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Apparently it's impossible to get answers about AeroScope
2142 10 2018-3-3
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fans4f8b3473
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I sent by concerns about AeroScope to support (ticket 978453) on 2/14. At first they ("Kevin Blonie") claimed that no such system exists. After pointed out this press release, they told me to email aeroscope@dji.com. I did and was simply ignored.

By this point the ticket had been closed (BTW, it's really annoying that your system automatically closes tickets after a few days,) so i emailed support again (ticket 990725.) This time, one "Michael Jason Sencio" claimed to have forwarded my questiions to engineering, and told me to expect an email from them. That was on 2/23. That ticket is now closed as well.

I have been completely unable to get any answers about AeroScope, it's capabilities, and privacy implications. DJI needs to be more transparent about it if we're expected to trust them.
2018-3-3
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DJI Mindy
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You have our sincere apologies for the lack of response from the AeroScope team, we will confirm with them in working days to see if they have received your email, will keep you posted if there is any update, appreciate your patience.
2018-3-3
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LoSBoL
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Thanks for sharing this info.  

I'm thinking this Aeroscope system is being developed in conjuction with the upcomming new European drone regulations, which mandates E-identification for all drones > 250 gram.

This E-identification is supposed to be used by (local) authorities to track drones and their operators for law enforcement. And up till now there was no answer in how that was going to be done. I think that this Aeroscope system might be the answer to that question.
2018-3-4
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fans4f8b3473
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Got an email (the bold text are the questions I sent)

Jack Omega (Support)

3月7日 CST16:01

Greetings [Name removed],

We apologize for the delay.

Drone identification settings will be included in DJI’s initial drone software to allow customers to choose the content of their own drone’s identification broadcast so as to match local expectations both before and after identification regulations are implemented in different regions.

Your UUID or unique user identification code is tied to each pilot's DJI GO account.
In turn AeroScope system receives information from the UUID.
By turning it off, It should disable automatic transmission of any personal identifiable information until regulations or policies in the pilot's jurisdiction require it.

Kindly see the attachment below for disabling the UUID.

However for permanently disabling it, We are still working with our programmers if this is even possible.

I would love to answer all your questions but regulations and government sanctions prohibit us from fully disclosing AeroScope parameters.
What I can answer are questions correlated to DJI products so long as it does not breach our company propriety information.

For the other inquiries, we regret to inform you that these information are only available for local authorities.
If you are a member of your local law enforcement or legal authorities you may email aeroscope@dji.com.


1. Does AeroScope work with commercially available DJI flight controllers? I.E., if I build a drone and use a DJI flight controller, would AeroScope recievers be able to see it as well?
-This is a very interesting request. At the moment, DJI controllers system is not advisable to use with non-DJI aircraft.
(Even if you find a way to bind a DJI controller's circuitry to a non DJI aircraft.)
-If assuming you were able to find a way to bind a DJI controller to a non-DJI aircraft, AeroScope receivers would not be able to track it from the DJI remote controllers as the controllers transmission is mainly for the aircraft and RC.

2.What information, specifically, is received by AeroScope? What control does the user have over this information?
3. Which radio on the drone transmits this information?
4. Does AeroScope work with all DJI drones? AFAIK, earlier models (P1 / P2 Non-Vision) don’t transmit telemetry.
5. If not, which models does it work with?
6. Can AeroScope access the FPV stream?
-DJI FPV stream cannot be accessed by AeroScope

7. Can AeroScope control or override drones?

8.And do these MC parameters have anything to do with AeroScope? I notice they're only in the latest firm wares
-DJI firmware versions have no correlation with AeroScope. However MC parameters are also restricted and require law entrenchment/ local authority certificates or badges. If you are part of local enforcement, you may refer to the aforementioned statement to the aforementioned statement

You will receive an email survey two days after this email if not responded. If you happen to be away and won’t be able to answer this email timely, please disregard the survey and reply to us directly.

Best regards,

Jack
DJI Technical Support
Website http://www.dji.com/support



附件
UUID.png


Needless to say, this is less than satisfactory. I didn't really expect them to answer number 8, but are 2 and 4 so much to ask? And the evasion of number 7 is worrying.
Another question I sent that was ignored altogether:

"What about the possibility of abuse? Many people seem to have a personal vendetta against drones and their pilots. Some of these people are in positions of authority that may have access to an AeroScope receiver. I could easily see somebody using it to seek out and harass users that are otherwise flying safely and legally."

That seems like a reasonable concern to me.
We neve agreed to any of this. And what are these "government sanctions"? Sounds like an attempt to shut me up,

If DJI is going to keep us in the dark, then I can no longer trust them.



2018-3-7
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DJI Mindy
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fans4f8b3473 Posted at 2018-3-7 00:48
Got an email (the bold text are the questions I sent)

Needless to say, this is less than satisfactory. I didn't really expect them to answer number 8, but are 2 and 4 so much to ask? And the evasion of number 7 is worrying.

We are sorry for the unsatisfied response, your concern has been escalated to Aeroscope department to keep following up, we will have someone to reply your email as soon as possible to make it clear for you. Sorry again for the unpleasant experience with us and hope your questions will be sloved soon.
2018-3-7
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fans4f8b3473
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Another email.

