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DJI drone rehabilitation in the USA

After a 15-month audit, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved DJI decisions for government programs.
NOVEMBER, 1 / 2019 / 5 MINUTES
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Some concerns about the safety of UAVs from China used to be expressed in U.S.: DJI drones are actively used by government agencies, and it was not clear whether they transmit data to third parties or not.
In particular, Harry Wingo from the University of National Defense told the Senate Committee at a Senate hearing that information about the US had been transmitted to China at an unprecedented level through DJI, and "this literally gives the Chinese company the opportunity to monitor our entire country." He also added that numerous US government agencies and organizations rely on DJI technology, and when it comes to protecting cities, the transmitted information will matter.
DJI prepared an official letter on behalf of Mario Rebello, Vice President and Regional Manager for North America in response to such statements. It says: "Unfounded speculation and inaccurate information presented at the hearing will put the entire drone industry in the US at risk. This will cause a ripple effect that will halt economic growth and outlaw those public servants who already use DJI drones to protect the public and save lives."
The company emphasizes that DJI drones do not transmit flight information, photos or videos unless the drone pilot deliberately authorizes this. All data is stored exclusively on the UAV and on the pilot's mobile device.
The news of the launch of the special DJI Government Edition program came along with the Senate debate. This program provides additionally protected UAV solutions for government purposes. The program was approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Earlier, the US Department of the Interior conducted an independent 15-month study of DJI solutions using the Mavic Pro and Matrice 600 Pro drones and approved them. The findings were presented in the Ministry's technical report «Flight Test and Technical Evaluation Report. DJI Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Mission Functionality and Data Management Assurance Assessment»:
1. It is noted that the US Department of the Interior has been working with DJI for more than two years. There is a solution that is being created to provide access to high-quality standard DJI equipment, provided with special software and hardware, to prevent intentional or unintentional data leakage to any third-party objects.

2. The solution for the government testing was launched in April 2018 as part of a three-stage plan developed by the Ministry of the Interior.

3. Tests for DJI Matrice 600 Pro drones included 1133 missions with a total duration of 298 hours. For DJI Mavic Pro drones — 1112 missions and 240 hours.

4. The US Department of the Interior collaborated with the NASA Kennedy Space Center, as well as with other industry and federal partners with experience in data validation and hardware and firmware evaluation.

5. During the test, there were no signs that the data was being transferred outside the DJI system, confirming that the systems were operating in accordance with DJI promises.
Other federal laboratories, such as the NASA Kennedy Space Center also conducted tests for cybersecurity and came to similar conclusions. In their conclusion, it is specified that the research results are relevant for current versions of hardware and software, and it is worthwhile to carry out appropriate checks with their updates.
DJI emphasizes that the company invests in the US economy, providing government services with solutions that meet their unique needs. It is worth adding that the report of the Ministry of the Interior indicates that currently in the USA there are no affordable alternatives that would be competitive in price and required performance.
Since 2015, DJI has launched a research center in Palo Alto (Silicon Valley), and the company also plans to open a new production complex in California. DJI believes that the the California center's launch can help overcome the doubts that some US lawmakers have expressed. In addition to drones, DJI is developing UAV identification technology, a geofencing system, as well as technology for preventing collisions of drones with manned aircraft based on ADS-B 1090ES / UAT receivers.
The interaction between DJI and the United States is a good example of how speculation is debunked and steps are taken in the interests of national security and the economy. This story illustrates well how, on the one hand, the state is ready to attract advanced innovative companies for the development of the UAV industry, and on the other, to ensure the proper level of safety.
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