Technology DJI is quietly discontinuing its drone-detecting AeroScope system

DJI is quietly discontinuing its drone-detecting AeroScope system


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You can close the notification and view the entire AeroScope product page, which still has a DJI dealer order form at the bottom. China-based DJI has not formally announced the discontinuation of the product, and it is still not clear whether existing AeroScope devices will lose functionality or whether the platform will disappear forever. That reports UAV Hiverumors indicate that DJI is working on a second version of the receiver, but DJI did not immediately respond The edgerequest for more information.

Screenshot: Emma Roth / The Verge

DJI describes its AeroScope technology as a “comprehensive drone detection platform” that can identify and track drones in real time using the receiver signals emitted by newer DJI drones. This signal provides AeroScope users with information such as flight status, path, and pilot location from drones up to about 30 miles away.

While the product was originally intended for use by law enforcement or other government agencies to track drones flying in potentially dangerous areas (such as around an airport runway) and locate their pilots, in the midst of the war the technology became a cause for concern. concern between Russia and Ukraine.

Brendan Schulman, former Vice President of Policy at DJI, says on Twitter that there are “probably two reasons” behind DJI’s decision to discontinue AeroScope. “There is no point in continuing to support a function created to help U.S. security interests when they are under constant attack by U.S. security forces,” writes Schulman, while also referencing the implementation of Remote ID by the Federal Aviation Administration.

This is the upcoming standard which the FAA, law enforcement and other agencies will use to detect and track “most drones operating in U.S. airspace,” giving them information about the identity, location, altitude, launch location, checkpoint location and more of the drone.

As of September 16, 2023, most U.S. drone operators will only be able to fly aircraft with built-in remote broadcast capabilities or a retrofitted remote ID broadcast module – essentially what DJI has already done with its newer drones and AeroScope. The only time drone operators can use a device that does not emit external ID signals is when flying in FAA recognized identified areas.

Just days before AeroScope’s apparent shutdown came to light, a report of Wired revealed that researchers have created a tool that receives signals from DJI drones through cheaper third-party devices, allowing them to pick up the GPS locations of the device and the pilot without the need for an AeroScope system. The engineers working on the project tell Wired they’ve only tested the tool with drones from 15 to 25 feet away, but believe they can track drones from even further away with more testing.

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