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DJI, a leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, has announced that its high-security solution for government drone programs, Government Edition, has received independent validation from the U.S. Department of the Interior. The approval was received after a more than 15-month rigorous assessment of the flight, payload, and data management assurance performance of DJI Matrice 600 Pro and Mavic Pro drones equipped with Government Edition firmware and software.
“The Department of Interior’s report validates DJI’s effort to build software and hardware solutions that meet the evolving data security needs of its customers,” said Mario Rebello, vice president and regional manager of North America at DJI. “The DOI has a strong track record of leadership within the U.S. Government for its ability to pragmatically evaluate and implement drone technology for use across a wide variety of applications. We appreciate their partnership and value the collaborative effort to help create a DJI drone solution that will allow emergency first responders and others to save lives and effectively manage our public lands. We look forward to continuing to support the Department of Interior and other federal agencies with DJI’s industry-leading drone technology.”
The DOI’s findings were presented in a flight test and technical evaluation report issued last week. Key findings of the report included:
- DOI has been working with DJI for over two years to create a solution that would allow its bureaus access to DJI’s high-quality off-the-shelf hardware equipped with custom firmware and software to prevent intentional or unintentional data leakage to any outside entities.
- Testing of the Government Edition solution began in April of 2018 as part of the three-phase testing plan developed by DOI.
- Testing included 1,133 flights totaling 298 hours on the DJI Matrice 600 Pro and 1,112 flights totaling 240 hours for the DJI Mavic Pro drones.
- DOI collaborated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Kennedy Space Center as well as other industry and federal partners with expertise in data management assurance testing to conduct targeted assessments of Government Edition hardware, firmware, and software.
- During testing there was no indication that data was being transmitted outside the system, confirming that they were operating as promised by DJI.
While DJI customers have full control over how the data they generate with drones is collected, stored and transmitted, Government Edition’s unique architecture ensures that drone data – including photos and videos captured during flight – can never be intentionally or accidentally shared with unauthorized parties. The solution is based on DJI’s industry-leading drone hardware and is controlled by custom device firmware and operational software in a unique architecture that supports high data security requirements:
- No Data Transmission – A permanently enabled Local Data Mode within the custom DJI Pilot application prevents users from accidentally or even intentionally transferring data from the mobile application over the internet to third parties or to DJI.
- Firmware Reviews – Government agency aviation and IT departments can review firmware updates in electronic isolation before applying them to their fleets, and have full control over how to validate them and when to install them on DJI drones.
- Restricted Hardware Pairing – Drones and remote controllers running Government Edition solution firmware can only be linked with each other and are not compatible with other off-the-shelf DJI products, preventing the use of unsecure hardware and unauthorized third-party applications.