In a previous article, we talked about the current status of aircraft-drone collisions. The increasing possibility of a drone being the cause of a plane crashing down creates a high-tension situation, especially for drone users. The actions of a few irresponsible drone owners taint the image of the community in general. This has led to stricter rules and regulations, especially when it comes to airports and crowded areas.
The problem of these drone incidences involving aircrafts sees no end in sight. With drones being more available at hobby shops and tech stores, it can be a further problem. More and more people purchase drones for their hobbies, making the skies a lot more crowded. Indeed, drone usage among the population has never been higher.
The Fukushima Sensor Solution
In Fukushima, Japan, a potential solution may be on the works regarding these drone incidents. The plan is simple – create a program that can detect these potential drone-aircraft collisions and have a preset maneuver to avoid impact. Through the joint forces of automobile manufacturing company Subaru and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), this program may save many lives in the future.
The solution involves placing a specialized sensor on drones – both newly manufactured ones and those that have been around for years. The sensor can detect nearby air obstacles, say an airplane in the vicinity, and react accordingly. Without requiring manual control from the owner, the drone will try to navigate away from any danger.
Tests for this sensor already happened at Fukushima. The experiment involved a helicopter flying directly into the vicinity of the drone. The sensor detected the incoming aircraft (which was speeding at 40 kmph) and adjusted accordingly. It was a seamless transition, with zero risk for contact and impact. This proves to be a promising solution, with a simple add-on to a drone nearly guaranteeing an avoidance to close calls in the future.