“Sense and Avoid” drones, is the next stage in UAV development that will transform drones from remotely flying aircraft (aircraft with human pilots on the ground) to machines that fly themselves. This opens them up to a much wider range of applications.
This means drones must be able to sense and respond to their local environment, altering their height and flying trajectory in order to avoid colliding with other objects in their path.
This collision avoidance and the loss of positive control, two of the FAA’s and Transport Canada’s major safety concerns, will keep drone delivery services from deploying in the very near future. However, sense and avoid technology is beginning to evolve.
The technology is already being deployed on larger and much smaller military drones. A military Drone manufacturer recently reported it has flight-tested an early version of a sense–and-avoid radar mounted on its 10,000-pound military drone.
However, sense and avoid technology for drones weighing less than 55 pounds is not common and is keeping drones from being safely allowed to fly outside the line of sight of the operator.
For this reason commercial drone service companies like Aerial MOB are constantly testing and developing new systems to allow for safe and efficient flight operations in congested areas.