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How to Control UAV Altitude Precisely

2020-04-15

UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) can be classified into fixed wing UAV, multi rotor UAV, compound wing UAV and unmanned helicopter according to the technical characteristics. In the process of landing, the UAV may hit the ground and be damaged due to improper operation, too fast speed and GPS signal loss. If there is no relevant sensor to detect the height from the ground and then adjust the descent speed in time correspondingly, the aircraft and its mounted objects may be damaged. GPS cannot effectively measure the absolute altitude, and it is easily affected by satellite signals and the environment. Therefore, reliable absolute altitude information is especially necessary for UAVs.

Drones Altitude Hold Mode,UAV altimeter
Figure 1 Altitude holding for Fix-wing UAV

Application Overview

Benewake TF series LiDAR is a ranging sensor with small size, high accuracy, and high measurement frequency. It can be used as an auxiliary landing and altitude sensor for UAVs. The LiDAR can provide real-time ground distance information and feed it back, so that the UAV can adjust the descent speed or flight height in time.

Drones Altitude Hold Mode,UAV altimeter
Figure 2 Height measuring by LiDAR

When the UAV is flying at high altitude, the LiDAR outputs a maximum value or zero, and at this time, GPS data is mainly accepted. When the UAV is rapidly descending, the distance data output by the LiDAR gradually decreases from a large value, and the flight control system judges the altitude from the ground based on the Lidar data. When approaching the ground, the UAV decreases its speed and slowly descends until landing smoothly. For altitude determination applications, the flight control system adjusts the aircraft's ascent or descent in real time based on the set altitude information and the LiDAR's distance data. When the output distance value from the LiDAR is greater than the set altitude, the UAV descends, and vice versa ascends to maintain a constant altitude flight.

Benefits of LiDAR Sensor

    1. High measurement accuracy
    2. Long measurement range
    3. High detection frequency
    4. Lower cost than millimeter-wave radar
    5. No interference with each other
    6. Accurate detection with small beam angle
    7. Small size, light weight
    8. Easy installation and integration

During the UAV landing process, the TF series LiDAR installed on the UAV detects the distance between the UAV and the ground vertically, and the installation height of the LiDAR is generally 5-20 cm from the ground. TF-Luna, TFmini-S, TFmini-Plus are highly recommended for small UAVs with a required detecting altitude within 5m or indoor UAVs; TF02-Pro is recommended for UAVs with a required detecting altitude of 10-20m; and for required detecting altitude of 20m ~ 100m, TF03 is recommended.

Drones Altitude Hold Mode,UAV altimeter
Figure 3 TF02-Pro LiDAR sensor’s performance

Case Study of UAVs

Logistics UAV
Drones Altitude Hold Mode,UAV altimeter
Recommended products:TF02-Pro(Click for product details)

Patrol/Mapping UAV
Drones Altitude Hold Mode,UAV altimeter
Recommended products:TF02-Pro(Click for product details)

Flight Formation
Drones Altitude Hold Mode,UAV altimeter
Recommended products:TFmini-SClick for product details

Driving School Coach Aircraft
Drones Altitude Hold Mode,UAV altimeter
Recommended products:TF03(Click for product details)

Altitude Holding Video from UAV Company

If you are interested to test Benewake sensors, please click Contact Us or send email to bw@drukfm.com

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