All sophisticated flying devices need to be aware of their altitude in respect to the ground, allowing for smooth take-off and landing, stable hovering, and maintaining a safe distance from the ground during flights, especially when operating at lower altitudes.
Leading commercial drone vendors are starting to integrate specific distance sensors (also called rangefinders) that perform as altimeters and complement the on-board navigational equipment. And these days, the LeddarOne sensor is catching the industry’s attention.
The LeddarOne is an optical detection and ranging sensor which provides accurate and reliable distance measurements over a typical range of >10 m (and up to 40 m on reflective surfaces). More specifically, it is a single-element, fixed-beam Lidar which uses the time of flight of a light pulse emitted by its LED source to measure the distance between the drone and the ground (or another object below). The small sensor will typically be installed under the drone’s body, pointing vertically towards the ground (see pictures below).