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Remote ID and Skydio 2 - should we worry?

ksdehoff

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All:

according to the draft remote-id rule drones that do not have remote id will be limited to flying in some 'special' restricted airspace. Does anyone have any info from Skydio on how they will respond to this - and what about all the million drones currently flying without remote id? I don't understand the language in the draft about this restricted airspace but some on the DJI forum have suggested it would be limited to R/C hobbyist airfields.
 

Lon Denard

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Well all my DJI drones have limited Remote ID built in and they have vowed to have ADS B beacons by next year. My Skydio just shipped, so I don't know if they have Remote ID included or not. Hmm...I wonder who is going enforce such a rule?
 

Lon Denard

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The good news is if you have radio remote ID it's looking like you can fly BVLOS! I'm also thinking that there may be an add on piece you could get... This definitely brings a new understanding of what DJI was thinking when they launched the Mavic Mini under 250 grams... For the record, it also has built in remote id.
 

Lon Denard

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Lastly, I don't see any reason limited Remote id couldn't be installed in any drone via firmware update.
 

DoomMeister

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Make way for Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and so on. If you want to fly recreationally, you can join hundreds of thousands of others taking video and photos at CBO fields. Gee, won’t that be exciting and creative!

Voice your opinion of this BS (Big Shaft) to the FAA and Congress. Make sure we keep our Class G airspace without having to jump through hoops and forking out big bucks to do so. I am personally happy with ground delivery of my packages and don’t need a big multi blade lawnmower over my yard delivering my Prime package. Oh that’s right, I don’t even do Prime now so even faster delivery isn’t necessary.
 
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Jim

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Yes, you should absolutely worry.

Unless Skydio tells us the device either has capabilities that will enable compliance (not at all clear at the moment) and can satisfy the pending requirements as-is, or will be made to do so at minimal cost to retrofit current models (hopefully via firmware update), an SD2 may be limited to sanctioned practice airfields only (i.e., a paperweight for many of us) if this goes through without major modifications.

So unless you’ve got money to blow for a drone that may need to be retired soon, or don’t mind risking a prison cell for a little back yard fun, you would be foolish to buy an SD2 or other drone of more than trivial cost under this cloud without those assurances from the OEM.

Personally I’ve already bought mine so this ship has sailed, but if I had a deposit down, I’d be asking Skydio to speak up here before completing an order.
 
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leenanj

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We are talking over 4 years at least for this to go into effect and I doubt it anyway, not in its current form.

The Skydio 2 will be old news and old technology by then.
 

Jim

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We are talking over 4 years at least for this to go into effect and I doubt it anyway, not in its current form.

The Skydio 2 will be old news and old technology by then.
Three from enactment in current form, not four, and others are actually campaigning to shorten it, but like I said, go ahead and buy without reassurance if you don’t mind your drone becoming a paperweight at some point in the not distant future. Myself, I would like to hear Skydio say the SD2 can and will be made to comply (and how) and I’m sure I’m not alone.
 

leenanj

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Three from enactment in current form, not four, and others are actually campaigning to shorten it, but like I said, go ahead and buy without reassurance if you don’t mind your drone becoming a paperweight at some point in the not distant future. Myself, I would like to hear Skydio say the SD2 can and will be made to comply (and how) and I’m sure I’m not alone.
The Skydio being a short range drone I'm not concerned in the least. I will use it as intended regardless.

I would probably be more concerned with my Mavic than the Skydio.
 
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Jim

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The Skydio being a short range drone I'm not concerned in the least. I will use it as intended regardless.

I would probably be more concerned with my Mavic than the Skydio.
It was certainly not designed to have zero range - the controller is advertised as 3.5km and the beacon 1.5. The FAA proposal limits you to 400 feet if you do not have a separate ID built into the unit without the phone or controller! Unfortunately 400 combined vertical and horizontal range is much, much too short - at 70 meters vertical, you couldn’t even cover a 100 meter square (not even close). People are going way farther than that on their own properties and at parks, and with no cell reception, which happens to me all the time even in a coastal and highly populated area, you won’t be allowed to fly at all! If you think this is not very, very severely limiting you are mistaken.
 
