DJI recently unveiled AeroScope, a new portable tracking system that can identify a DJI drone’s basic information in real time. This security system can pinpoint DJI drones within 3.1 miles. It tracks UAVs even if they are offline. It can reveal information such as the drone’s registration number and flight data. AeroScope has been regarded by DJI as a balanced solution to address security and privacy concerns.
The new drone tracking system relays information directly to an AeroScope receiver instead of government databases. AeroScope can recognize all DJI drones, and it functions by picking up information being broadcasted between a drone and its remote controller. Once it recognizes a drone in a restricted airspace, the gathered information can be used to alert local authorities. AeroScope works similar to a car license plate system. It doesn’t directly give away a pilots information, but authorities can use drone data to trace rogue pilots.
“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.
The portable tracking system is now available for select authorities, and it has already been installed in two international airports since April, according to DJI’s press release. It was also demonstrated in Brussels, Belgium, to show that it could spot a drone that was just powered on. It used that information to plot the drone’s location on a map, and it revealed its registration number.
Offline Mode Can Still be Spotted
DJI also recently released an offline privacy mode, which assures pilots that their sensitive information is kept safe from being uploaded to DJI servers. The new mode disables internet connection and safety features such as geofencing and No Fly Zone information, but AeroScope would still be able to spot a drone in local data mode since it detects the drone’s communication link.
DJI’s interest in a drone tracking system is largely influenced by safety concerns. Unauthorized drone flights in areas such as airports and government facilities led to the need for a drone identification system. Even though DJI’s geofencing and No Fly Zone technology prevents pilots from flying in restricted areas, a rise in hacked drones capable of flying anywhere have fueled the necessity to regulate prohibited drone flights.
AeroScope was expressed by DJI as a solution for drone regulation “which aims to strike a reasonable balance authorities’ need to identify drones that raise concerns and drone pilots’ right to fly without pervasive surveillance.”