As cold weather, rain, and wind take over this winter, it’s important to consider some best practices for flying your drone in the cold. There are many things you can do to take care of your drone throughout the winter and to preserve its functionality.We will explore some factors to consider if you plan on flying your drone in cold weather.
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How does low temperatures affect drone flight?
When the drone is flying in winter, due to the cold weather, lower temperatures slow down the chemical reaction of high discharge LiPo batteries, thereby reducing battery capacity, shortening the flight time. Drone manufacturer DJI states on its website that the LiPo batteries that power their drones start draining at an increased rate at temperatures below 59℉ (15°C).
It’s important that users read the manuals for their drones before a flight. The operator temperature of most drones is set at 32 to 104 ℉ (0 to 40°C), so you should avoid flying outside of this temperature range. To fly a drone in low-temperature, you need to prepare in all aspects.
Below kindly find some tips for flying drone in the winter.
During battery transportation
During transportation, it is a very important step to ensure the drone battery is not damaged by freezing. Limit direct exposure of your RC batteries to the cold air. Keep them in their gear or protective equipment instead of just in the trunk of your vehicle. The difference between a well-protected battery and a battery without any protection is very far. A well-protected battery, when taken out for outdoor flight, the starting temperature can be about 20℃. Simple preheating can make the battery reach the rated requirements, but the battery without any protection can also be taken from indoor to outdoor flight. The initial temperature of the battery is low, and the temperature drops faster. It may not be able to meet the voltage requirements for drone flight. The warm-up time is relatively long. In the case of insufficient warm-up time, it is recommended not to install on the aircraft to avoid danger flight.
Before taking off
Check the components. In a cold environment, some parts, like propellers, become more fragile. Therefore, it is necessary to check them more diligently for cracks or damage. You can also consider replacing them with solid carbon fiber blades.
When taking off
When launching your drone, raise the aircraft 10-20 feet from the ground and make it hover for 30-60 seconds. This can increase the temperature of the battery to achieve a warm-up effect. Let the battery warm-up before flying to avoid accidents during the flight.
When flying in a cold environment, you should focus on the battery’s voltage, keep the battery’s voltage indicator displayed on your monitor so you can keep track of it. Besides, the battery performance will drop very quickly at low temperatures, so we need more return time than flying at room temperature to ensure flight safety. So you had better bring the drone back down until the battery drops to 30-40% of its capacity. In order to prevent other unpredictable situations from happening, don’t drain your battery completely when flying.
In addition, stop flying immediately if it starts to rain or snow. Be careful because most drones are not waterproof. Moisture may short-circuit the motor and cause the drone or controller to malfunction.
Wear goggles. When flying in icy or snow-covered weather, your eyes may be damaged due to the greater light reflection. Goggles can avoid this problem.
Don’t forget to keep yourself warm. It is best to wear gloves that can touch the screen because it will be very inconvenient to operate the device with cold and stiff hands.
Low-temperature resistant LiPo battery
You can also look at low temperature-resistant lithium polymer batteries, such as the LiPo batteries developed by AllrunBattery, which achieves lower internal resistance and increase the discharge rate.The lowest operating temperature is -40℃, which breaks the discharge limit of traditional LiPo batteries. These batteries can also be customized per the clients’ needs and product requirements. Go here to learn more about the discharge rate of these batteries at different temperatures.