Most field proven radar altimeter on the market

FCC certified radar altimeter

Countries deploying US-D1

square miles traveled

All-weather Radar built for precision agriculture and rough terrain

3 common challenges of UAV operators

Barometer's are not accurate at low altitude

The US-D1 is accurate no matter what altitude

Laser altimeters don't work in all environments

The US-D1 is a radar altimeter so it works in all weather

GPS sensor accuracy varies by GPS signal strength

The US-D1 does not rely on anything but itself

Why choose US-D1 radar altimeter?

Fly Over Water

Not affected when over bodies of water

Compact

Small and lightweight

Ardupilot & PX4 Support

Simple to use | Plug & play | Doesn’t need to be calibrated like other sensors

What our customers say about the US-D1

“Many people will use a laser or LiDAR range finder. Great over land but once we hit the water, the numbers went all over the place. We looked at other LiDAR range finders and different powers. We also looked at sonar, but unfortunately sonar’s got a very short range… We found Ainstein. It just plain works. “

Ian Fairweather

CEO of Fairweather IT

We at Jetpack Aviation are very excited to implement Ainstein’s radar altimeter technology in our Jetpacks because there is no other technology out there that will give us such an accurate and responsive measurement no matter what surface we are flying over. Our main goal is to keep our JetPack as light and compact as possible and Ainstein’s radar altimeter fits perfectly with our vision.

Boris Jarry

Operations Manager, JetPack Aviation, Inc.

I’ve been very satisfied with Ainstein’s radar products. Ainstein is the only drone radar provider on the market with high performance and low price in a single package. I don’t see any other manufacturers with the same capabilities and value.

Hideki Shibata

UAS Chief Engineer, YAMAHA MOTOR CORPORATION, U.S.A.

Specifications

 

Frequency Band

24 GHz

Bandwidth

190 MHz

Minimum Operating Altitude

0.5 meters

Maximum Operating Altitude

50 meters

Altitude Precision

6.0cm (< 1m), 4.0cm (> 1m)

Field of View

­43 °  x  30 °

Interface

UART, CAN

Update Rate

100 Hz

Supply Voltage

5V~13V DC (5.5V recommended)

Power Consumption

2W(at 5 Volts DC input)

Operational Temperature Range

-20 °C ~ 65 °C*

Size

108 x 79 x 20 millimeters

Weight

110 grams

Environmental Conditions

IP67(with sealant)

UAV Radar Altimeter
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What regulatory requirements does the US-D1 meet? Is the US-D1 FCC Certified? Does the US-D1 have a CE Marking?

The US-D1 has been FCC certified according to FCC Part 15 standards. It’s FCC ID is 2ATMB-USD1AZ.

The US-D1 has been CE-certified. We are in the process of manufacturing the units with the CE marking and future units will have the mark on the back of the enclosure. The product’s CE declaration of conformity can be found here.

Is the US-D1 export controlled?

Ainstein components are ITAR free, and do not classify under the US Munitions List governed by the State Department.  Our units ship from the US with an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) of EAR99, No License Required.  For export, our HS Tariff Code is 8526.10.0000.

Where can I download the data sheet?
What is the range of the US-D1?

The US-D1 has a maximum range of 50 meters. Other specifications in the US-D1 User Manual

Is the US-D1 waterproof or dustproof?

The US-D1 is manufactured to an IP rating of IP67 and has been tested to that standard by our manufacturing team. The unit has a protective sealant applied between the back panel and the enclosure to ensure that it withstands the IP67 conditions. Pursuing IP67 certification by a third party is on our roadmap, but it has not yet been completed.

Can I use the US-D1 below 0.5m?

Altitudes below 0.5m are within the US-D1’s blind zone, meaning it is unable to detect distance accurately. Attempting to do so will result in measurements that are volatile and have a low accompanying signal-to-noise ratio.

What is the Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR)?

Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. SNR is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels. A ratio higher than 1:1 (greater than 0 dB) indicates more signal than noise.

When using the US-D1 according to the instructions provided in the user manual, a SNR of more than 13 dB is indicative of a high-confidence measurement of the radar’s ability to detect the altitude.

How do I know that the US-D1’s radar reading is valid?

The US-D1 records both the altitude measurement and a corresponding signal-to-noise ratio measurement with an update rate of 100 Hz. Every measured altitude is recorded with it’s SNR. The signal to noise ratio can be used to validate the integrity of an altitude reading. We typically consider a signal-to-noise ratio of less that 13 dB as a low-confidence measurement.

What is the meaning of the radar output? Does it measure the distance to the closest object detected or the distance of the biggest object seen? Or the closest distance to a fitted plane?

