DJI’s announced that they have created a new technology called AeroScope that is capable of tracking and identifying airborne drones. The system reportedly takes the data sent by the aircraft and allows authorities to gather details about the location of the drone.
"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," Brendan Schulman, DJI's VP for Policy and Legal Affairs, said in a statement.
It’s reported that AeroScope isn’t very new and has been described as a mature system, which DJI has installed into two international airports since April this year.
DJI says that AeroScope can sense a drone the moment it powers on, being able to tap into the communications link between a drone and its remote.
“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,” explains DJI. “This approach also avoids substantial costs and complexities. AeroScope receiver can immediately sense a drone as it powers on, then plot its location on a map while displaying a registration number.”
DJI says that AeroScope has the ability to sense “all current models of DJI drones” and will only be available to authorized personnel, mentioning “police, security agencies, aviation authorities, and other authorized parties …”
There is some concern from drone operators about privacy, but DJI says that the only information that will be transmitted to AeroScope from the drone is its registration and serial number along with its location, altitude, speed, and direction, essentially making the number a license plate for your drone.
DJI explained that “authorized receivers of the transmission who believe the drone’s operator is violating a regulation or engaged in unlawful acts can record and investigate, similar to how a license plate might be recorded by someone who is cut off on a road.”
DJI says that drone identification settings will be included initial drone software, allowing their customers to choose the content of their own drone’s identification broadcast to match local expectations both before and after identification regulations are implemented in different jurisdictions. They also said that to protect privacy, the AeroScope system will not automatically transmit any personal identifiable information until regulations or policies in the pilot‘s jurisdiction require it.