Tag Archives: aircraft

Pressure Sensing in Drones

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities and you. In this blog we’ll discuss the application of pressure sensing in drones.

Pressure Sensing in Drones

Aircraft of all sorts have different applications for pressure sensing. Drones in particular employ altimeters and barometers similar to even the most and least sophisticated aircraft. A basic surveillance drone can also use accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers as well as cameras, temperature sensors and more.

The altimeter is an integral part of the altimeter control. While some drones have been developed and sold with ultrasonic sensors, pressure sensors improve the hovering mode of the most basic drones. With the altimeter, the air pressure in flight can be compared to the ground pressure for higher, safer operation of the drone.

Altimeters and barometers are mounted in protected internal compartments so their environment tolerance does not have to take into account external conditions that demand more rugged packaging. Recreational drones operating specifications fall well within the capabilities of commercial 100 kPa pressure sensors.

Other pressure sensor applications are found in other types of aircraft. For example, in light aircraft the simple form of an air speed indicator (ASI) measures the difference in pressure between the normal pressure around the craft and the increased pressure caused by propulsion. In more complex aircraft, pressure sensors can also monitor and help control the hydraulics, engine oil pressure and more.

With requests to expand the rules for drones from companies including Amazon, even the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is sensing drone pressure these days.

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What do you think/Comments?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let me know and I’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
-Dan DeFalco, Marketing Manager, All Sensors Corporation (ddefalco@allsensors.com)