HOW TO FLY A DRONE IN BAD WEATHER? (TIPS AND TRICKS)
It is best to fly the drone in clear weather, with reasonable temperatures (for example, about 75 degrees Fahrenheit), and almost no wind. But sometimes we have no choice but to deal with harsh weather while on the job. If you are flying your drone for commercial use, you might be called for service regardless of weather conditions.
Since drones are electronic devices, in addition to the usual maneuvering-related skills that you need to have to successfully fly your drone, you have to also deal with weather-related problems such as rain and strong winds. Weather is a drone’s biggest enemy. Planes and helicopters can fly even when it rains, and you might wonder: Is it the same with drones? Are drones waterproof? So let’s find out…
1. ARE DRONES BUILT TO FLY IN THE RAIN?
Unfortunately, most drones are not designed to fly in the rain. The unmanned aircraft engine is open and can be easily damaged when exposed to water. The engine may also crash and cause an accident. However, waterproof drones can fly in rainy weather. Most of the drones on the market today are not waterproof.
2. WHAT IF I SPILL WATER ON MY DRONE?
A single drop of water can short-circuit a pair of pins on an integrated circuit, making even the best drone unstable. Of course, the cover can protect the circuit, but the saturated air and heat generated by the circuit can cause condensation. The drone body produces heat while in flight. A structure with many gaps is necessary to efficiently release heat. The drone camera is also very sensitive to water. If water enters the drone during flight, the worst-case scenario is still possible.
3. CAN I FLY MY DRONE DURING WINTER IF IT IS WATERPROOF?
There are several reasons why flying in the rain is not recommended. Rain isn’t good for drones, not only to the electric problems that might cause to drones because electronics on a drone and Smartphone and radio control don’t like to be wet. But also cold, rain, and air pressure all affect drone batteries in different ways. Wind also can be very challenging and drain your drone’s battery faster than normal. Cold weather drains batteries faster too. Bad weather, in general, can cause poor visibility. When taking off and landing, you need to pay attention not only to rain but also to sand. But flying drones on a cloudy day or warm or cool weather shouldn’t cause an issue.
In certain circumstances, taking a picture with a drone is unavoidable even in bad weather. So if you find yourself in that kind of situation, here are some tips for you to protect your drone during bad weather conditions.
4. HOW CAN I PROTECT MY DRONE FROM RAIN? – TIPS AND TRICKS –
* USE WET SUIT
You can use a suit. “Wet Suit” is used to protect the drone during heavy rain. Compared with brush motors, brush-less motors are not sensitive to moisture and can even be immersed in water for a short time.
All electronic components face the risk of moisture ingress. This is why the electronic components of the DJI Phantom and Mavic are specially protected by the body panel. Even so, water can enter through a few heat-dissipation apertures. Phantom rain protections are called wet suits. They reduce the risk of water entering the device. They are made of neoprene, weigh less than 10 grams, and are easy to install. They cover a large part of the drone’s joints. The arms, the battery box, and the base of the propeller shaft are all protected by wet suits. According to the manufacturer of the wet suit, ventilation is adequate. Wet Suits don’t make drones waterproof, they limit the risk of liquid penetration.
You may have noticed that, if you have flown a drone in the rain or in the snow, it is impossible to prevent raindrops from settling on the camera lens. That issue won’t be solved with a Wet Suit. Here is a tip on how to clean up your drone camera during flight: Orienting the drone camera back to the wind and tilting it slightly should wipe away the raindrops from the camera lens.
* CHECK YOUR BATTERIES
Always keep backup batteries warm and pre-heat your batteries. The use of battery heaters and battery insulation stickers may prove beneficial if your product is compatible. Keeping your drone battery warm can also be accomplished by keeping it in your pocket or in an insulated case. Make sure your batteries are fully charged before you fly. In chilly conditions, the drone’s battery will drain faster, so keep an eye on it while flying.
You should also make sure your controller and Smartphone are fully charged.
* KNOW THE WEATHER CONDITION AND BE PREPARED
Before you fly, and before you schedule your commercial drone service, check the weather conditions. Since the presence of moisture, rain, strong wind, fog, and snow can damage your drone, it would be smarter to reschedule your flight if possible, if inclement weather is forecast.
You may need to prepare for propeller icing in cases of extreme cold. A combination of extreme cold and moisture can cause the propellers to build up ice during the flight which will cause damage and even crashes.
Make sure your GPS signal is strong as it will help you navigate better in bad weather.
* CHECK THE LANDING AREA
During takeoff or landing, avoid direct contact with the snow. You can use a landing pad to take off and land your drone on a flat, dry, clean surface.
Do not fly in temperatures below 0°C/32°F, and land as soon as possible when you suspect propeller icing. After the flight, wipe the drone down with a towel and make sure it’s completely dry before storing it.
* CHANGE CAMERA SETTINGS
Exposure can be manually adjusted. For snowy landscapes, it is recommended to overexpose the image by 0.3-0.7 stops and to check the results. White balance settings should be adjusted. 6500k is the recommended temperature for photographing snow. Do a test shot to determine if this value needs to be increased or lowered.
