Precision making

How a sophisticated power analyser helped drone maker Atmos UAV accelerate
motor system testing

Delft, February 28th, 2019 

The set-up for motor/propeller testing has to meet the twin conditions of speed and accuracy. The engineering requirement was to measure power dissipation in the drivetrain given known power input and known rotor speed (rpm) measurement. The challenge for the Atmos' engineers was to achieve highly accurate measurement results while keeping the test time for each motor/propeller combination as short as possible.

Atmos used Yokogawa's WT1800E power analyser to take simultaneous current and voltage measurements at the motor’s power supply, at the motor drive circuit, and at the motor. These measurements were used to calculate power dissipation in the motor drive and the motor.

The Marlyn design has exceeded our expectations in terms of reliability

"The most important question with measurement equipment is, can you trust the results it produces? I did not have to worry about the WT1800E on this score – I had total confidence in the values displayed on screen. I know that the WT1800E was telling me the actual power dissipated" says Dirk Docter, Technical Director & Founding Partner of Atmos.

"The Marlyn design has exceeded our expectations in terms of reliability. That’s not just in normal operation – because of the results from our power dissipation testing, we know that we can produce more thrust without risk of the drive overheating. We have a safety margin over and above what’s required in normal operation. That’s very important for us, because our name is on the aircraft, and the Atmos brand stands for reliability and performance."

Download the use case


Atmos UAV is a Delft (NL) based company specialised in the design and production of high-end aerial surveying and data collection drones that enable professional to effortlessly gather geospatial data from the sky, enabling them to make more informed decisions. 

The flagship drone model Marlyn has a worldwide unique design that combines the high performance of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft with the flexibility of helicopters. With their patented technology the company targets mapping, construction, mining, agriculture, environmental and related applications. To facilitate the fast growth of the company, Atmos is currently attracting new talent to expand the team.

About Yokogawa 

Yokogawa has been developing measurement solutions for 100 years, consistently finding new ways to give R&D teams the tools they need to gain the best insights from their measurement strategies. The company has pioneered accurate power measurement throughout its history, and is the market leader in digital power analyzers.

Yokogawa instruments are renowned for maintaining high levels of precision and for continuing to deliver value for far longer than the typical shelf-life of such equipment. Yokogawa believes that precise and effective measurement lies at the heart of successful innovation - and has focused its own R&D on providing the tools that researchers and engineers need to address challenges great and small.