With the Drone Scanner app, any smartphone can now be turned into a drone tracking device. In this way, nearby drones can be detected. Provided they already use Remote ID technology.
Czech company Dronetag, which develops remote ID compliance solutions for drone operators and drone manufacturers, has released an app called Drone Scanner. The free app, available for both iOS and Android devices, tracks all nearby drone flights. To do so, it accesses remote ID data sent by a drone.
What is Remote ID?
Remote ID is a function that allows a drone to transmit information such as its identity, location and flight altitude. This technology is already mentioned in the EU Drone Regulation and will be mandatory in the future. However, it has not yet been applied. The situation is different in the USA and Japan, for example. In Japan, drones must already be Remote ID-capable in order to be operated legally. In the USA, there is still a transition period until September 2023.
How does the Drone Scanner app work?
Drone Scanner uses a mobile device’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth receivers to capture data transmitted by a remote ID-enabled drone. More specifically, the app uses Bluetooth 4, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi Beacon and Wi-Fi NAN protocols to extract detailed information about nearby drones flying in real time.
The app offers the following features, according to developers:
- Browse a detailed map of your location and all nearby aircraft.
- Check available data about drones, including altitude, direction, pilot identification, pilot position, operational description and location history in real time.
- See different flight zones marked and highlighted on the map.
- Export collected drone data easily.
The company wants to continuously develop the app to comply with the current laws in the U.S. and Europe. However, it is not yet clear whether and to what extent the company will or can take action against misuse of the app.
Download Drone Scanner app
The app can be obtained free of charge from the Apple and Google app stores.
Since there is currently no obligation to use Remote ID in the EU, it will probably not be possible to capture any or only very few drones with the app in this country.
However, there are some drones already equipped with remote ID, although the relevant laws have not yet come into force. Dronetag maintains a list of such drones that it has already verified.
Who is Dronetag?
Dronetag itself makes a remote ID device that can be attached to any drone. The company is also developing a module for drone manufacturers that can be connected to flight controls to provide reliable remote ID data transmission and identification in airspace. The app, which has now been released, complements the existing product line.
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