EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

ADS-B — philosophy for drones

Exclusive interview of Adam Lisberg — Corporate Communications Director of DJI, North America.
AUGUST, 30 / 2019 / 7 MINUTES
Фото вышки в Örnsköldsvik
The market leader in easy-to-fly drones – the Chinese DJI holds about 70% of the global drone market and has a capitalization around $ 10 billion. Being at the spearhead of UAV's technologies, DJI has developed 10 strategic steps that DJI, other drone companies and government officials have to take to ensure drones continue to be a safe addition to the global manned airspace.
First, DJI will install AirSense ADS-B 1090ES/UAT receivers to all drones weighing more than 250 grams introduced from 2020. DJI also has plans to develop a new automatic warning system for drone pilots flying at extended distances and establish an internal Safety Standards Group to meet regulatory and customer expectations.
One of the most important initiatives is the geofencing and remote identification systems for UAVs providing. According to DJI, governments have to request the remote ID, require a user-friendly knowledge test for new drone pilots and clearly designate sensitive restriction areas. DJI also highlights the increasing enforcement of laws against unsafe drone operations importance. Finally, aviation industry have to develop standards for drone incidents report. All these steps can make drone flights safer around the world already tomorrow.
In a special interview for Sky Review, Corporate Communication Director of DJI in North America Adam Lisberg talks about the AirSense concept for unmanned aerial traffic, based on ADS-B 1090ES technology.
— Why did DJI choose ADS-B? What are the benefits of technology?
«ADS-B has become the global standard for airplanes and helicopters to identify themselves and their location in the sky. Originally designed for traditional air traffic control to understand what is in the airspace and maintain safe separation, ADS-B has been called "drone repellent" because it broadcasts the location, altitude, speed and heading of all participating air traffic, allowing drones that receive those signals to give way. Aviation regulators around the world are requiring it for increasing numbers of airplanes and helicopters, and the more of them participate in the system, the better-informed drone operators will be.»
— What type of ADS-B does DJI use?
«AirSense receives ADS-B signals on both 1090ES and 978 UAT frequencies. This allows to provide as much information as possible for DJI drone pilots.»
Sky review comment: Sky Review wrote about the history of ADS-B in the United States, which predetermined the specifics of the country's aviation industry development and distinguished it from the rest of the world by unprecedented investments in the air navigation infrastructure of two ADS-B standards.
– Can the user turn the receiver on the drone off?
«No, the AirSense ADS-B receiver cannot be turned off. If the receiver malfunctions, it can be serviced through DJI's usual repair channels.»
— The world is actively discussing and testing UTM - Unmanned Traffic Management. For example, Switzerland is close to launching such system this summer. What is the compatibility of DJI technology with UTM?
«Aviation regulators around the world are developing concepts for unmanned traffic management (UTM), but it is far from clear what format those systems will ultimately take and how they will exchange information. AirSense ADS-B receivers are designed as an independent system to provide drone pilots with accurate and immediate information about nearby airplanes and helicopters.»
— Suppose that not all the drone manufacturers wish to equip UAVs with ADS-B. How to enhance global safety in this case?
«We expect the advantages of an ADS-B receivers in drones will become increasingly apparent as we deploy AirSense in new consumer drones, and we would hope that policymakers and other drone manufacturers will notice as well. Please note that DJI does not believe drones should routinely transmit their own telemetry using ADS-B, which could overwhelm other aircraft and air traffic controllers with signals from drones that pose no threat. ADS-B transmission may be helpful for drones that perform complex operations in complicated airspace or beyond the operator's line of sight, but most drones have no need to transmit their telemetry to air traffic controllers or other aircraft.»
— Representatives of the largest airports say that the ability to see drones is not enough. Another option is to interrupt a UAV flight, in case of a real threat to the manned aircraft of course. How does DJI see this problem solution?
«DJI has spent years developing technology to help keep airports safe. DJI's GEO 2.0 geofencing system warns drone pilots about restricted airspace near airports and blocks drone flight in sensitive areas, and DJI's AeroScope remote identification system ensures airport officials can monitor airborne drones in the area and locate their operators. Civilian airport authorities lack effective tools to counter airborne drones near them, as well as legal authority and training to take action. In our Elevating Safety report, we explicitly say local authorities need legal processes allowing them to act in the rare cases when an airborne drone appears to pose a clear threat.»
— Another important topic is BVLOS- UAV flights (Beyond Visual Line of Sight)...
«Aviation regulators around the world are studying the best systems to safely allow flights beyond line of sight, automated flights without a human operator at the controls, and other advanced operations. ADS-B signals may well be part of the systems that ultimately make those operations routine.»
— What DJI technologies will play a key role in the next five years?
«DJI is pleased to be the industry leader in technological safety solutions such as our AirSense ADS-B receivers, our AeroScope remote identification system and our GEO 2.0 geofencing. Our Elevating Safety plan foresees additional technological advances, as well as educational and regulatory efforts, to ensure the skies remain safe for everyone.»
Adam Lisberg
Corporate Communication Director of DJI in North America.
Previously, Mr. Lisberg has been working in State of NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority as Director of External Communications for over four years. He also has been working as an Editor at City & State in 2011. In New York Daily News, Adam has been working as City Hall Bureau Chief and General Assignment Reporter and City Hall Reporter. He also became a Reporter at The Record, Burlington Free Press, City News Bureau Inc, and Daily Southtown.
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