-cleared list. Requesting certification through this pipeline will save drone manufacturers time, money, and other resources as they navigate the process.

As David Michelson, DIU program manager for Blue UAS, puts it:

Strengthening the​ domestic drone industry ​is critical in providing options for government agencies to get the trusted UAS they need to meet their mission​ — and industry organizations are well-suited to ​help the Government ​meet the need for a rapid, scalable solution. We look forward to reviewing AUVSI’s certifications when drone companies that are Green UAS certified ​have a DoD sponsor that wants them​ to ​​​​convert ​to ​Blue UAS certification.

It’s worth pointing out that AUVSI, which will administer the Green UAS certification process, is the world’s largest nonprofit for drones and autonomous systems. Green UAS is the first product of the organization’s broader Trusted Cyber Program, which AUVSI launched in August 2022 with support from cybersecurity firm Fortress Information Security. AUVSI has also been working closely with the Defense Innovation Unit in the area of commercial cyber methodologies since September 2022.

Here’s an infographic that details the key differences between the Green UAS and Blue UAS models:

AUVSI explains that it will work with a network of cybersecurity firms to rapidly vet drones that are seeking Green UAS certification using frameworks that address threats and cyber risks in the areas of corporate cyber hygiene, product and device security, supply chain risk management, and for drones that are not seeking to go from Green to Blue, remote operations and connectivity.

Michael Robbins, chief advocacy officer at AUVSI, says:

AUVSI’s Green UAS is a solution to existing cybersecurity and supply chain verification challenges and will serve the UAS community, end-users, and federal partners. This falls squarely in line with our mission to help drive a safe and secure UAS market demand and provide a more competitive marketplace for all.

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