Aerialtronics has developed for its Altura Zenith unmanned aircraft system (UAS) a sense-and-avoid solution the company says will fundamentally change how inspections via drone are carried out.
According to Aerialtronics, the solution is designed to help the Zenith UAS stay clear of objects during inspections as it relays images, video and data to the user or a third party. With the new technology, the UAS can detect obstacles – whether static or moving – up to seven meters away at a 360-degree angle.
Aerialtronics expects the new drone solution to be used by customers during lengthy engineering maintenance projects or for regular inspections of structures such as bridges, wind turbines, telecommunication towers, energy pylons and buildings.
“The Zenith can be flown at an adjustable safe distance with a minimum of two meters from the object while recording or relaying photographs, video or data from the field. This enables even inexperienced users to safely fly a camera next to a utility pole or chimney,” explains Jan Wouter Kruyt, head of research and development at Aerialtronics.
“The solution we’ve developed is distance sensing and distance keeping. Our drones can be programmed to stop moving forward or bounce back when they get within a critical distance from any object – be that a wall, a pole or a flying object. It is particularly important in windy conditions where the drone stability is crucial,” adds Kruyt.
The new functionality will be available on the Altura Zenith version 1.3 in the second quarter of this year. Current owners will be able to upgrade their Zenith to 1.3, says Aerialtronics.