DJI unveils technology to identify and track airborne drones
DJI has unveiled AeroScope, its new solution to identify and monitor airborne drones with existing technology that can address safety, security and privacy concerns.
AeroScope uses the existing communications link between a drone and its remote controller to broadcast identification information such as a registration or serial number, as well as basic telemetry, including location, altitude, speed and direction. Police, security agencies, aviation authorities and other authorized parties can use an AeroScope receiver to monitor, analyze and act on that information. AeroScope has been installed at two international airports since April, and is continuing to test and evaluate its performance in other operational environments.
“As drones have become an everyday tool for professional and personal use, authorities want to be sure they can identify who is flying near sensitive locations or in ways that raise serious concerns,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI’s vice-president for Policy and Legal Affairs. “DJI AeroScope addresses that need for accountability with technology that is simple, reliable and affordable — and is available for deployment now.”
AeroScope works with all current models of DJI drones, which analysts estimate comprise over two-thirds of the global civilian drone market. Since AeroScope transmits on a DJI drone’s existing communications link, it does not require new on-board equipment or modifications, or require extra steps or costs to be incurred by drone operators. Other drone manufacturers can configure their existing and future drones to transmit identification information in the same way, according to DJI.
The company notes that because AeroScope relies on drones directly broadcasting their information to local receivers, not on transmitting data to an internet-based service, it “ensures most drone flights will not be automatically recorded in government databases, protecting the privacy interests of people and businesses that use drones.” This approach also avoids substantial costs and complexities that would be involved in creating such databases, DJI says, and connecting drones to network systems.