The output is primarily the result of the proximity and size of the object detected, but it is also influenced by the material of the object detected and the angle at which the signal is reflecting from the object.

The radar is ultimately designed to detect the distance to the ground below when the ground is the main object in its field of view, and when the radar is facing the ground/water. Other objects in the field of view can cause measurement errors.

What autopilots is the US-D1 compatible with?

The US-D1 is ArduPilot and PX4 compatible. Instructions for connecting the US-D1 to the autopilot can be found on Ardupilot’s website. The US-D1 is also compatible with PX4 and Pixhawk hardware. Instructions and parameter setup can be found on PX4’s US-D1 page.

As DJI’s drone hardware and software is largely proprietary, the US-D1 does not directly interface with DJI drones. Third party software and hardware can be used to interface the US-D1 into DJI drones.

Is there a bench test software tool for the US-D1?

Yes, there is a bench test software application that can be provided upon request. Please email support@ainstein.ai for more information.

How do I mount the US-D1?

When mounting the device, the front face of the US-D1 must be perpendicular to the

ground below the aircraft. The device should be secured to the aircraft, where it is not free to move in any direction. Make sure to mount it in a location where the field of view will be from from any unexpected objects that could cause interference with the proper operation of the aircraft. More details about mounting and integration of the US-D1 can be found in the US-D1 User Manual.

How do I update the firmware of my US-D1?

Ainstein releases new firmware versions for the US-D1 intermittently improve the performance of the device. When you purchase a unit, it will come with the latest firmware. Only older units require firmware updates.

The details for how to upgrade your US-D1’s firmware can be found on Ainstein’s firmware installer page. The page is password protected. You may receive the password in a confirmation email from your US-D1 purchase or upon request by emailing support@ainstein.ai.

 

This firmware update process requires a firmware update kit, which is the hardware used to connect your computer to the US-D1. This device can be directly ordered from our website.

 

To upgrade the firmware of the US-D1, the standard Molex connector on the US-D1 is used to connect to the update kit. If you have removed this connector, you may just as easily use female jumper connectors for each wire to connect to the update kit.

Can I mount two US-D1 units side-by-side and operate them simultaneously?

Yes, the probability of interference between two adjacent US-D1 units operating simultaneously is very low. Therefore, we don’t provide any installation restrictions or minimum distance requirements when using multiple units.

Can I use the US-D1 while carrying a tethered payload underneath?

The US-D1 is most effective when there is a direct path from the sensor to the ground with no other objects in its field of view. It does not have the ability to ignore the tethered payload because the US-D1 records the strongest reflection (the objects closest to the sensor) and outputs the distance. For this reason, it is not advisable to use the US-D1 while carrying a tethered payload unless you are able to keep the US-D1’s field of view clear from any interfering objects.

 

I want to angle my US-D1 at 30°. Will this affect the radar’s performance?

The US-D1’s field of view is 43° x 30°. Although tilting the altimeter at 30° in your application may help you avoid objects in the radar’s field of view, it will also cause noise and potential errors in the measurement, as the algorithm used to detect distance is specifically designed for usage with no tilt. Finding a way to avoid having the radar at 30° will certainly improve the radar’s performance.

Can the US-D1 see through materials such as fiberglass and carbon fiber?

In most cases the US-D1 cannot detect through carbon fiber. At low thicknesses, the US-D1 may be able to detect through fiberglass. Generally milllimeter wave radar cannot see through solid surfaces with accuracy because the beams spread when they hit solid objects, which can create false positives. Also, solid surfaces can absorb radar waves depending on what material they are made of. It is most advisable to keep the US-D1’s field of view free from any objects.

Will testing indoors cause errors in the US-D1’s measurements?

Yes, operating the US-D1 in an indoor environment will be much more likely to cause multi-path reflections. It may cause erroneously high altitude measurements as a result of this. Testing outdoors and in flight is the best way to ascertain the radar’s performance in your application.

Can I use the US-D1 as an object avoidance sensor?

The US-D1 is a radar altimeter. It was intentionally developed to perform measurement of above ground level (AGL) altitude and it’s firmware is specifically designed for this purpose. The US-D1 has not been tested as an object avoidance sensor and is not recommended to be used for this purpose at this time. Therefore, any attempt to use the US-D1 as an object avoidance sensor should be accompanied by any and all precautions to avoid damage or collision at the user’s own risk.

Why is my US-D1 outputting inaccurate measurements?

Improper installation and operation may cause inaccurate measurements due to phenomenon such as multipath reflections, which occur when operating the US-D1 indoors or with large objects obstructing the field of view. Refer to the US-D1 User Manual to ensure proper operation of the device.

Please email support@ainstein.ai for issues not answered by the User Manual or FAQ.

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