Now, the good news, drone technology is evolving rapidly, and there are already waterproof drones on the market. Below is a shortlist of top best drones you can use when it is raining, chosen based on affordability and relevance. You can find here the complete list of “The Best Waterproof Drones.”
5. TOP 5 DRONES TO USE WHEN IT IS RAINING
WHAT IS THE CHEAPEST WATERPROOF DRONE? —> BRAHA AQUA RC QUADCOPTER
Who said waterproof drones had to be expensive? Braha’s Aqua RC untangles waterproof drones without draining your wallet. In addition to being able to fly it both indoors and outdoors, it comes with a built-in rechargeable battery and is a simple, yet very useful quadcopter. For those interested in getting a drone with waterproof capability as its main feature, this is one of the best options. So, if you’re looking for a simple drone with basic specs and features, but is also waterproof, you’re going to love this one. Features a 4-axis structure for more flexibility, a 6-axis gyro, and a 2.4 GHz transmission system. Up to 10 minutes of flight time can be flown both inside and outside, and a total size of 20″x3.5″x14″ with a weight of 1.8 pounds
WHAT IS THE FIRST WATERPROOF DRONE WITH A REMOTE CONTROLLER? —> SWELLPRO SPRY+
Swellpro’s Spry+ comes with a 4K rotating camera inside a toughened glass dome that provides high transparency without distortion, as well as waterproofing, which sets it apart from many other drones. With your drone, you can land on the surface of the water and liftoff perfectly without any problems. With its aerodynamic shape and good quality propellers and motors, Swellpro Spry Plus is a fast sports drone, perfect for those looking for a waterproof sports drone. The Spry Plus also performs well in windy conditions and calm skies.
Despite light rain, the Swellpro’s Spry+ takes off as if nothing had happened. The motors, as well as the camera, are protected by a polycarbonate dome. Aside from the weight of the chassis, this impermeability has a consequence: the camera is not stabilized on the horizontal axis, resulting in a less fluid video image. Rain is of no great interest for filming, except perhaps for certain professional purposes, since the droplets are quick to blur images transmitted on the radio control screen. When it flies under 20 meters, it tends to lose altitude due to its slight weight. In any case, this drone is a good choice. Swellpro’s Spry+ features the first waterproof remote controller. The RC works in the rain, in the sea, and underwater. Joysticks, the built-in monitor, and all switches are water-resistant and will work smoothly and accurately.
WHAT IS THE FRIENDLIEST WATERPROOF DRONE FOR KIDS? —> GOOLSKY JJRC H31
One of the latest models from the famous Chinese brand, which has specialized in radio-controlled toys for many years. Quadrocopters are suitable for children and adolescents from 8-14 years old who fully appreciate the capabilities of this device, as well as for adults who want a first encounter with a UAV, which would subsequently lead to something more expensive and, therefore, more exciting in this area of hobbies. Two configuration options are offered by the manufacturer, one with a camera and one without. A choice of 0.3MP or 5MP cameras is available. This is a less-than-average shooting performance. With this drone, the flight is the emphasis, not shooting. As for drones without cameras, you’ll be able to purchase them whenever you want. The drone showed good controllability and speed in flight, especially in Expert mode, which is not surprising given the drone’s low weight of fewer than 100 grams and the motors’ high power margin. This is a very good choice if you’re looking for a waterproof drone.
WHAT IS THE BEST WATERPROOF DRONE TO USE WHEN YOU TRAVEL? —> SWELLPRO SPLASH DRONE 3
Splash Drone 3 was designed with ease of use in mind. All the equipment you will need is available at the base, so you do not need to bring anything else. As a result, you can land on water and fly in almost any weather without being concerned about damaging the drone. You can capture what’s happening both on and under the water in high definition with a 4K camera. Splash Drone 3 will be available in two versions – Auto and Fisherman. A fisherman comes with a payload release system, a waterproof camera, and a 2-axis gimbal as standard features. However, cameras and payload modules can be quickly removed from the drone and swapped. Each drone can therefore use any module. A lithium-polymer drone battery lasts for 16-18 minutes on a single charge. A low battery level in the Auto version will automatically land the drone wherever it is currently. You can also use the remote control to activate the Home Return function, which automatically returns the drone to its takeoff point.
WHAT IS THE MOST RELIABLE AND VERSATILE WATERPROOF DRONE YET? —> SPLASH DRONE 3+
SplashDrone 3+ extends and enhances the features of SplashDrone 3, making it the most reliable and versatile waterproof drone yet. This package includes several different payloads, including the waterproof gimbals camera GC-3, the waterproof payload release with high definition live video PL-2, the waterproof release with the 1axis gimbals, and the waterproof release with the low-light camera PL-4. The SplashDrone 3+ can be used for a wide range of purposes. Flying platforms can be used in all conditions and are waterproof. SplashDrone 3+ is tough, waterproof, and dust-proof. SplashDrone 3+’s fuselage is made from durable ABS reinforced with 3mm for a waterproof seal. For 100% waterproof, each Splash drone undergoes at least two pressure tests during production. The entire product, from the inside out, is made to withstand marine environments with little corrosion.
6. REMINDER: (CHECK YOUR WARRANTY)
A drone that has a warranty and is found to be defective due to moisture or water that has damaged the electronics inside will not be covered. Be careful and think twice before exposing your drone to rain.