Drone Detection and Tracking with Aeroscope
At the end of 2017, DJI announced AeroScope, a tool to detect, identify and track drones flying overhead whilst in flight. The tool is designed for use in locations where safety, privacy and security must be adhered to such as airports or large events.
AeroScope shows DJI’s commitment to staying at the forefront of the drone industry, providing both the drones themselves and tools to increase their safety and pilot accountability. This technology is particularly important due to the rapid expansion of the drone industry on a consumer and enterprise level, and the regular negative new stories of ‘near misses’.
Keep reading for more information on the DJI Aeroscope or click the button below to enquire.
About DJI AeroScope
A DJI AeroScope unit is used to detect drones flying in a specific area. Once a drone is located, AeroScope can be used to track the real-time and historical telemetry data of the aircraft whilst powered on and flying in the range of the AeroScope unit.
AeroScope tracks drones through the signal between the aircraft and its remote controller.
If a drone is located in an area, several pieces of information will be given. Information includes the drone location, altitude, speed, direction, takeoff location, operator location, model, serial number and the email address used for drone registration. The email address can be used to contact the pilot whenever follow-up is required. The use of the existing signal between the drone and remote controller means existing kit requires no changes to be tracked.
AeroScope is easily transportable in its hard case allowing users to deploy the kit wherever it’s required. This includes on the move in a car or truck. Fixed units can also be purchased if required for set locations such as an airport or prison.
AeroScope has a variable range dependent on the requirements of the location it’s being used in. The range is based on the antennas attached to the unit. To increase the range, additional antennas can be added. A maximum range of 25 miles is currently available with AeroScope.
Currently, DJI AeroScope is only compatible with the current DJI drones, meaning drones manufactured by other companies cannot currently be tracked using the software. DJI drones are estimated to make up two-thirds of civilian drones globally. There’s no mention of integration with other drone manufacturers, however, DJI have announced tracking drones manufactured by other companies is possible with an easy fix. It is likely this relates to the signal used to communicate between the remote controller and drone along with access for DJI regarding basic pilot information.
AeroScope can potentially be a too to disprove suspected ‘near miss’ collisions with manned aviation vehicles around airports etc. This will help remove the negative press surround drone pilots.
Although we’re currently unaware of the UK pricing of AeroScope, it is said to be an affordable solution to drone detection. DJI seems to be focused on increasing safety and accountability whilst maintaining their position as clear leaders of global drone manufacturers, rather than making a profit from AeroScope.
Who is DJI AeroScope For?
DJI AeroScope was designed to be used at the disposal of police forces, approved security firms and aviation authorities and approved third parties. These third parties will be accepted by DJI based on requirement before AeroScope is available. Data is protected and can only be accessed by those authorised to use AeroScope.
Key areas where AeroScope will likely be deployed will include airports, prisons, disaster sites and large events such as open-air concerts.
As mentioned above, AeroScope can be transported dependent on the user’s needs, allowing institutions like the police to use AeroScope whenever it’s required.
As part of the latest European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) proposal to update drone regulations across Europe, a key area discussed was accountability through identification of drones. This is proposed in the form of electronic and physical identification of the drone.
DJI AeroScope will likely meet the needs of the electronic identification for all DJI drones and with possible integration with other companies, it’s likely to be a popular tool that meets EASA’s proposed requirements. This was likely an incentive for DJI to produce the technology in AeroScope, staying ahead of the industry and its regulation.
AeroScope was announced in Brussels, the unofficial capital of the EU and a location of one of EASA’s offices. This can be seen as a clear statement that DJI are supporting and working with EASA with their regulation update.
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Why do we Need DJI AeroScope
It’s fair to say; the drone industry is unique. It’s unlike any other market and has expanded so quickly regulations haven’t been able to keep up. Due to this, and along with fear mongering from the media and a general lack of public knowledge, there has been a lot of pressure on drone manufacturers and regulators.
DJI AeroScope and similar technology has been designed to combat these factors and help to increase public perception of drones. This is definitely a key area that needs to be addressed in order to allow the drone industry to keep expanding at its current rate and avoid ineffective rules coming into place that could halt the industry.
Like most the technology, laws and regulations surrounding drones, DJI AeroScope is aimed at preventing negligent and irresponsible drone use. If you are a responsible pilot, you won’t have anything to worry about. This technology is simply made to track pilots flying in areas they shouldn’t have been flying in due to privacy and safety concerns.
Security of information is likely to be a concern for drone pilots when it comes to DJI AeroScope. Although some data can be accessed, only information on the serial number and registration email address can be seen. No names or addresses will be given.
Additionally, only agencies approved by DJI will have access to purchase an AeroScope system. Use will be limited to organisations who need to know the information to increase flight safety such as the police.
DJI are committed to ensuring data is safe and secure for all of their customers.
The release of DJI AeroScope continues DJI’s efforts to staying ahead of the drone industry and maintaining their position as the global leader in commercial drones. Using already existing components in their drones helps keep the costs of the customers and shows their primary motive is safety and collaboration with regulators.
As AeroScope is also compatible with other drone manufacturers products, it’s likely to be a popular piece of equipment moving forward.
As we mentioned above, as long as you’re a responsible pilot who doesn’t fly in prohibited and dangerous locations, there’s very little to worry about as AeroScope is unlikely to have any effect on you.
Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more announcements, insights into drones and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.
David is Heliguy’s Blogger and Head of Digital Content Production. David keeps our readers up to date with drone news within the ever-changing industry.