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Ddrone

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It's worse than that. You will not be able to fly anywhere but designated hoby areas oif you don't have even limited secure ID (and there is no way this will have anything but that). But in three years, who cares. Seriously.

And if you believe that there are only 150,000 people in the USA flying drones (not part 107 registered... Total which includes hobbyist)... The FAA says that's how many pilots are registered. So it's clear that thousands of people are already illegally flying drones. That will continue.

So what's the real point of these rules? Safety? Hogwash. How many drone related accidents have there been? Again, think about how many drones are really out there, most of which are being down by people who are not registered so may not even be the best pilots.

Allowing package delivery? Ridiculous. How does this help that? So we can track where the UPS drone is? And the operator of that drone?

Avoid collisions? There are way better ways (airplanes don't need an internet connection to fly).

Three are so many better ways to deal with whatever problems this is trying to solve.

But experience says that published rules don't change much before implemention. So those who think there is no way these will be implemented close to what you are reading, now, should get a reality check. I hope they are right, but history is not on their side.

Happy New Year, all!
 

Lon Denard

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It was certainly not designed to have zero range - the controller is advertised as 3.5km and the beacon 1.5. The FAA proposal limits you to 400 feet if you do not have a separate ID built into the unit without the phone or controller! Unfortunately 400 combined vertical and horizontal range is much, much too short - at 70 meters vertical, you couldn’t even cover a 100 meter square (not even close). People are going way farther than that on their own properties and at parks, and with no cell reception, which happens to me all the time even in a coastal and highly populated area, you won’t be allowed to fly at all! If you think this is not very, very severely limiting you are mistaken.

One thing I've figured out only having the S2 for a couple days. Range isn't Skydio's concern. 400' is plenty far enough on a drone that only follows you around. I was on the outskirts of town, in a deserted industrial complex and barely got 1/2 mile with the controller before total loss. For context, from the same spot, I got over a mile with the Mavic Mini. Hopefully, if the weather breaks, I'm going to try them head to head tomorrow.
 

Blue Bird

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One thing I've figured out only having the S2 for a couple days. Range isn't Skydio's concern. 400' is plenty far enough on a drone that only follows you around. I was on the outskirts of town, in a deserted industrial complex and barely got 1/2 mile with the controller before total loss. For context, from the same spot, I got over a mile with the Mavic Mini. Hopefully, if the weather breaks, I'm going to try them head to head tomorrow.
Sure would like to see some of your video when you have a chance to share.
 

Jim

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One thing I've figured out only having the S2 for a couple days. Range isn't Skydio's concern. 400' is plenty far enough on a drone that only follows you around. I was on the outskirts of town, in a deserted industrial complex and barely got 1/2 mile with the controller before total loss. For context, from the same spot, I got over a mile with the Mavic Mini. Hopefully, if the weather breaks, I'm going to try them head to head tomorrow.
Yeah, mine loses connection with some regularity with the Beacon even from under 100’ away, but yesterday I decided to try putting the phone in Airplane Mode as recommended and then didn’t have a single disconnect for the rest of the session. Could be coincidence, or could be the phone really is interfering, will report back, and I recommend you try it. I was having no difficulty with connection using the controller at a half mile, my disconnects with remote and the one with controller were all much closer.

In any event, follow me mode aside, 400’ is not nearly enough for even hobby flying, and we didn’t all buy these to use exclusively for follow-me - a half mile I could honestly probably live with, but 400’ won’t even allow you to go around the local soccer field, and forget drones, even if you could outfit them with this tech, which would be unworkable and absurdly expensive for many, folks flying regular r/c planes and helicopters exceed this all the time.
 

dougcjohn

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From my understanding, reviewing several training sites with updated info & more FAA savvy Pilots than myself.
Basically No "current consumer / prosumer" craft has the electronics to meet the new NPRM Remote ID. No FW will permit operation to meet specifications to fly existing crafts beyound the pre-established FAA 400 ft sphere play zones... Level 3. To meet specifications, the existing crafts would need to be upgraded & modified by the original manufacture... there isn't a indication of 3rd Party devices included... as of yet. I doubt manufactures are planning to update or modify older crafts.

