Amidst growing concern surrounding drone interrupting aircraft flights, DJI says they’ll be adding airplane and helicopter detectors to new drones in 2020.
DJI made the announcement in a press release today, stating this pertains to all new drones produced next year. According to the release, new DJI drone models released after January 1, 2020, will include the new AirSense technology.
How will DJI AirSense work?
AirSense allows the drones to receive ADS-B signals when nearing an airplane or helicopter. When the drone flies too close, it will warn the drone pilot. When an ADS-B signal is located, users’ drone remote will display the aircraft’s position in relation to where the drone. It will even give the pilot distance measurements of how far the aircraft is from the drone.
AirSense can detect ADS-B signals from miles away, so drone operators should have enough notice to avoid a collision. It is important to note, though, that only drone operators will be notified of the aircraft’s placement. The airplane or helicopter pilot will not receive anything.
Which DJI drones will receive the detectors?
While the FAA isn’t requiring drones to have ADS-B detection, DJI has already put them into their more professional drones. Those would include the Matrice 200 and Mavic 2 Enterprise. However, this 2020 roadmap will apply to any DJI drone that weighs above 250 grams. This means many of DJI’s consumer drones will now also have this technology.
Many of DJI’s drones already have a few built-in safety features, like obstacle avoidance, geofencing and altitude limits. However, DJI AirSense is something that is desperately needed as drone become mainstream. However, it doesn’t seem this kind of technology will help prevent the rise in major airports being shut down due to drones since pilots receive no notification when drones are intentionally disrupting flight paths.
Image courtesy Signe Brewster and DJI