Understanding Communication Protocols for Drone Surveys

When conducting a drone survey mission, it is essential to understand the various communication protocols used for unmanned aerial vehicles. Currently, the most common protocols used for drone control are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and radio frequency (RF). Each of these protocols has its own unique security measures and vulnerabilities.


is often the most secure of the three, offering encryption and authentication options that can protect against unauthorized access.

Bluetooth is less secure than Wi-Fi, but it still offers a certain level of security.


is the least secure of the three, as it doesn't offer any encryption or authentication options. In addition to the safety benefits of drone communication protocols, they also allow drones to coordinate their activities and collaborate with each other. When selecting a communication protocol for a drone survey mission, it is important to consider the type of drone that will be used, the environment in which the drone will operate, and the communication tools available.

This document will explore the benefits and challenges of drone communication protocols and how they can be used to ensure safe and reliable drone operations. In cases where a dedicated monitoring drone is required to collect information from different general drones and transmit this information to the ground station, an independent security protocol is required. The SP-D2MD protocol (Security Protocol for Drones to Monitoring Drones) is used between a general drone D and an MD monitoring drone to perform mutual authentication and key exchange, thus protecting their subsequent communications. The SP-D2GCS protocol is used when drones and a GCS communicate securely to exchange telemetry and status information (from the drone to the GCS) and commands and controls (from the GCS to the drones).

By understanding the various communication protocols available for drones, surveyors can ensure that their missions are conducted safely and securely. By selecting the right protocol for their mission, surveyors can ensure that their data is protected from unauthorized access.