The DJI included ADS-B or their proprietary airsafe system is not within the NPRM Remote ID parameters. That rules out current DJI platforms too. The current DJI models will be restricted to the 400 ft sphere at pre-zoned FAA locations.

To meet the new standards will require new crafts that are equipped with the new electronics, and at a much higher cost.

Some express... just fly and ignore. Many will probably agree and I'm not in disagreement with it in "principle" but in actuality that probably wouldn't be a wise action if near any cities or LEO. Once in action, the craft will be visible to a LEO's tablet or phone running an app they'll easily obtain. If they see a drone in the air and it's not on their screen, then it's illegal and I'm confident they exercise fines or arrests... being encouraged by negative media and politics.

This isn't the Remote ID project that's been discussed over the last year... actually in "my opinion" it's not even touching the original intent of the Remote ID purpose... to improve safety of air traffic and security of threat. To meet the original remote ID project, would be much simpler and provide a path for existing crafts to upgrade.

I'd suggest taking a strong interest and possible making a rational objection on the FAA NPRM comments.
 

dougcjohn

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The 3-4 years before the new NPRM proposal becomes a reality does provide time to argue, but historically that won't happen to any degree. I am hopeful 3rd party will introduce new devices to retro fit older crafts and the devices will be allowed... but that's an unknown.

The phasing out a craft from active operations is extremely frustrating, to be assumed no longer able to fly a craft based on generation age and not airworthy shouldn't be decided by a regulation, especially when that degree of control is not mandated to older Manned Crafts. The 3-4 years will certainly provide time to produce new aircraft, but it's also a very short time to shelf several platforms that could provide service for many more years. Smaller platforms may not feel the impact to replace, but larger platforms that include very expensive payloads and associated hardware are impacted.

Commercial operations may include Ag operations, Power line or Tower inspections. These may be beyond Internet & Cellular signals, that presents a problem under new NPRM even for new crafts, the older capable crafts would be resritcted for lack of electronics and lack of signal. The current NPRM has allowances for "losing internet" and continuing flight operations, but to my understanding it requires Internet signal to take-off.
 

Lon Denard

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Yeah, mine loses connection with some regularity with the Beacon even from under 100’ away, but yesterday I decided to try putting the phone in Airplane Mode as recommended and then didn’t have a single disconnect for the rest of the session. Could be coincidence, or could be the phone really is interfering, will report back, and I recommend you try it. I was having no difficulty with connection using the controller at a half mile, my disconnects with remote and the one with controller were all much closer.

In any event, follow me mode aside, 400’ is not nearly enough for even hobby flying, and we didn’t all buy these to use exclusively for follow-me - a half mile I could honestly probably live with, but 400’ won’t even allow you to go around the local soccer field, and forget drones, even if you could outfit them with this tech, which would be unworkable and absurdly expensive for many, folks flying regular r/c planes and helicopters exceed this all the time.
Maybe it'll get better when I go to my dedicated tablet as well. I did have WiFi turned off but I can't go into Airplane Mode because of my job. I'm on call 24/7. I'm about to say a dirty word but... Same phone and conditions on my other drone...just saying.
 

Lon Denard

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From my understanding, reviewing several training sites with updated info & more FAA savvy Pilots than myself.
Basically No "current consumer / prosumer" craft has the electronics to meet the new NPRM Remote ID. No FW will permit operation to meet specifications to fly existing crafts beyound the pre-established FAA 400 ft sphere play zones... Level 3. To meet specifications, the existing crafts would need to be upgraded & modified by the original manufacture... there isn't a indication of 3rd Party devices included... as of yet. I doubt manufactures are planning to update or modify older crafts.

