Solving drone makers’ design challenges


Solving drone makers’ design challengesDrones proved to be a key technology on the world’s biggest electronics stage, with more than 60 exhibitors at the CES demonstrating the technology.

From package delivery and aerial photography to security and surveillance monitoring and communication, drones are being used in a variety of ways. Yet two key challenges for drone developers remain: battery life and time of flight. As drone makers add capabilities such as direction and sensing – helping the flying robots avoid obstacles – the added weight can negatively impact the already-short battery life of the technology.

We are working to address some of the challenges facing drone developers with new reference designs that help extend both flight time and battery life for quadcopters and other non-military consumer and industrial drones used to deliver packages, provide surveillance or communicate and assist at long distances.

“Flight time continues to be top design challenge for recreational quadcopters and professional drones, especially those being used by companies for beyond visual line-of-sight operation. Delivery companies want drones with enhanced battery life, and are testing delivery of parcels with drones to see how far they can go,” said Stelios Kotakis, senior analyst of data transmission & managed services with IHS Markit. According to a recent IHS Markit study*, almost 50 percent of drones in the market have an estimated battery life of less than 30 minutes, 35 percent can fly between 31 and 60 minutes and the remaining 15 percent and less can fly more than an hour – all under ideal flying conditions without additional payload.

Here are a couple of the new drone reference designs and how they are used to create drones while improving some of the issues with flight time and battery life:

  • Breakthrough battery management for your drone: 2S1P Battery Management System (BMS) reference design transforms a drone’s battery pack into a smart diagnostic black box recorder that accurately monitors remaining capacity and protects the Li-Ion battery throughout its entire lifetime. Designers can use the drone BMS reference design to add gauging, protection, balancing and charging capabilities to any existing drone design and improve flight time.  The design also features a battery charge controller and a high-efficiency DC/DC converter to achieve high-efficiency power conversion efficiency.  It also leverages the fuel gauge to accurately measure remaining capacity over the entire life of the battery.
  • High-speed motor performance for propeller efficiency: The Sensorless High-Speed Field Oriented Control Reference Design for Drone Electronic Speed Control helps electronic speed controllers achieve the highest possible efficiency with performance for speeds more than 12,000 rpm (> 1.2kHz electrical), including fast-speed reversal capability for more stable roll movement. This means longer flight times and more smooth and stable performance.   

Your next drone design is a click away. Try our designs and let us know what you think. We’d love to see your latest designs!

Want more information?

Read the press release.

Check out our past blogs on drones: