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Equipping drones with plane avoidance technology

28 February 2017

DJI, a world leader in unmanned aerial technology, unveiled the Matrice 200 drone series with built-in plane avoidance technology.

Matrice 200 drone series (Credit: DJI)

The Matrice 200 is purpose built for professional users to perform aerial inspections and collect data. 

The drone has IP43 classification, meaning it’s built to endure adverse environments. It’s also equipped with 20+ internal sensors for maximum redundancy and reliability. Two stereo-vision systems are featured below and in front of the drone and it has an upward facing infrared sensor for obstacle avoidance. 

Most notably, the M200 series features DJI AirSense, a built-in ADS-B receiver enhancing airspace safety by automatically providing the operator with real-time information about the position, altitude and velocity of nearby manned aircraft equipped with ADS-B transmitters. This enables safer and efficient use of airspace, especially where manned aircraft may be operating. 

Colin Bull, Principal Consultant Manufacturing and Product Development at SQS, said “DJI’s announcement at Mobile World Congress that they will be equipping its drones with plane avoidance technology is a step in the right direction to restrict the use of drones in uncontrolled air space. Falling into the wrong hands, there’s currently nothing to stop someone flying a payload laden drone into airspace. This is the first of many steps that need to be taken to protect against hostile drones."

"Despite the obvious benefits of drones, they must be embraced and feared in equal measures. They might look pretty innocent, but on closer inspection, what you find can be terrifying. Putting it bluntly, these devices are in fact a flying payload system with the ability to deliver anything (including incendiary devices or grenades) into uncontrolled airspace in the way that only Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) have been able to do in the past." 

"Implementing regulation and the standardisation of radio frequencies on which drones can operate is vital. Ultimately, this makes it easier for security teams to use jamming devices to stop a suspect drone from entering the space. Ensuring there are strict regulations in place means that the use of drones can be better controlled. Alongside putting regulations in place should be security measures. As with any connected technology, drones are at risk of being hacked by cybercriminals, meaning software programming needs to be considered more seriously in the development phase." 

"Implementing the expertise of quality assurance specialists can help to plug any potential loopholes otherwise exploited by unscrupulous hackers and limit security risks."

"It is time that strict and overarching regulations were put in place to help control drone use, and that system developers consider security and privacy in the lifecycle before a disaster happens.”


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