DJI, the Chinese tech giant headquartered in Shenzhen, recently announced that all of its consumer drone models releasing 2020 onwards will be equipped with airplane and helicopter detectors to make the drones less prone to a collision or to make it harder to fly its drones too close to larger aircraft. Some of the DJI’s industry-focused drones have the feature built-in but it has now take a vow to add this feature to all its drones weighing more than 250g (9oz).
The new coming drones from 2020 onwards will have detectors that can detect the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) signal. ADS-B signals are sent out by planes and helicopters. These signals will be sensed by the AirSense system, installed in the drones, whenever an aircraft or helicopter will be approaching the drone. On sensing the ADS-B signal the drone will send an alert message to the drone pilot warning them about the approaching object and thus the pilot will be able to take the necessary action to avoid a potential collision between the aircraft and the drone.
The ADS-B technology emerged over last decade to control the air traffic over North America and minimize the damage caused due to collisions. Also, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants a majority of aircraft to transmit ADS-B signal in controlled airspace by January. ADS-B tech is more accurate than a radar for air traffic controllers and makes the pilot capable of detecting and avoiding other aircrafts thus minimizing a potential mid-air collision. In a blog DJI stated that,“AirSense can detect airplanes and helicopters from miles away, farther than a drone pilot can hear or see them, and displays their locations on the screen of the pilot’s remote controller.”
However, you must be clear that the AirSense will not force the drone to land or fly down on receiving an ADS-B signal instead the pilot will be warned on their remote controllers. Also, drones will not transmit any ADS-B signal of its own so the approaching aircraft or helicopter. That’s probably a good thing as a sheer number of drones might overwhelm the system of the air traffic controllers.
This is not the first time DJI has used a security measure to control air collisions. Previously the company had also used safety features like geo-fencing, obstacle avoidance and the ability to return automatically to the take-off spot. But all these features were unable to stop drones flying too close to planes and helicopters. Will this new feature help to make the situation better? Do tell us your opinion in the comment section below.