Sean Hollister over at The Verge has been told by DJI spokesperson Adam Lisberg that contrary to previous reports transmissions from DJI airframes used by their Aeroscope counter UAS system to identify the crafts position, identity and location of the operator are not encrypted.

A point of order, I have always found Adam to be a straight talker so he plainly went to find out the truth about DJI RID transmissions and spoke it. So fair play Adam.

This all comes as a result of the more than excellent work of Kevin Finnisteirre. He should be winning industry awards left right and centre. But his work tends to blow apart VC narratives.

What does this mean though.

Well right now not too much as its only folks that can afford an Aeroscope and its monthly fees that can see you and your aircraft.

I am reliably informed that an OpenSource Aeroscope using low cost hardware is on the way.

Once that’s here, you will be able to deploy receivers around areas you suspect your competition to be operating and see exactly what their schedule looks like. You will also be able to see exactly where they operate from. Just the ticket for walzing in with a competitve quote to pull that job rug from underneath the current encumbant.

Perhaps Ambulance chasing is your gig.

You will be able to see where police fire and rescue airframes are and then make your way to their locations for your award winning photos of the scene.

Critical infrastructure inspections surely don’t want their exact location revealed?

This has always been the vastly underestimated risk of RID, something that does not improve aviation safety one bit.

If you are now worried you can build one of Kevin’s spoofers.

I think Brendan’s reply is interesting to note as well. Its true final RID will not be encrypted, something folks should have been getting angry at for ages but have ignored. Thats not the narrative DJI were peddling though, they were saying it was encypted.

By 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.