Army Researchers Develop Breakthrough Sensors for Small Drones

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Photo by Senior Airman Ashley Perdue (Source:
Photo by Senior Airman Ashley Perdue (Source:

September 1, 2020 | Originally published by U.S. Army on August 19, 2020

ADELPHI, Md.  Imagine a small aerial drone navigating a field with electrical power lines. How will it see them? More importantly, how will it avoid this significant obstacle in its flight path?

At the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory, researchers developed a novel sensor and software application to detect and avoid energized power lines in the vicinity of an unmanned aerial system, or UAS. The goal is to provide autonomous systems sufficient time and distance to react, avoid wires, and navigate follow-on maneuvers.