DJI Welcomes FAA-Commissioned Report Analyzing Drone Safety Near People
Scientific Study Shows Aerodynamic, Structural Profile Of Drones Lead To Lower Risks
April 28, 2017 – DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, welcomes today’s report from the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE), the FAA’s designated Center of Excellence, which establishes that small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are far more safe to operate around people than earlier models had assumed.
The ASSURE report, prepared for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to help identify criteria for safe drone operations over people, showed that drones have unique aerodynamic and structural properties that mitigate the force involved in a collision.
ASSURE concluded that a DJI Phantom 3 drone falling on a person’s head has a 0.03% chance or less of causing a head injury, compared to a 99% risk of head injury from blocks of steel or wood with the same weight. While other materials transfer their force to a person’s head in a collision, a DJI Phantom 3 drone absorbs much of the energy – resulting in much less energy being transferred. Videos of ASSURE’s comparison tests are available here: http://www.assureuas.org/projects/deliverables/sUASGroundCollisionReport.php?Code=230
“ASSURE’s report is the first thorough scientific study of the risk drones pose to people on the ground, and we are pleased that it validates our own findings that earlier measurement standards grossly overstate the risks of injury from a drone,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs. “ASSURE’s work provides a deeper scientific understanding of the kinetic and aerodynamic factors which make drones far safer than some had thought. We look forward to more detailed research that will ensure drone safety requirements and regulations are based on measurable risk, not on fear, misunderstandings or outdated standards.”
“This report represents groundbreaking work to understand how drone impacts would occur in the real world. This will be an important guide as the industry works to make standards for drones that fly over and near people,” said Dr. Walter Stockwell, DJI Director of Technical Standards.
An earlier scientific report from DJI concluded that drones weighing up to 2.2 kilograms can be safely flown with the lowest risk to people, far higher than the FAA’s 250 gram threshold used for registration purposes. DJI’s report showed the 250 gram standard was based on poorly chosen data and deeply flawed assumptions, including an almost 50-year-old model of casualties caused by shrapnel during a nuclear war, and should not be relied upon to set operational regulations. That earlier report can be downloaded here: https://www.dji.com/newsroom/news/dji-proposes-higher-maximum-weight-for-lowest-risk-drone-category
DJI has supplied ASSURE with materials for testing as well as technical expertise upon request since 2016, as part of DJI’s efforts to ensure the UAS industry can rely on high-quality independent research to improve safety standards and performance. DJI played no other role in the report’s preparation or conclusions.