The camera is mounted and streaming, the UAV is moments from take-off.  

However, upon looking at the video, the image is nothing but a blurry, warped mess which is far from the clear, crisp image that you were expecting.

The cause? Vibration.

When gathering video and or images from a UAV, it is essential that an effective vibration management system be deployed to ensure that effects from vibration are eliminated, or at least minimized.

Managing vibration is quite often an iterative process which can take some time to perfect, especially for those platforms which are inherently prone to high levels of vibration.

These four (4) tips will provide some insight in to how you can manage vibration effectively.

Tip 1 – Eliminate the Source

The best way to eliminate the effect of vibration seen in a video, is to eliminate the source of the vibration. Depending on the type of UAV, this can include:

  • Checking the rotor blades are properly balanced
  • Inspecting rotor blades for damage or warping
  • Checking for looseness in any rotating components
  • Checking for any misalignment in any rotating components


Related Article: Rotary Wing Vibration Identification

If the above steps are not present, then a reactive approach may be required.

Tip 2 – Use a Sensor with a Global Shutter

Distortion caused by a rolling shutter will present itself as smearing, wobbling or skewing of the image and can be corrected by changing the sensor type.

A sensor that utilizes global shutter technology instead of rolling shutter technology will ensure that no wobble or ‘jello effect’ is present in the video.

Related article: Rolling Shutter Distortion

Tip 3 – Integrate a Vibration Isolator

A reactive approach to vibration management is to integrate the imaging device with a level of mechanical vibration isolation.

There are several materials and designs available which provide a level of vibration dampening to minimize the effects of vibration.

Whether by iterative experiment or by scientific measurement, including and then tuning a vibration mount will provide positive results when compared to using no vibration isolation.

Tip – 4 Post Processes

If all else fails and the vibration is just not able to be managed, depending on your application, the use of digital or software correction might be the answer. Whilst not ideal, there may be some benefit from using such software packages.

Alternatively, maybe a platform that is less prone to vibration is a better choice.

If you have concerns about vibration and your video acquisition system, ask UAV Vision how we may be able to assist.