French sensor and sensing solutions company Terabee has announced a new addition to their line of lightweight, small-size, low-cost distance and ranging sensors.
The TeraRanger Evo sensor weighs just 9g (about 1/3 ounce – 12g with communication board), making it ideal for use on drones. Despite the sensor’s tiny size, it can make distance readings at up to 60m (almost 200 feet). Rather than laser, the sensor uses LED technology.
“Ease of use has always been a key feature of TeraRanger sensors and Evo is no different,” says Terabee. “There are no calibrations, compensations or data translations to do, so the sensor is essentially plug and play, streaming distance values in digital format.”
“Adding to the ease of use is the clever two-part construction where the black colored optical sensor module simply clips to the yellow colored backboard for power management and communications.” The sensor is drone-agnostic, offering two different standard backboards and any customization as required.
Greg Watts, Commercial Manager at Terabee explains, “With this sensor we’ve taken both ease of use and performance to another level. We’ve always had strong demand for our sensors from the drone community, so we have made sure the sensor is easy to mount on drones and setup and use with popular autopilots such as Pixhawk, for example.”
The use of near-infrared LED instead of laser gives the TeraRanger Evo an advantage. “By using near-infrared LED’s rather than laser, TeraRanger Evo benefits from a 2 degree field-of-view, so that, rather than measuring distance based on a very small point of light, the sensor measures over an area,” says Terabee.
“For many drone applications”, comments Greg Watts, “this is a significant advantage, allowing you to detect smaller targets, or hazards, that a laser might miss. You also benefit from a more stable datastream in fast changing conditions, such as flight above crops, where the laser might measure the distance to the ground, and then the crop and then the ground again, all in close succession. These are typical of the use cases where customers tell us they get better results from TeraRanger than they did from their lasers.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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