ULTRASONIC WIND SENSORS FOR DRONES AND UAS/UAV TECHNOLOGY

The compact design, light weight and ease of integration of our sensors make them ideal for reading wind speed, direction and temperature on board unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and at unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ground launch and recovery stations.

FT sensors can be used as a replacement for a pitot-based system on fixed wing or multi-rotor UAVs. Reading wind speeds up to 75m/s, they provide highly highly accurate measurements especially from zero to <40 knots, where pitot tube systems tend to have issues.

With full 360° air speed direction measurement, they are ideal for station-keeping and hovering on quad-rotor UAVs. They are also an extremely responsive component in a dynamic positioning system, used to protect the UAV in unpredictably gusty and turbulent environments, such as urban areas, or around bridges, transmission line towers, wind turbines or other large structures. With a much stronger signal to noise ratio (S/N) than other ultrasonic technologies, our Acu-Res® Technology demonstrates unsurpassed levels of data availability.

We are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, and all of our sensors undergo a rigorous range of vibration and shock, waterproofing and sealing, temperature and EMC tests to ensure reliable service, even in the harshest of environments. See full product certification.

FT recommends the following three models for use on drones and UAVs:

FT205
Our lightest and most compact wind sensor reading wind speed, direction and temperature. Ideal for sUAS and applications where size, weight and low power are critical.

FT742-SM
Made from hard anodised aluminium, this heated sensor is small yet extremely rugged. Ideally suited for portable or temporary deployments where it may be roughly handled.

FT742-DM
Designed to mount to a 33.7mm pipe, the DM is ideal for permanent, portable or rapidly-deployable ground stations used to monitor launch conditions for UAVs.

FT205 Lightweight wind sensor for drones and aerial robots

FT205 lightweight wind sensor for drone and UAVsThe FT205 delivers high performance in a light package. Made from a graphite and nylon composite, and weighing only 100g (3.5oz), this sensor has been specifically designed for use on aerial drones and other applications where weight is critical.

Although light, the compact size and shape of the FT205 makes it physically very strong. It is resistant to vibration, shock, electrical interference and is also fully-sealed and water-resistant. It can operate at altitudes up to 4000m and at temperatures between -20°C and +70°C. It also features a built-in compass.

To provide accurate wind measurements, the wind sensor must be mounted away from the wash of the drone rotors. Every drone is different so the FT205 has been designed to fit either to a pole or to flat surface. It can also be mounted upside down. It can output data via RS485, RS422 or UART. Units of measure can be set to metres per second, kilometres per hour or knots.

FT742 wind sensors for drones and UAV ground stations

With an anodized aluminum construction that is corrosion-resistant and sealed to IP66/67 standard, and incorporating a powerful thermostatically-controlled de-icing system, the FT742 is a rugged maintenance-free sensor that operates to the highest standards even under the most extreme of conditions. 

 

FT742-SM wind sensor for drones, UAV, UAG, UAS

 

The FT742-SM (Surface Mount) features a built-in compass and heater. It is designed to be integrated into UAVs, military vehicles or as part of a DPS system. Small, low power, extremely rugged, and weighing only 252g, the FT742-SM is extensively tested and certified for vibration and shock resistance and RF immunity.

 

 

FT742-DM wind sensor for drones and UAV ground stations

The FT742-DM (Direct Mount) has been designed to mount on a standard 33.7mm pipe. With a 12-30VDC power supply range, the DM is ideal for permanent, portable or rapidly-deployable weather stations and ground stations used to monitor wind speed and direction conditions for UAV take-off and landing.

Compare products

Model: FT205 FT742-SM FT742-DM
Wind speed: 0-75m/s 0-75m/s 0-75m/s
Wind direction: 0-360° 0-360° 0-360°
Acoustic temperature: -20° to +70° -20° to +70° -20° to +70°
Data update rate: 10Hz 10Hz 10Hz
Weight: 100g 252g 380g
Height: 55.1mm 71.2mm 161mm
Diameter: 56.4mm 56mm 56mm
Body:  Graphite and nylon composite Hard anodised aluminium Hard anodised aluminium
Compass: Yes Yes No
Heater: No Yes Yes
Operating temperature: -20° to +70° -40° to +85°   -40°to +85°
Supply voltage: 6-30VDC operating range 20-30VDC, or down to 6V battery operation with reduced heater capacity 20-30VDC, or down to 12V battery operation with reduced heater capacity
Digital interface: RS422 (full-duplex), RS485 (half-duplex), UART (full-duplex) RS422 (full-duplex), RS485 (half-duplex) RS485
Analogue interface:  N/A N/A 4-20mA