Why you should take another look at radar systems for your autonomous drone and vehicle use cases

autonomous crop monitoring

Smart radar systems, such as those designed by Ainstein, can bring added capabilities and higher performance to your autonomous use cases.

These might include autonomous or semi-autonomous operation of drones, as demonstrated in the video below, but it may also include autonomous or semi-autonomous use cases for specialty vehicles or robots used in logistics and manufacturing.

Many autonomous applications today rely on laser-based (lidar) sensing systems to gain situational awareness.

Lidar sensors provide reliable readings and high resolution when deployed under ideal operating conditions. However, situations in which operating conditions are less than ideal are quite common. For example, lidar sensors’ performance will degrade in conditions of rain, snow, fog, blowing sand, dust, and over bodies of water.

The video below gives a side-by-side demonstration of Ainstein’s US-D1 radar altimeter and a laser altimeter mounted on a drone.

The drone is set to hover over a small pond. Lidar-based sensors rely on light for gathering readings, and light undergoes different behavior around water compared to air. The video demonstrates the laser altimeter’s confusion over the small pond — particularly when the water’s surface is broken by objects falling in the water, simulating for example a choppy ocean environment.

Similar performance degradation is also observed from lidar-based sensors in conditions of snow, rain, fog, blowing sand, and dust.

Radar sensors, on the other hand, utilize microwave signals, which don’t suffer any performance degradation around water.

On the righthand side of the video the sensors’ output readings are plotted. The laser altimeter’s readings are plotted in blue, and the Ainstein US-D1 radar altimeter’s readings are plotted in red. 

Want to learn more about Ainstein’s US-D1 Radar Altimeter and how you can integrate it into your autonomous applications for improving performance and reliability? Follow the link below for data sheet and more details:

Ainstein US-D1 Radar Altimeter


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