Drone forensics: A case study on a DJI mavic air

Source of Publication

Proceedings of IEEE/ACS International Conference on Computer Systems and Applications, AICCSA


© 2019 IEEE. The use and sale of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have seen an immense amount of growth over the past few years. While capturing mass-market appeal and serving legitimate uses, there have been many incidents where UAVs were used to commit various sinister activities. Digital forensic examiners have consequently come to play a vital role in the emerging field of drone or UAV forensics. In this research we perform a forensic investigation on an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), specifically the DJI Mavic Air, using an iOS-based smartphone device. In our study we examine the data that can be extracted from the UAS in addition to investigating and analyzing the logical acquisition of the associated smartphone device created by Apple's iTunes backup utility. Our findings indicate that the mobile application used to control the UAV contains a significant amount of forensic data. Furthermore, we obtained valuable data from the external MicroSD card, the mobile device and the drone.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding



Publication Date




Author First name, Last name, Institution

Maryam Yousef, Zayed University
Farkhund Iqbal, Zayed University