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4 Drone Challenges – and How to Solve Them

Added: 31st August 2021 by Honeywell

Get ready for light Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to fly further, carry more weight and avoid hazards.

Delivering dinner to your door. Bringing medical supplies to hospitals. Surveying waters where someone is missing.

Drones are starting to help make many tasks faster and life a little easier.

One hitch in using drones is that, in most cases, regulators in many countries require that a human keep them in sight at all times. That can slow down operations and increase costs.

That’s why drone builders and operators are increasingly looking for technologies that can allow them to fly beyond visual line of sight, a concept known as BVLOS.

Introducing: Our Beyond Visual Line of Sight suite of technologies.

The BVLOS (pronounced “bev-loss”) suite is ideal for missions where distance, buildings or terrain interfere with radio links or visual guidance.

Used by drone designers, these technologies work to help drones do more than ever before.

Here’s how:

Challenge: Endurance

The brick-size batteries used by drones are heavy and get used up quickly. Gasoline engines, meanwhile are noisy and emit exhaust.

Solution: Hydrogen fuel cells

How: Drones powered by a hydrogen fuel cell can fly farther and up to three times longer than comparably sized battery-powered aircraft. They operate silently, emit nothing but water, and can be refueled quickly.

Challenge: Traffic and Obstacle Detection

Without human eyes to help, a drone needs to look out for itself.

Solution: IntuVue RDR-84K Radar

How: This radar is the drone’s most important sensor. It guides the drone around other air traffic and obstacles, maps terrain, identifies safe landing zones, detects its altitude, and can even see bad weather. It works out to three kilometers and can keep close watch on multiple things at once.

Challenge: Navigation

When GPS signals aren’t available, you need a different way to find position.

Solution: Inertial Measurement Unit

How: This tiny powerhouse uses an array of electronics - all packaged on computer chips - to provide the navigation system with precise information. With an IMU onboard, the system knows where it is, what direction it's going and at what speed.

Challenge: Communications

Stay in contact from the other side of a hill, or from half a world away.

Solution: Small UAV SATCOM

How: SATCOM is short for satellite communications. And when it comes to a drone, you’ll want the lightest and most compact SATCOM system on the market. Users can view streaming video from the drone’s cameras and download any other data collected. 

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