Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, more commonly know as Drones, are finding increasing use in numerous applications. Earlier limited to military and geo mapping and referencing tasks, drones are already being put to use for tasks like parcel delivery, hurricane hunting, agriculture land monitoring etc. Some of the leading asset management companies are using drones for aerial asset management. With time, such applications are anticipated to rise exponentially. For drones to carry out the assigned tasks properly, accurate navigational assistance is very important. Along with accurate navigational assistance, for many applications (eg. imaging applications), it is crucial that the drone remains stable so as to ensure that the sensors mounted on it capture the data correctly, without any distortions.
Aeron Systems has developed Pollux, a micro-miniature inertial navigation system which not only provides precise navigational guidance to the drones but also ensures stability of the drone.
What is Pollux?
Pollux is an extremely compact and versatile navigation solution for on ground and airborne applications. Pollux is a GNSS aided inertial navigation solution which can give navigation data even in absence of GPS.
It can be used for Indoor Navigation in Urban scenario as well as deliver 2.5 cm position accuracy in RTK setup.
Pollux can be installed in soldier back-pack or belt and can be used for real-time tracking and situational awareness. Pollux comes with a USB interface for integration with Tablet and PC.
Pollux combines Aeron’s Kalman filter-based parameter estimation engine with high speed processing power to deliver position, ground speed and orientation information at 25 times per second. Pollux gives Industry leading navigation performance with the help of the latest MEMS sensing technology and multi constellation GNSS.
What makes Pollux ideal for UAV navigation?
Compact and lightweight
Pollux weighs just about 40 grams and is highly compact (35mm*35mm*17.5mm) making it arguably the smallest full-fledged INS available in the market. Low weight and compact size make it most suitable for drones and UAVS, especially the smaller ones used to domestic applications. For drones, battery capacity is a major constraint. Weight reduction is a key strategy to improve the flying range of the drone. This makes it imperative that any component that goes on the UAVs is lightweight and compact.
Superior location accuracy
Pollux is a GNSS aided INS which can provide navigational data even in absence of GPS. Instead of relying upon only GPS signal, it is advisable to go for an INS aided by GNSS. Solely depending on GNSS has multiple disadvantages. The GNSS signal can be easily interfered with or jammed. In urban setups, the signal cannot penetrate buildings and is also affected by interference in the atmosphere. Delays induced by ionosphere and troposphere and also by reflecting surfaces bring down the reliability of GNSS. On the other hand, output of a standalone INS (i.e. without using GNSS assistance) degrades over the time. As pollux is a GNSS aided INS, it can be used for Indoor Navigation in Urban scenario and can deliver 2.5 cm position accuracy in RTK setup.
As the use of drones becomes widespread for deliveries etc. superior navigation will lead to faster deliveries increasing the overall efficiency and productivity.
Drone body stabilization
When drones are being used for mapping and imaging applications, a stable drone body is a must for distortion free data. Pollux can be used seamlessly for drone stabilization leading to higher quality of data.
Ideally, the INS for UAV applications should be low power consuming. Considering the nature of applications, Pollux has been designed for low power consumption (~3.5 Watts) so as to make minimum impact on the drone battery.
For drones to become a commonly used commodity, they have to be affordable. Pollux is competitively priced which makes it ideal for low as well as high scale drone manufacturing.
To know more about pollux, click here