Collision avoidance for drones

“The sky could become increasingly crowded as personal and commercial uses of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, become more popular.”
Parimal Kopardekar, manager of NASA’s Safe Autonomous Systems Operations project (2015)

TRENDWATCH. One of the trends driving the UAV industry are collision avoidance technologies that will make our skies safe. The number of application areas for UAVs is constantly growing and our skies are getting busy.

Safety has become a growing concern. Existing government rules require the UAV pilot to maintain line-of-sight contact with the aircraft which is a major obstacle for the wider use of UAVs. We need to accelerate the development of reliable systems that can help us integrate UAVs safely inte our airspace. If todays government limitations can be removed, analysts expect the UAV market to grow rapidly.

So you will be hearing a lot more on automated airborne collision avoidance systems for UAVs in the future. Here are some of the basic technologies which can be developed to co-work with UAV flight control system for autonomous flightpath without pilot initiation.

Ultrasonic sensors
– are inexpensive and good at detecting obstacles at short distances, which makes them useful for assisted parking of vehicles which also is their main field of application today.

– is the more expensive sensor known to be used on for example Google’s driverless car. It uses pulsed laser light to measure distances. A lidar sensor has a wide field of view and delivers a very detailed image.

Intel® RealSense™
– is basically three cameras that act like one, a 1080p HD camera, an infrared camera, and an infrared laser projector. The infrared parts allow RealSense to see the distance between objects, separating objects from the background layers behind them and allowing for facial and gesture recognition.

There are a lot of pros and cons that need to be taken into consideration and today there are no easy plug-and-play solutions. We at Sky Eye are carefully evaluating all above and testing possible integrations. Our plan is to have a system implemented to our platform soon. We will keep you posted on our work ahead.

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