CJL Tech Is Developing An Add-On IR Module For Quadrotors
” We are a group of UAV (drone) pilots who love to fly. We got fed up with work getting in the way of our fun flying time during the day, so have spent 6 months developing a way to fly at night. The end result is a compact lightweight infrared (IR) displaying module that attaches to any PCB running 4S to 6S. It provides an extremely bright IR floodlight with an even wide angle spread of light – perfect for use with action cameras. When viewed through your board camera and FPV goggles or screen, this allows the viewer to see clearly in total darkness.
We began by trying those cheap IR LEDs on ebay and went on to test many, many different LEDs, drivers etc sourced from many different manufacturers.
However, we were unable to product results that we felt were good enough for a commercial product as we wanted something that would allow us to fly in the same way we do in the daytime. “
” So, to get the kind of light output from the module that we felt was a marketable product we have had our own high end LED boards produced as there was nothing off the shelf good enough. This wasn’t cheap based on the relativity low volumes we’ve ordered to get started, but the results speak for themselves – it allows us to fly a 250 size quad at 30+mph in the pitch black!
We have extensively tested the prototypes, including high speed crash testing, as well as hot and cold testing. The biggest issue to overcome was that all high power LEDs give off a lot of light but also a lot of heat. We have now designed a compact thermal solution that allows the LEDs to run continuously at low temperature while keeping the weight of the entire package down to an absolute minimum. “