Radar Sensors for UAVs and Drones: Accessible, Scalable and Reliable

Long-Range Radar Altimeter for Geophysical Surveying UAV

Ainstein outlines how its LR-D1 radar altimeter is ideal for geophysical surveying and mapping missions, functioning onboard UAVs to report altitude at an update rate of 40 Hz, even in harsh conditions Feature Article by Ainstein
Long-Range Radar Altimeter for Geophysical Surveying UAV
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Below, Ainstein discusses the benefits of using its LR-D1 radar altimeter on geophysical surveying and mapping unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), covering ideal users, how the LR-D1 integrates with UAVs, and the overall reasons to use a radar altimeter for data collection. 


Ainstein’s Long Range Radar Altimeter, the LR-D1, is ideal for geophysical surveying & mapping missions. It was designed for advanced unmanned aerial vehicles, such as fixed-wing surveillance drones, as well as for rotorcraft of all sizes. The LR-D1 has an operational range of up to 500 meters, and its industrial design makes it suitable for all weather conditions and rugged environments.

Key Benefits of the LR-D1 for Data Collection
The LR-D1 is more reliable in weather than LiDAR/laser altimeters. Its rugged design means it is able to endure harsh conditions, whilst maintaining accuracy in all environments and terrains, including water. 

Who the LR-D1 is Ideal for

  • Mid-to-large-sized geophysical companies with a fleet looking to scale
  • Those who need accuracy in all weather conditions & diverse environments
  • Surveyors operating at constant AGL altitudes across varying terrain

Why Use a Radar Altimeter?
A radar altimeter is able to reliably maintain constant altitude over varying terrain. Laser altimeters are less effective in fog, clouds, or flying over water, and GPS and barometers can’t account for terrain elevation changes. 

How the LR-D1 Works on Geophysical Surveying UAVs or Helicopters:

The LR-D1 comes out of the box with either RS 232 or 422 interface connector & cable length of either the standard 0.5m or extended 1m. Using the provided RS-232-USB converter it easily connects to a PC for bench testing.

Use the LR-D1’s data packet definition to interface with the flight controller in order to relay the detected altitude by the radar. Mount the radar on the underside of the UAV frame, where it has a clear field of view. (If mounting on a geophysical survey helicopter, position towards the front end to prevent detection of towed payloads.)

Begin the flight and the LR-D1 system will report the altitude at an update rate of 40 Hz, ensuring that the data is collected at the required conditions.

To learn more, contact Ainstein: Visit Website Send Message View Supplier Profile
Posted by William Mackenzie Connect & Contact