I have seen several videos recorded from an UAV in which the stabilization of the camera is almost perfect. Cameras are installed in a gimbal, of course, but do new drones introduce some new technology in order to improve the stability?

We can take, for example, the RQ-4 Global Hawk (first flight in 1998) and the Chendgu HQ (First flight in 2012). Note that the HQ-4 Xianglong's airframe topology its quite similar to the RQ-Global Haw, however it has a special wing configuration.

  • $\begingroup$ I count three questions in there, maybe more. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2020 at 23:49
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    $\begingroup$ You might consider how many cell phones and digital cameras have some form of image stabilization these days: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_stabilization $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    May 22, 2020 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic-aperture_radar $\endgroup$ May 22, 2020 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ The link is not directly related but I simply wanted to point out that in addition to gyroscopic and optical stabilization which answers your question digital processing allows modern systems to actually use movement of the platform to improve resolution. I doubt anyone actually does for cameras but it is possible. $\endgroup$ May 22, 2020 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ @VilleNiemi what you mention sounds to me like image stacking, which yields great results for amateur astronomers using a widely-known algorithm. I'm no expert, but I'd be amazed if military-grade drones aren't routinely using the technique also. $\endgroup$
    – rclocher3
    Jun 11, 2020 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


What you are looking for is "gyroscopic-stabilization".

As you can see in this video, the camera is mounted on gimbals that can rotate over all axis. Movements are controlled thanks to gyroscopes. For sensors mounted on larger aircraft, optronics systems are ball-shapes. That way they can rotate without modifying aerodynamics. There is no need to compensate for translation as targets are far away.

I didn't find any sources for shake reduction thus I can only assume techniques are the one that Wikipedia name "vibration reduction" and "anti-shake".

  • $\begingroup$ Also, flying at high altitude avoids the small-scale gusts which might cause shaking and changes the sighting angle only very slowly. The platforms themselves are almost stationary relative to the observed objects on the ground. $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2020 at 14:37

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