Zipline unveils onboard acoustic detection and avoidance system for autonomous drones

Drone operator Zipline has introduced a detection and avoidance system based on acoustic technology to support drone operations in complex or uncontrolled airspace. The new system relies on a series of small, lightweight acoustic microphones and onboard processors to navigate airspace and provide 360-degree awareness with a range up to 2,000 meters. Using this onboard system, aircraft can autonomously monitor for other aircraft in real-time, and adapt to changes in their flight path, says the company press release.

The hardware is built into Zipline’s drones and is ready to be activated for use in many regions upon regulatory approval.

Keenan Wyrobek, co-founder and CTO of Zipline, said: “We’ve created a system that is agile enough to operate with the finest of margins, and can think for itself and adjust in real-time. DAA is the result of years of development and hundreds of thousands of flight hours. It’s an elegant answer to the challenges of flying beyond the visual line of sight in the United States not in 10 years–but today.”

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