In order to increase flight safety and prevent accidental flights in restricted areas, the new firmware for the Phantom UAV series includes a “No Fly Zone feature”. These no fly zones have been divided into two categories: A and B.
When the compass s is calibrated, the drone then seeks the location of GPS satellites. When more than 6 are found, it allows the drone to fly in “Ready To Fly” Mode.
Allows the UAV and remote control system to know exactly it’s flight location. Calibration of the Compass is required to set a home point. The home point is the location where the drone will return to in case of loss of signal between the drone and the remote control system. This is also know as “fail-safe function”.
What FPV means is “First Person View” which means a video camera is mounted on the unmanned aerial vehicle and broadcasts the live video to the pilot on the ground so the pilot is flying the aircraft as if he/she was on-board the aircraft instead of looking at the craft from the pilot’s actual ground position.
FPV allows the unmanned aircraft to fly much higher and further than you can from the looking at the aircraft from the ground. FPV control allows for more precise flying around obstacles especially with unmanned aerial vehicles which can easily fly indoors and through forests via FPV where you would not be able to see obstacles from a fixed position.
The flight control system communicates with a PC Assistant through a Micro-USB cable. This allows configuration of the UAV and upgrade the firmware.
A very simple description of a drone is that it is a flying computer with a camera attached. Drones have firmware which can be updated to fix bugs and add new features.
These are found at the front and the rear of the drone. The front LEDs are for indicating where the nose of the drone is. The rear LEDs flight indicators light up to show the drones current flight status when the flight battery is turned on.
UAV Remote Control System
This is the wireless communication device using the 5.8 GHz frequency band. The drone and the remote control system should already be paired when it leaves the factory.
UAV Remote Control Receiver
The location of the 5.8 GHz receiver technology link button is under the UAV.
Range Extender UAV Technology
This is a wireless communication device which operates within the 2.4 GHz frequency. It is used to extend the range of communication between the smartphone or tablet and the drone in an open unobstructed area. Transmission distance can reach up to 700 meters. Each range extender has a unique MAC address and network name (SSID).
Some of the latest drones out of the box can fly using range to a distance of up to 3.1 miles (5km). Products such as FPV range extenders are very popular which can push the distance even further.
Smartphone App Featuring Ground Station Function
Smartphone App from Google Play or the Apple Store. The app allows for full control of the drone. There is a specific feature called ground station function on the Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter. This allows for flight missions by placing location waypoints and setting waypoint altitude and overall speed. The UAV should the be able to execute the flight mission automatically.
High Performance Camera
The Phantom 2 Vision+ carries an extremely high quality camera and a removable 4GB micro SD card. It shoots full HD video at 1080p/30 frames per second and 720p/60 frames per second, giving you crystal clear video and the option for slow motion shots.
The latest drones from DJI, Walkera, Yuneec and many other manufacturers now include cameras which can shoot film in 4k video and can take 12 megapixel stills. The latest DJI Zenmuse Z3 is an integrated aerial zoom camera and is optimized for still photography. The Zenmuse has a 7x zoom lens which is a first in aerial cameras.
Many of the earlier drones used cameras which were not fully suitable for aerial filming. Many of these aerial videos had barrel distortion because of the wide angle lens. The latest drones such as DJI Inspire 1, Phantom 3 Professional and Phantom 4 have a camera which is specifically designed for aerial filming and photography.
Gimbals & Tilt Control
The gimbal allows you to tilt the camera while in flight, creating unique angles. It uses a 3 axial stabilized gimbal and has 2 working modes. Non-FPV mode and FPV mode.
Practically all the latest drones have integrated gimbals and cameras. The leader in gimbal technology is DJI with their Zenmuse range.
Drones With Sensors
Multispectral, Lidar, Photogrammetry and Thermal sensors are now being used on drones to provide 3D models of buildings and landscape; Digital Elevation Maps (DEMS) of land, and provide precision data on the health of crops, flowers, fauna, shrubs and trees.
Helps to keep the stabilizer and camera connected to the unmanned aircraft.
Video Editing Software
Having an excellent quality video software is essential for post processing. Adobe DNG raw means that all the original image information is retained for later processing. An Adobe lens profile for barrel distortion removal is available for the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ camera.
Operating Systems In Drone Technology
Some unmanned aircraft use MS Windows operating systems. However more and more UAV innovators are now using different versions of Linux. The Linux Foundation recently launched the Dronecode project. The Dronecode Project is an open source, collaborative project that brings together existing and future open source unmanned aerial vehicle projects under a nonprofit structure governed by The Linux Foundation. The result will be a common, shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
Drones in some ways are flying computers. With an operating system, flight controllers, main boards with programmable code, they can also be hacked into. Like a computer, you can also protect your drone from hackers.
Latest Innovative Technological Drones
The latest advanced drones with patented technologies are the following;
DJI Phantom 4 – with “Vision” collision avoidance technology. Multi purpose drone including aerial filming, photography and photogrammetry.
DJI Inspire 1 – Patented design and motors. Multi purpose drone with gimbals for professional aerial filming, photography, photogrammetry, multispectral and thermal imaging.
Yuneec Typhoon H Pro – uses the patented Intel “Realsense” collision avoidance technology. Great for professional aerial photography and filming
3DR Solo – multi purpose drone and can be used for professional aerial photography, filming, photogrammetry and thermal imaging.
Intelligent Flight Systems
All these latest drones have intelligent flight controllers and modes such as Follow Me, Active Tracking, Waypoints, Return To Home and many others.