The DJI included ADS-B or their proprietary airsafe system is not within the NPRM Remote ID parameters. That rules out current DJI platforms too. The current DJI models will be restricted to the 400 ft sphere at pre-zoned FAA locations.

To meet the new standards will require new crafts that are equipped with the new electronics, and at a much higher cost.

Some express... just fly and ignore. Many will probably agree and I'm not in disagreement with it in "principle" but in actuality that probably wouldn't be a wise action if near any cities or LEO. Once in action, the craft will be visible to a LEO's tablet or phone running an app they'll easily obtain. If they see a drone in the air and it's not on their screen, then it's illegal and I'm confident they exercise fines or arrests... being encouraged by negative media and politics.

This isn't the Remote ID project that's been discussed over the last year... actually in "my opinion" it's not even touching the original intent of the Remote ID purpose... to improve safety of air traffic and security of threat. To meet the original remote ID project, would be much simpler and provide a path for existing crafts to upgrade.

I'd suggest taking a strong interest and possible making a rational objection on the FAA NPRM comments.
I mostly agree with you but you conflated the 400' sphere and FAA approved zones. Drones with Limited Remote ID, like my Mavic 2 Pro or Mavic Mini, will be regulated to the 400' rule wherever you fly in Class G airspace. Drones like my Skydio 2 will be restricted to the zones.

I'm pretty sure that drones with ADS-B receivers, like Airsense equipped drones, like our M2ED (and all future DJI prosumer drones). If they are programmed to automatically make way for ADS-B out aircraft, it will get some consideration. That coupled with the existing NFZ program and Remote ID drone tracking should put some fears to bed. It's not all doom and gloom.

I know the regs don't allow for modification of existing drones or ADS-B out on consumer drones but that's where the most room for improvement lies, in my opinion. Mark my words, there's a middle ground that hasn't been covered yet.
 

dougcjohn

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I mostly agree with you but you conflated the 400' sphere and FAA approved zones. Drones with Limited Remote ID, like my Mavic 2 Pro or Mavic Mini, will be regulated to the 400' rule wherever you fly in Class G airspace. Drones like my Skydio 2 will be restricted to the zones.

I'm pretty sure that drones with ADS-B receivers, like Airsense equipped drones, like our M2ED (and all future DJI prosumer drones). If they are programmed to automatically make way for ADS-B out aircraft, it will get some consideration. That coupled with the existing NFZ program and Remote ID drone tracking should put some fears to bed. It's not all doom and gloom.

I know the regs don't allow for modification of existing drones or ADS-B out on consumer drones but that's where the most room for improvement lies, in my opinion. Mark my words, there's a middle ground that hasn't been covered yet.
Correct, FRIA zones aren’t the 400‘ sphere... my hast on small phone screen and 2 fingers not typing as fast as thoughts. The limited ID is 400’ sphere, and FRIA is containment zone with 400’ ceiling. In my opinion, the FRIA zones and Limited ID are both useless, I paid little attention to either... why bother, why purchase a pricy drone to buzz around a containment of airspace.

Actually the ADS-B isn’t part of the Remote ID, they don’t want the broadcasting of ADS-B. Our Mavic 2 series don’t meet standards for even limited ID, their controller isn’t broadcasting on internet. Currently all DJI platforms, excluding new models yet to be made will be restricted to the FRIA zone; That includes the Skydio S2 and other crafts as well. If it was ADS-B transponder, that would be an easy add-on mod for practically any older drone... 3rd party would be on that in a heartbeat.

i do hope to see modifications to the regulations and/or add-on mod products that meet the regulations that can be installed on older drones. I do see the ability to more easily meet limited ID requirement since that’s more focused on the controller... or tablet attached & interfaced; but for commercial projects, the 400‘ mark is useless.

The only current drone excluded for hobbyist to freely operate is the Mavic Mini, but not commercially. That too will probably change and be included.
 

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