Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

DJI Discontinues AeroScope – DRONELIFE

AeroScope / DJI

DJI has “quietly” discontinued AeroScope, the Verge reports, noting that the DJI website says the product is no longer available.

DJI has stopped production of the AeroScope system, which offered one of the first solutions for detecting a drone’s pilot.  Introduced in 2017 as a “drone license plate” technology, AeroScope was developed as a way of meeting the needs of law enforcement officials to track the pilots of unlawfully operated aircraft while balancing the privacy needs of pilots.  From the launch statement in 2017:

DJI is introducing new features to the DJI AeroScope remote identification system that functions as an “electronic license plate” for drones. The new features allow drone pilots to voluntarily identify their flight operations to authorities while still protecting their privacy.

AeroScope is a system that remotely identifies and tracks airborne drones, allowing law enforcement and aviation safety officials to respond to safety and security concerns about drones. DJI drones locally broadcast their location, speed, heading and serial numbers to AeroScope receivers used by authorities at sensitive locations or in response to complaints. However, they do not broadcast personally identifiable information.

The FAA’s ARC on Remote ID seemed to agree when recommendations were released only a few weeks later, recommending mandatory adoption of a “license plate” like system.  As Remote ID developed, however, AeroScope was not a perfect fit for the finalized rule.  Despite the many headlines and much discussion that AeroScope generated – before the laws for RemoteID were released, many drone pilots hoped for greater anonymity – it appears to be simply a move to update the DJI product line.

What’s Next?

DJI has not commented on the AeroScope discontinuation, but DJI was among the first manufacturers to announce in September of 2022 that seven of their most popular drone models, including the Mini 3 Pro, Avata, Air 2S, Mavic 3, Mavic 3 Cine, M30 and M30T, had received a Declaration of Compliance for Remote ID. Newly manufactured models will meet Remote ID requirements, the company says, while owners of existing models will have access to a free firmware update, available for download at a later date.

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