Jack Omega (Support)

3月8日 CST10:44


Greetings [REDACTED],

It would be my pleasure to answer all your inquiries once and for all about AeroScope.
However I would get in trouble if I do so. And not just me but DJI as well.

I would like to reiterate that AeroScope detail information is only open to local authorities.
If you are a member of local authorities, please do not hesitate to send and email
to aeroscope@dji.com so we can provide you all the information you require.

I beg for your kind understanding about the limitations of the information that I can provide.

You will receive an email survey two days after this email if not responded. If you happen to be away and won’t be able to answer this email timely, please disregard the survey and reply to us directly.

Best regards,

Jack
DJI Technical Support
Website http://www.dji.com/support




They're stonewalling me. This is unacceptable.

And that do we have here?

An airport manager giving a random youtuber a demonstration of aeroscope. So don't try to tell me that it's illegal.

2018-3-7
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fans4f8b3473
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And after I asked for escalation:

Jack Omega (Support)

3月8日 CST13:06

Greetings [REDACTED],

Thank you for your kind understanding.

Again I would be more than happy to provide you the information about AeroScope so long as
you are part of local authority. Or know somebody in local enforcement,
please do not hesitate to email us or have your friends from local authority to email us at:
aeroscope@dji.com

You will receive an email survey two days after this email if not responded. If you happen to be away and won’t be able to answer this email timely, please disregard the survey and reply to us directly.

Best regards,

Jack
DJI Technical Support
Website http://www.dji.com/support




I don't know where Jack Omega is getting this "law enforcement" requirement from. I believe that either he's misinformed, or I'm being lied to.
I don't think I'm being unreasonable here. I'm not asking for technical details on how it works. I simply want to know:
  • Does aeroscope reveal the user's location, E.G., from their mobile device's GPS?
  • Does it reveal personal information such as email addresses?
  • The FAA does not require tracking like this, not yet anyway. Will there be a way for those of us in such jurisdictions to opt out?
  • Can it control drones?

  • And what is DJI's take on the possibility of aeroscope users abusing the information it provides? For instance, to harass drone users. Because a lot of people have a problem with this hobby.

So can somebody please find me someone more knowledgeable on the subject?

Update: Jack Omega says my case has been escalated. I guess we'll see what that does.

2018-3-7
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DJI Mindy
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fans4f8b3473 Posted at 2018-3-7 22:46
And after I asked for escalation:

I don't know where Jack Omega is getting this "law enforcement" requirement from. I believe that either he's misinformed, or I'm being lied to.

Sir, I have sent you PM, could you please check it? Thank you.
2018-3-11
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fans4f8b3473
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United States
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Well, if anyone's interested, here's what they had to say.


Hello [REDACTED],

Good day.

I hope all is well with you. We apologize if it took us so long to respond to your inquiries regarding aeroscope. Please see the answers below:

What information, specifically, is received by AeroScope? Drone serial number, direction, speed, altitude, lat/long location, home-point, model name. There are also two optional text fields that pilots can fill with text of up to 100 characters, such as a license number or name and contact information.

What control does the user have over this information? The basic information used to locate and identify the type of drone cannot be turned off.  Two text fields that will eventually allow the user to broadcast personal information about their identity and their mission, are optional.

Can AeroScope access the FPV stream?
Your flight logs, photos, and videos cannot be seen by anyone else. AeroScope only decodes the transmission relating to the drone’s identification and position

Can AeroScope control or override drones? No.

What about the possibility of abuse? Many people seem to have a personal vendetta against drones and their pilots. Some of these people are in positions of authority that may have access to an AeroScope receiver. I could easily see somebody using it to seek out and harass users that are otherwise flying safely and legally.
I understand your concern about the possibility of abuse. What we are after is the safety for all. Please understand that our end in mind when the technology is developed is to help government authorities to identify drone flights near sensitive areas, such as airports, power plants, and prisons, so that they can respond when necessary.

Right now, we are still waiting for additional information to be able to answer the questions below:

Which radio on the drone transmits this information?
Does AeroScope work with all DJI drones? If not, which models does it work with?
Does AeroScope work with commercially available DJI flight controllers? I.E., if I build a drone and use a DJI flight controller, would AeroScope recievers be able to see it as well?

Do these MC parameters have anything to do with AeroScope? I notice they're only in the latest firmwares.
g_config.advanced_function.driver_license_limit_enable_0
g_config.advanced_function.viechle_license_limit_enable_0

Best Regards,

Juicy
2018-3-16
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LoSBoL
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fans4f8b3473 Posted at 2018-3-16 23:16
Well, if anyone's interested, here's what they had to say.


Hello [REDACTED],

Thanks for sharing this information
2018-3-26
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Barney2k
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United Kingdom
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I'm presuming it just works with DJI technology as they've probably built in some method of detecting these drones from the Phantom 3 days.

Some encoded signal from the remote to the drone that only they can intercept.

I'm surprised DJI have been so open in their ticket responses about it!

More and more dealers popping up with pages for it now though - https://www.heliguy.com/dji-aeroscope-i83
2018-6-25
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