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Army Research Lab Makes Power Line Detection Tech

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Power line detection
Power line detection

Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has created a software-sensor combination designed to help unmanned aircraft systems prevent clashes with nearby power lines. ARL said Wednesday it uniquely configured 3D sensors in a way designed to inform autopilot systems about detected power lines.

“Power lines are small and difficult to see with radar or optical sensors, but they generate large fields that can be easily detected with low-power, low-cost, passive electric- and magnetic-field sensors,” said David Hull, an Army researcher.

The resulting system brings a reduced size, weight, power and cost requirements compared to that of existing, larger wire detection technologies. ARL also expects the technology to support other use cases such as drone-based freight delivery and power line inspection.