DJI suggests new system to manage and monitor drone traffic


Chinese drone manufacturer DJI has submitted two white papers that propose a new regulatory approach enabling the safe management and monitoring of drone traffic during the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Drone Enable conference in Montreal, Canada.

In one of the white papers, the company has suggested a traffic control method that does not depend on a centralised approach to create flight paths and help drone avoid manned aircraft and other obstacles.

According to DJI, drones can directly coordinate their flight paths and avoid obstructions by using their onboard anti-collision technologies (OATs), including obstacle sensing systems, and radio transmitters and receivers.

"We envision a future in which drones will be smart enough to navigate safely through the airspace."

The DJI white paper reads: "We envision a future in which drones will be smart enough to navigate safely through the airspace, avoiding obstacles, each other, and manned traffic, all on their own, in most locations.

“Because OATs are less complex than an end-to-end automated traffic management system, because they present fewer points of failure, and because they can be deployed with no required investment in ground-based infrastructure, we expect these technologies will receive regulatory approval well before a networked UTM system will.”

DJI has also modified its March white paper that outlines electronic identification frameworks for small drones.

The company noted that instead of forcing every drone to transmit various information such as registration number, speed and direction over wireless networks to a centralised server, the authorities should use local sensors to obtain that information.

DJI has already developed a working system that can detect radio signals transmitted by drones and display them on a screen to enable authorities to view drone registration numbers and monitor activity.