DJI Unveils New Drone Identification And Tracking Technology

An interesting move for DJI. The Chinese manufacturer just announced a new technology called AeroScope, to identify and track airborne drones. The antenna based listening system takes advantages of all the telemetry data sent by the aircraft. DJI’s aircraft constantly broadcast a lot of data via the radio telemetry link: GPS position, speed, altitude, direction, and battery status which can be captured by the AeroScope system. Aeroscope will only be available to authorized personnel. DJI mentioned that “police, security agencies, aviation authorities, and other authorized parties can use an AeroScope receiver.” This is a mature system that has been installed at two international airports since April. If equipped with a signal amplifier and a high gain diversity antenna, this system can easily reach 20 miles of range.

We understand the need for tracking and accountability. As a commercial company, DJI must sell drones but strict regulation would go against its business model. Tight regulations have a negative impact on drone sales. In this context of legal uncertainty, DJI wisely decided to stay ahead by being proactive in order to calm legislators and avoid seeing its product making negative headlines. DJI knows that it cannot prevent stricter regulations, but by working closely with the authorities the company can orientate some of the legal outcomes in its favor.

“DJI has announced that it has unveiled AeroScope, the company’s 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.”

Full Article: Unmanned Systems Technology