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Flare Assist – Distance Measuring Device For Paragliders

  • Post published:June 24, 2015

flare assistParagliding is one of the most evolving adventurous sports these days. While Paragliding, you can feel out of the world and fly like the birds and cherish few of the most amazing moments of your life. But, it has its associated risks and dangers as well. The most important pre-requisites to learning to fly safely are pilot attitude, competent instructions and safe equipment. If these conditions are met, slow speed and inherent stability of paragliders can provide a safe and enjoyable way to fly. Amateur paragliders often get injured while landing because they don’t pull the brakes  at the right time. To land a glider safely, the paraglider must ‘flare’ at a specific distance (1-2 meters) from the ground. For this purpose, our mechatronics team has built a device.

This device is developed by using Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Following hardwares are integrated in it:

  • Arduino
  • Arduino Bluetooth Shield
  • IMU (inertial measurement unit)
  • 3 x Ultrasonic Sensors (MAXSonar MB1240 EZ)
  • LCD
  • Buzzer/LED

How Flare Assist Works?

Flare assist measures the distance from ground for the paraglider. It alerts him/her and indicates when to flare. Ultrasonic sensors are used to measure the distance from ground. A combination of a gyroscope and an accelerometer compensates for the tilt and the angle, the sensor array might be at from the ground.

An LCD is mounted which continuously shows the distance measured by the sensors. A Bluetooth module is also programmed to show the same result on any handheld Bluetooth compatible device. When the optimum distance is reached, Flare Assist alerts the paraglider to flare by turning on an LED and sounding a buzzer. An alert is also sent to the handheld device via Bluetooth.


The embedded system is built around the readily available Arduino Mega 2560. It is powered by  a lightweight and compact Lithium Polymer Battery.


The need for automation in safety purposes will continue expanding in the current era. It not only produces more accurate and high quality work, but also reduces chances of accidents and injuries. For paragliding lovers and learners, this gadget is ready to help them out and will make their adventure more comfortable and safe!