DJI AirSense Adds Aircraft Detection
DJI has just announced that it will be building aircraft detection into all of its consumer drones weighing over 250 grams starting in 2020. Called AirSense, the technology will allow drone pilots to be made aware of airplanes and helicopters miles away.
The FAA is requiring that essentially all airplanes and helicopters be equipped with ADS-B transmitters, which broadcasts an aircraft’s position to allow for detection and tracking, starting on January 1st, 2020. Although there’s no requirement for drones to be equipped with ADS-B receivers, DJI says it’s leading the charge in order to “ensure the world’s skies remain safe in the drone era.”
Some of DJI’s industrial drones such as the Matrice already feature AirSense, but the technology is now coming to virtually all of DJI’s popular consumer drones.
AirSense will be able to detect aircraft that’s farther than any drone pilot can see or hear. The locations of those aircraft will be displayed on the pilot’s remote controller screen.
AirSense will not force a drone to land if a plane is detected. Instead, the operator will be alerted on their remote control handset.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants a majority of planes and helicopters to transmit ADS-B signals in controlled airspace by January.
DJI's latest drones already have safety features such as geo-fencing, which stops the drone flying into restricted airspace such as an airport.
In 2018, a drone sighting on the airfield at Gatwick airport caused major travel disruption. The pilot of the drone has not been found.
DJI stressed that "there has never been a confirmed collision between a drone and an airplane" but said drones had struck low-flying helicopters "at least twice".
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