Helicomicro.com, a reference and information site on drones has just published a practical article on the products under study at Skyinnov.
As you know, since June 29, 2020 ( see here ), aircraft weighing more than 800 grams in France must be equipped with a remote electronic beacon, integrated into the drone or as an accessory. This beacon emits information in wifi (2.4 GHz). It is designed to allow law enforcement agencies to see the identity of the pilot in flight, the registration number of his aircraft, the heading, the speed, the position of the take-off point, etc. A good initiative? Not so sure: there is reason to doubt the relevance of the device: malicious pilots will not comply with this requirement, and it is the bona fide pilots who will have to put their hand in the wallet to get equipped.
Signal Drone Tracker [SD20R]: improving safety
The French manufacturer Skyinnov, which markets the 3 variations of Signal Drone beacons [SD20] ([SD20L], [SD20A] and [SD20B]), has understood that these accessories were perceived in a negative way, with this unpleasant feeling of having to pay to be controlled.
The idea of the Skyinnov team?
It is to find more positive uses for this tag! The result is Signal Drone Receiver [SD20R], a mobile signal receiving device. It allows to read the signals broadcasted by the drones equipped with Signal Drone beacons, but also of other brands, as well as those of devices that include the electronic signal in their firmware
How does it work?
The device consists of a box with a touch screen for mobile use. It is lightweight, equipped with a battery to be self-sufficient, and designed to “listen” to remote electronic reporting beacons. When it picks up a signal, it decodes it to extract the information, and it materializes the detected beacon as an icon on a map of the place, in real time.
It is a radar that works somewhat on the principle of DJI’s AeroScope – knowing that the latter is only operational with DJI devices. The [SD20R] is compatible with all drones equipped with a regulatory beacon. The scope of the tool? ” It reaches a radius of about 1 km,” according to Anthony Simon, in charge of development and manufacturing at Skyinnov.
What’s the point? And who does it serve?
The Signal Drone Receiver [SD20R] intends to seduce professional drone operators: it allows them to check that there are no other aircraft weighing more than 800 grams and equipped with a beacon – normally all those that comply with the regulations – nearby before taking off. Also to monitor that aircraft do not enter the flight volume during the overflight.
Signal Drone Tracker [SD20T]: track the lost drone !
The Skyinnov team imagined another accessory to give meaning to the beacons imposed by the regulation. Smaller, lighter, less expensive, without screen, but just as autonomous, it is a receiver that allows to record on a microSD memory card the GPS coordinates emitted by your beacon during your last flight. It will be interesting to find your drone in case of loss for example following a flyaway and why not to be able to prove the course of his drone in case of contentious control.