US Army walks back DJI decision (slightly)

US Army walks back DJI decision (slightly)

News has reached me that another DJI memo was passed around on Friday the 11th of August. An exception to policy with recommendations from the asymmetric warfare group that will permit the use of DJI kit once some conditions have been met.

The Android Tactical Assault Kit will become the ground control station (GCS) of choice when a DJI plugin has passed OPSEC (Operational Security) scrutiny.

OPSEC is a process that identifies if friendly actions can be observed by enemy intelligence.

The three rules of OPSEC

  1. If you don’t know the threat, how do you know what to protect? Although specific threats may vary from site to site or program to program, employees must be aware of the actual and postulated threats. In any given situation, there is likely to be more than one adversary, although each may be interested in different information.
  2. If you don’t know what to protect, how do you know you are protecting it? The “what” is the critical and sensitive, or target, information that adversaries require to meet their objectives.
  3. If you are not protecting it (the critical and sensitive information), the adversary wins! OPSEC vulnerability assessments, (referred to as “OPSEC assessments” — OA’s — or sometimes as “Surveys”) are conducted to determine whether or not critical information is vulnerable to exploitation. An OA is a critical analysis of “what we do” and “how we do it” from the perspective of an adversary. Internal procedures and information sources are also reviewed to determine whether there is an inadvertent release of sensitive information

It was stated on many corners of the internet that it was the use of Opensource code that led to restrictions. It seems several closed autopilot vendors were happy to let that idea bounce around.

They won’t be pleased then that the Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) is to be the approved Ground Control Station (GCS). The GCS was developed by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

When I asked a military contact if he knew of the new memo he told me that,

“The Army still needs targets!”

He would not, however, confirm its existence.

When we released the original memo an Army spokesman told us:

“We can confirm that guidance was issued; however, we are currently reviewing the guidance and cannot comment further at this time.”

Maybe this is part of the review?

Now that I have shaken the tree let’s see what falls out.

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Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.