The UK has had its fair share of drone-related disruption, most notably with the grounding of flights across several days at London’s Gatwick airport – around this time last year.
Ever since, the UK government has been grappling with the issue of drone misuse. New legislation has been passed enforcing drone registration for hobbyists, while airports around the country have upgraded their security systems.
Now, DJI’s AeroScope system has been officially included in UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) Catalogue of Security Equipment. CPNI works to identify risks to and reduce the vulnerability of infrastructure, including airports.
AeroScope is a situational awareness tool that can be easily deployed at sensitive locations to detect and track nearby DJI drones and the location of their pilots.
The system was assessed successfully under the CPNI Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (CUAS) Detect, Track and Identify (DTI) Testing and Evaluation Standard. As a result, it will be included in the CPNI’s recommended security equipment catalogue.
AeroScope as a go-to remote-ID solution
AeroScope is targeted at hobbyists and works on the presumption that people will obey the rules – both with regards to registration and no-fly zones. As a result, it’s not really intended to be deployed against drone pilots with malicious intent.
Having said that, there’s no reason why the system can’t be used in conjunction with other counter-measures to protect sensitive locations. Depending on the infrastructure, most drone-related disruption is caused by clueless hobbyists and those bending the rules on the presumption that they won’t get caught. AeroScope can certainly help with that.
“Whether implementing safety features into DJI drones or developing protocols such as our ‘Elevating Safety: Protecting The Skies In The Drone Era’, DJI recognises the importance of working with all stakeholders to ensure a safer flying environment for everyone,” said Christian Struwe, Director of Public Policy, DJI EMEA.
“It’s fantastic news that our DJI AeroScope system has been recognised by the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, as a remote-ID solution to enable authorities to identify who is flying near sensitive locations or in ways that raise serious concerns.”
Balance between drone ID and pilot privacy
AeroScope represents DJI’s best efforts to find a middle ground between authorities’ need to identify drones and pilots’ right to fly without pervasive surveillance.
It works with all current models of DJI drones and transmits via an existing communications protocol, so there’s no requirement for new on-board equipment or modifications.
According to DJI, “During the CNPI’s assessment they found AeroScope was very simple to set up, learn and use with an intuitive interface. It responded to multiple UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) operating concurrently and the detection, tracking and identification performance was consistent.”