Alert: Drones can kill digital cameras Leave a comment

A few months back I have written an article citing how laser beams are frying up the camera sensors in Marathi. As the title suggests it was about laser lights and its potential threat to the digital camera sensors. I came across the story of unmanned automobile vehicle testing agency guy got his digital camera sensor fried due to the vehicle sensors.

Since then I was digging and learning more about various types sensors being used under vehicle sensors. These types of sensors specifically called as Obstacle Avoidance Sensors. Such sensors are based on various technologies, mainly Infra-red, ultrasonic (sonar), LIDAR, stereo vision, monocular vision. Being a remotely controlled aerial vehicle, drone also has these sensors embedded on it. These sensors detects the obstacles in it’s range and sends signals to the processor. Inbuilt AI programmed drones then stops the drone from flying further and avoids the collision.

Infra-red sensors uses the infra-red lights to detect low ranged obstacles such as landing pad or surface. Ultrasonic technique is about sending the audio signals and sensing it back just like those in bats. Stereo vision, monocular are the techniques in which video signals are used.

LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.

LIDAR imaging data gathered from drone

A LIDAR instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver. LIDAR data is often collected by air, such as with this NOAA survey aircraft (right) over Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, Calif. Here, LIDAR data reveals a top-down (top left) and profile view of Bixby Bridge. NOAA scientists use LIDAR-generated products to examine both natural and manmade environments. LIDAR data supports activities such as inundation and storm surge modeling, hydrodynamic modeling, shoreline mapping, emergency response, hydrographic surveying, and coastal vulnerability analysis.

Self driving car LIDAR burnt the camera sensor

Conclusion is, LIDAR uses laser sensing technology, which is used in driverless vehicles, and drones. Evidences of driverless car’s LIDAR sensors frying the camera sensors are already there. But there are no known instances of drone LIDAR lasers burning the camera sensors, but it could harm your cameras & you must be aware of this!

Note: This article based on individual study, and data gathered from various offline sources and internet. I would be more than happy if some industry expert come forward to debunk this study and enlighten us.

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