DJI is quietly retiring its AeroScope drone detection system

You can dismiss the notification and view the full AeroScope product page, which also includes a DJI dealer order form below. China-based DJI has yet to officially announce the product’s discontinuation, and it’s still not clear if existing AeroScope devices will lose functionality or if the platform will disappear forever. According to UAV HiveRumors suggest that DJI is working on a second version of the receiver, however, DJI has not immediately responded The edge‘s request for more information.

DJI describes its AeroScope technology as a “comprehensive drone detection platform” that can identify and track drones in real time based on receiver signals sent by newer DJI drones. This signal provides AeroScope users with information such as flight status, flight route 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 monitor drones flying in potentially dangerous areas (such as around a runway) and track down their pilots, the technology became smack in the middle of a war a cause for concern between Russia and Ukraine.

Brendan Schulman, former vice president of politics at DJI, says on Twitter that there are “probably two reasons” behind DJI’s decision to discontinue AeroScope. “There’s no point in continuing to support a feature designed to support US security interests when they are constantly under attack from US security agencies,” Schulman writes, also citing the Federal Aviation Administration’s implementation of Remote ID .

This is the upcoming standard that the FAA, law enforcement and other agencies will use to detect and track “most drones operating in US airspace” and provide them with information about their identity, location, altitude,… Give the drone’s launch location and control station location, and more.

Beginning September 16, 2023, most U.S. drone operators will only be able to fly aircraft with built-in remote broadcast capabilities or an aftermarket Remote ID Broadcast module — essentially what DJI is already doing with its newer drones and AeroScope has. Drone operators can only use a device that does not emit Remote ID signals when flying in identified areas recognized by the FAA.

Just days before AeroScope’s apparent discontinuation came to light, a report by Wired revealed that researchers have developed a tool that receives signals from DJI drones via cheaper third-party devices, allowing them to capture the GPS locations of the device and its pilot without the need for an AeroScope system. That’s what the engineers working on the project say Wired They’ve only tested the tool with drones at 15 to 25 feet away, but believe that with more testing, they’ll be able to track drones from even further away.

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