The majority of Drones and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) rely primarily on ground infrastructure for communication. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can be caused by cell phone towers, buildings and massive metal structures, high-voltage power lines, and a high concentration of Wi-Fi networks in a given region. The impact of EMI on drone operations is difficult to estimate. However, they can wreak havoc on a drone’s navigation system by throwing its compass out of whack.
When a drone is flying close to a vast structure, EMI can decrease the drone’s GPS reception. It may also cause a drone’s communication with its controller to be disrupted. Drones/UAVs are increasingly being utilized to inspect utility regions, including electrical power networks and pipelines. Visual inspection is also required for infrastructure such as cell towers. This is much less expensive than a “truck roll” to a location. However, when a drone/UAV inspects a cell tower antenna, it encounters difficulty.
Drone chassis are often made of non-metallic materials to minimize the aircraft’s weight and size. Wireless power transfer (WPT) uses kilohertz-frequency magnetic fields that can penetrate the drone body and disrupt the electronics. The DJI F550 drone is an excellent example of such a drone using WPT.