The Aerofence is a sophisticated geofencing device that comes in a tiny form-factor.
A 3D geofence is a volume of airspace, often defined by an area and a pair of altitude limits. The Aerofence supports 2 independent polygonal geofences, each consisting of up to 50 vertices. Areas may contain exclusion zones (also polygonal) within them.
The Aerofence monitors an NMEA data stream, extracts 3D position fix information, and calculates whether or not the 3D fix lies within the pre-defined volume(s) of airspace.
Please note that the Aerofence does not include a GNSS receiver - most GNSS receivers have a logic-level serial output which is suitable for connection to the Aerofence.
Geofence status is reported with dedicated bi-colour LEDs and logic-level outputs. GNSS status is reported in the same way.
Although the Aerofence was designed with unmanned aviation in mind, it can be used in any application that requires a deployable geofence.
The Aerofence is 27.3 x 27.3mm and weighs 4g (0.15oz).
Why use an Aerofence?
Geofences are becoming ubiquitous. Some autopilots have them, some ground control stations have them, even some smartphones have them. But they often come with a few problems...
- Limited geometry - many implementations only offer circular geofences. This severely restricts the opportunities for deploying geofencing technology.
- Wrong device location - for maximum reliability the geofencing device must be located on the vehicle itself, and processed locally. Distributed geofencing is often easier, but it does make the geofence vulnerable to loss of comms.
- Poor user interface resulting in an error-prone work flow. This is a safety risk - aircraft have been lost because of poor user interface design.
The Aerofence solves the first two problems by offering sophisticated polygonal geofencing in a tiny form-factor. The third problem is solved by the graphical geofence designer within the Aerofence configuration utility. Download it now and discover how easy it is to create simple and complex geofences.
Available from Millswood Engineering.
Configuration utility - geofence designer window
A configuration utility is provided to allow all of the Aerofence's parameters to be read and written. Downloading and exploring the configuration utility is the best way of gaining an insight into what the Aerofence can do. The configuration utility is a Windows app that requires no particular setup or installation procedure - just copy the executable to a directory and run it.
Apart from reading and writing to the Aerofence, it also allows a full set of parameters to be saved and retrieved from disk. The on-disk file format is plain XML, allowing inspection and verification of the data using any browser or text editor.
The configuration utility includes a geofence designer, which greatly simplifies the creation of complex polygonal geofences. Geofences are created and edited by simply clicking and dragging points on a map.
The map on the right shows 2 simple geofences: Geofence 1 (in blue), and geofence 2 (in green). The user is currently editing geofence 2, which was created by copying geofence 1 and then shrinking it.
- Product manual: detailed description of the Aerofence hardware - how it works, how to connect it up, electrical and mechanical specifications, how to use the configuration software to set up geofences, etc.
- Technical reference: detailed description of the Aerofence communications protocol, how geofences are defined and stored in the Aerofence, plus the full schematic diagram.
More resources are available here.