Veteran droners know all about Andrew Dunlop and his Millswood failsafe devices. Lovingly crafted for the Outback Challenge. Back in the day, BDJI (Before DJI). The Outback Challenge did more to advance the cause of geofencing than any other effort.
Andrew is about to release a new, quite frankly tiny independant geofencing device.
He explains it better than me.
The Millswood Engineering Aerofence is a sophisticated geofencing device that comes in a tiny form-factor.
A 3D geofence is a volume of airspace, often defined by an area and a pair of altitude limits. The Aerofence supports 2 independent polygonal geofences, each consisting of up to 50 vertices. Areas may contain exclusion zones (also polygonal) within them.
The Aerofence monitors an NMEA data stream, extracts 3D position fix information, and calculates whether or not the 3D fix lies within the pre-defined volume(s) of airspace.
Please note that the Aerofence does not include a GNSS receiver – most GNSS receivers have a logic-level serial output which is suitable for connection to the Aerofence.
Geofence status is reported with dedicated bi-colour LEDs and logic-level outputs. GNSS status is reported in the same way.
Why use an Aerofence in your UAV?
Geofences are becoming ubiquitous. Some autopilots have them, some ground control stations have them, even some smartphones have them. But they often come with a few problems…
- Limited geometry – many implementations only offer circular geofences. This severely restricts the opportunities for deploying geofencing technology.
- Wrong device location – for maximum reliability the geofencing device must be located on the vehicle itself, and processed locally. Distributed geofencing is often easier, but it does make the geofence vulnerable to loss of comms.
- Poor user interface resulting in an error-prone work flow. This is a safety risk – aircraft have been lost because of poor user interface design.
The Aerofence solves the first two problems by offering sophisticated polygonal geofencing in a tiny form-factor. The third problem is solved by the graphical geofence designer within the Aerofence configuration utility. Download it and discover how easy it is to create simple and complex geofences.
Although the Aerofence was designed with unmanned aviation in mind, it can be used in any application that requires a deployable geofence.
The Aerofence is 1.075 x 1.075″ (27.3 x 27.3mm) and weighs 0.2oz (5g).
Contact us for further technical information or to register your interest. The Aerofence will be available in the 3rd quarter of 2017.