Organization: NASA Langley Research Center
Year: 2017

Safeguard is an advanced geofencing system developed for small to midsize unmanned aircrafts or drones to independently and reliably prevent them from flying into no-fly zones and beyond their authorized operational range. Geofences define volumes of airspace that a drone is either not allowed to enter (stay-out geofences) or must stay within (stay-in geofences). Safeguard was designed for both multicopters and fixed wing drones to mitigate a growing problem with drones entering unauthorized areas, posing undue risk to people, property or other aircraft. Safeguard operates independent of the commercial-off-the-shelf air vehicle to continuously monitor a drone’s proximity to virtual perimeters established around no-fly-zones. In addition to monitoring, Safeguard can notify the auto-pilot or a remote pilot if a breach is predicted so that they may avert a breach, or it can take action to guarantee that the drone will not breach a perimeter. The system was designed to meet a high level of reliability and dependability not possible with conventional geofences that are embedded in commercial-off-the-shelf autopilots.