Changing the Thinking on Sense and Avoiding Technology

Qelzal has designed and developed a unique sense and avoid system for commercial drones. Qelzal’s primary targeted use cases are Aircraft Avoidance and Infrastructure Inspection.

We pair a well-characterized, high-performing light sensor with our proprietary analysis engine, comprising algorithms developed in-house based on our broad experience in vision systems, machine learning and deep learning.

Inspired by how the brain processes information, Qelzal’s system collects pertinent data to identify obstacles differently than conventional cameras. As a result, traditional image processing techniques and established algorithms are not suitable for this application. We’ve taken a fresh approach to the data in order to develop unique algorithms which take advantage of the high temporal resolution of the sensor as well as its broad dynamic range.  Use of those characteristics results in earlier threat recognition at longer range and under diverse light conditions.

Employing a passive sensor means that the aircraft is not burdened with heavy, power-consuming EM transmission equipment. With no need for time-consuming frame grabs and compute-intensive image analysis, data gathering is faster and more precise. Coupled with the high temporal resolution of the sensor and high speed algorithms, the result is less time from acquisition to evasive maneuver at every step of the process.

Qelzal’s sense and avoid system brings together proven advanced technology sensor hardware with unique proprietary data analysis and detection for a system ideal for modern commercial drones:

  • Light weight—more room for revenue-generating payload
  • Low-power—better flight time endurance
  • High detect and recognition rates—enhanced safety
  • Accommodates diverse light conditions—Drones can operate in a wider range of environments and more hours of the day
  • Rapid detection—more time to initiate effective avoidance maneuvers

Qelzal’s system is critical to the success of emerging autonomous Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drones as well as operator-controlled BVLOS drones in situations where event detection outside of the operator’s view is a requirement. Opportunities for the Qelzal system exist today and promise considerable expansion as autonomous drones use grows.