DJI's AeroScope Drone/Pilot Detection Feature Being Turned Against Chinese Manufacturer

Drones are so hot right now! No really. Whether it's in the news, in people's homes, or on the field, no matter the industry, drones have their place. Well, with all this airway commotion, DJI, a major manufacturer of drones, created the AeroScope drone detection technology and, more recently, is getting some heat for it.
DJI AeroScope Near Airport 11 photos
Photo: DJI
DJI AeroScope Near AirportMavik 3 Cine DroneMavik 3 Cine DroneDJI Drone FoldedFPV ComboFPV ComboDJI Cinematic GearDJI DM30 SeriesDJI DroneDJI Cinematic Gear
Folks, DJI is a crew that initially saw its beginnings in Shenzhen, China. If there's one thing you should note about Shenzhen, popular opinion considers it the Silicon Valley of China, and for a team to stay alive in this business since 2006 says something. While they are mainly known for creating excellent drones, they also focus on high-quality cinematic cameras; their drones often include cameras for incredible shots and footage.

The company currently offers two types of drones and camera gear, each defined for a particular use, but all of it is designed to bring smiles to people's faces. Even I currently have a DJI product on my Christmas list, the DJI FPV Combo, a drone that offers you a first-person perspective into a flight that occurs at 87 mph (140 kph). You say you like to fly?

Now, with all these drones flying around, DJI decided it would be a good idea to create a system that tracks their drones, and since 2017, every drone to leave DJI factory lines has been equipped with an identification system that is active during flight. This system is known as AeroScope, and the reason it exists is to be a safety feature that allows tracking of current DJI drones in an area.

Mavik 3 Cine Drone
Photo: DJI
This sort of system can be lifesaving in scenarios where drones could be used with mischievous intentions. To simplify things, as a whole, AeroScope is meant to be used during events such as government rallies, major sporting events, airports, private properties, and "secure locations."

AeroScope works with two features, the first of which is the drone. Each machine emits an encrypted code that relays details such as speed, altitude, serial number, and even the pilot's location. That signal is then picked up by a "unit" that identifies the above-mentioned information and alerts the governing agency of the AeroScope system to the whereabouts and possible intentions of the drone and pilot.

Furthermore, what makes AeroScope so unique is that the signal reception stations or units, as I mentioned earlier, come in two varieties, stationary and portable. Now, the portable unit is just that and allows AeroSope to be deployed easily, quickly, and used for emergency drone detection. This unit features a 5 km (3.11 mi) detection range and can be easily carried in hand.

DJI Cinematic Gear
Photo: DJI
As for the stationary unit, this trinket is different in that it offers a sort of "set it and forget" application where a constant stream of data is intercepted. With this component, DJI provides a massive 50 km (31 mi) range. Yes, anything in that area will be known to you, if it's a DJI product, that is. Did I mention public and private cloud integration and the IP65 rating?

However, since humans will be humans and any technology has the potential to be used for a multitude of purposes, DJI drones have even seen recent action and attention in the conflict happening over in Eastern Europe. Because of this, DJI has even come under heavy scrutiny in recent reports because of errors in AeroScope's functionality. Yet, diving deeper into allegations, it seems to be one of those "I don't like your friends" situations.

Because humans can be and are quite the creative bunch, just about anything on this planet can be repurposed for ill-will use, and drones are not an exception to that rule. Heck, even the pencil is said to be mightier than the sword.
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Editor's note: The image gallery showcases an array of DJI gear.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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