DJI has announced AeroScope, a new technology it has developed that will identify and track airborne drones.
Stating that AeroScope ‘addresses a need for accountability’, AeroScope works alongside existing technology to identify drones – and by extension their operators – to prevent situations where civilian drone pilots can fly their UAVs too close to military or commercial aircraft.
DJI says that AeroScope will in fact be able to identify two-thirds of all drones in the world – largely because these are DJI’s drones and it commands the marketplace.
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.
Because AeroScope transmits on a DJI drone’s existing communications link, it does not require new on-board equipment or modifications, nor does it require extra steps or costs to be incurred by drone operators.
DJI says other drone manufacturers can easily configure their existing and future drones to transmit identification information in the same way.
DJI says that police, security agencies, aviation authorities and other authorised parties can use an AeroScope receiver to monitor, analyse and act on information it receives about active drone flights.
Users, such as airports, will have an AeroScope receiver that will immediately register a drone as it powers on. The receiver will the identify its location on a map while displaying a registration number, which is effectively that drone’s license plate.
DJI adds that because AeroScope relies on drones directly broadcasting their information to local receivers, rather than transmitting data to an internet-based service, most drone flights will not be automatically recorded in government databases, protecting users’ privacy.
What’s more, DJI says that the AeroScope system will not automatically transmit any personally identifiable information until regulations or policies in the pilot’s jurisdiction require it.