Out in the cold – A wintry military drone flight

Exerting the maximum out of a military quadcopter, especially in an extreme winter conditions, provokes a whole lot of questions concerning the endurance of your MAV, alongside with living up to your mission objectives. In the following paper, some of the more prominent issues, which every drone operator must take into consideration, will be elaborated and explained.

Preplanning a surveillance drone mission is obligatory when dealing with wintry weather. Heights, clouds, winds, fog and turbulence, are just some of the difficulties you may encounter during your flight. A mountainous terrain can cause strong winds to blow in streams and valleys, affecting your drone dramatically. Furthermore, when flying a long-distance drone, the weather in your vicinity may sometimes mislead you to a false assessment of the weather conditions in the mission area, as a result of a constantly changing gusty winds. This false assessment jeopardizes your air vehicle, since you are now less aware of your drone’s battery discharge status, or the amount of energy it requires for going back home as time passes.

Taking into consideration the impermeability of your aerial vehicle is necessary. The motors can get rusty or even short-circuit your PDB, leading to your immediate crash. Turning your quadcopter into a water proof one is optional, but may have some disadvantages and consequences regarding your ESC – they will need an inner ventilation system to prevent over-heating, thus causing other new problems, like weight and additional energy consumption, etc.

Any experienced operator is familiar with the importance of keeping his batteries warm. A very common fault it that batteries tend to dysfunction in low temperatures. batteries provide their electrical voltage thanks to chemical reactions, which, under certain temperatures (depend on your battery type), slows down, reducing available capacity, and as a result – decreases overall flight time. Taking precautions and understanding the new limits; like gently using throttle, or hovering mere meters above the ground until battery temperature rises, keeps the pilot in much more control of the system.

Additional difficulties

Any UAV who manages overcoming these obstacles is subjected to the following: attenuation of RF waves and complicated video analyzation, both due to atmospheric aerosols (e.g. low-level clouds such as nimbostratus, fog, etc.), a rough environmental condition to fly at. In addition, keeping in mind that flying through clouds or in moisty conditions is risky for your drone’s electronics, is crucial, because it can short circuit the system.

The Sentinel drones benefits

With an up growing amount of indications and variables whom you must include within your flight evaluations, it is easy for you to get lost. Here at Aerosol, home to the sentinel military surveillance drone, we prioritize the safety of our aircrafts. Unique capabilities like: measuring wind data to be presented on screen, and a derived indication referred as Bingo Time, converting remaining voltage (using a series of complexed calculations), into estimated time in air, helps facilitating the operator’s allocation of attention, allowing him to focus on the mission.

In conclusion

flying in a wintry weather conditions requires a change in the operating conception is necessary. Every problem has a compromising solution, and only by preplanning yours can be prioritized, in order to take your drone to its (safe) limit.

80 minutes, is driven by four silent electrical motors, and transmits its data through an encrypted communication channel to a range of up to 5 km…

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