Why Does My Rangefinder Disrupt My Drone? – All You Need to Know

People often ask, why does my rangefinder disrupt my drone?

Let’s find out!

Why Does My Rangefinder Disrupt My Drone?

The problem seems to be that the rangefinder in the camera can see objects further away than the drone can. This causes the drone to fly into those objects.

If you have this same issue, here’s what you need to do. First, make sure your drone has an obstacle avoidance system (OAS) enabled. If not, go ahead and enable it. You will also want to disable any other features that may interfere with the OAS. 

For example, if you are flying a DJI Phantom 4 Pro or Inspire 1, you should turn off the ActiveTrack feature. The reason for this is that the ActiveTrack feature uses the front-facing camera to track moving objects. When using the rear camera, the OAS will work better.

Ultrasonic Sensor

What Is an Ultrasonic Sensor?

Ultrasonic sensors measure distances by sending out ultrasonic sound waves.

An ultrasonic sensor sends out ultrasonic waves that bounce off objects and return to the device. It then relays back information about the distance between the device and the objects.

When high-frequency sounds bounce off objects, they create distinctive echoes.

How Ultrasonic Sensors Work

Ultrasonic Sensing Technology works by emitting an ultrasonic signal into the air around us. When the emitted signal hits something solid (like a wall), part of the energy gets reflected back towards the source. That means we can measure how far away the object is by measuring how much energy returns to the emitter.

The working principal of this module is simple; it emits an ultrasound wave at 40 kHz which travels through the air. If there is an obstacle or an object, it bounces back to the receiver. By measuring the travel times and the velocity of sound, the distance between the transmitter and the receiver can be determined.

Ultrasonic sensor technology is a great way to detect solid objects. However, when used for measuring liquids, ultrasonic sensor technology struggles with detecting transparent targets.

Ultrasonic sensors can sense objects regardless of their color, surface, or materials (except for very soft ones like cotton).

Ultrasonic technology is used for detecting objects that might be hidden from optical devices.

Using Multiple Sensors & Avoiding Disruption

It’s important to connect multiple sensors in an app in a way that avoids issues like crosstalking or any other interference.

To avoid disrupting the ultrasonic signal emitted by your sensor, it’s essential to keep the surface of the ultrasonic transducers free of any obstructions.

Common obstructions include:

  • Dirt
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Other Condensation

We offer these for this specific use case.

They’re meant for applications where water vapor needs to be condensed in humid conditions, so we’ve built a continuous running mode into them.

Note: The self-cleaning function is not intended to remove dirt from the transducer’s sensor. Its purpose is to clear the transducers’ face of water so that it operates normally.

Why Does My Rangefinder Disrupt My Drone?

Why Does My Rangefinder Disrupt My Drone?

How are Ultrasonic Sensors Used?

Ultrasonic sensors use sound waves to measure distances.

An ultrasonic rangefinder transmits ultrasonic sound waves at a certain frequency and then converts the reflected sound into an electric signal.

Proximity Sensing: Sensors are often used as proximity sensing devices.

Ultrasonic sensors are used in various applications including obstacle avoidance, as well as in industrial settings.

We offer short-range sensors that allow you to detect things up to 2 cm away from you. They’re designed to be used in noisy environments, and they require less energy than our long-range sensors.

Note: It is likely that small grain or particle sizes may deflect the ultrasonic pulses off the sensor because of surface variations or angles.

When working in an environment where there is no direct line of sight between the source and the sensor, the target may be able to block the path of the beam by absorbing the light or reflecting it back at the sensor.

We do provide an application note on grain retention here:

When Not to Use an Ultrasonic Sensor

Sometimes, the target objects are so tiny that the reflected ultrasound signals are not strong enough for detection, and the distances cannot be accurately measured.

Why Use an Ultrasonic Sensor?

Ultrasounds are reliable in any light condition and can be used indoors or outdoors. The ultrasonic sensor can handle collision detection for robots and is frequently touched, as long as it doesn’t move too quickly.

Ultrasounds are so widely used that they can be reliably applied in a wide variety of sensing applications, including grain bins, water levels, drones, and even car sensors at fast-food restaurants and banks.

An ultrasonic rangefinder is a device that detects objects by emitting sound waves at high frequencies.

Ultrasonic Sensors are Best Used in the Non-Contact Detection of:

  • Presence
  • Level
  • Position
  • Distance

Non-contact sensors are also referred to as proximity sensors.

Ultrasonics are Independent of:

  • Light
  • Smoke
  • Dust
  • Color

Materials (except for hard surfaces, e.g., concrete) don’t absorb ultrasound waves; they just reflect them back into the water.

Detecting targets from long distances with varying surfaces.

Infrared sensors are better than ultrasonic sensors because they’re unaffected by smoke or black material, but soft objects which don’t absorb the light very well may interfere with them. They’re not perfect systems, but they’re pretty good.


We hope that this guide has been useful. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comment section below.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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