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Mon, Jan 15, 2024

DJI Issues Winter Flying Guidelines for Drones

Keep 'Em Warm, Keep 'Em Stable, Keep 'Em Charged

DJI Enterprise's winter flying guide aims to show fly-for-pay operators how to make the coldest months of the year just as profitable as the rest.

Their commercial drone lineup is made up of hardier stock than the rest of their fun-oriented civilian gear, befitting its role as a livelihood-earning tool instead of a sunny day racer or fun whirligig trinket. All the usual tips for electronic devices apply to wintertime drone operations, like keeping the batteries as warm as possible, minimizing high-output power demands, and letting it idle for a while to bring its motors up to operating temperature.

Keeping the drone free and clear of water and ice before, after, and during flight also helps to maintain energy efficiency, which pays dividends in stretching operating time out as much as possible in subzero temps. While in flight, operators should keep a higher reserve than they would in warmer months. Maintaining a stable flight attitude also prevents sudden drops and surges in battery voltage, so minimizing max-thrust commands is helpful. Avoiding low altitude flights over thick, powdery, or highly reflective snow is also recommended.

While going over best practices for wintertime ops, DJI showed off some of the test metrics it uses for its own M300 RTK Matrice drone. The test campaign included anywhere from 10 to 40 aircraft, storing them in -4°C to -40°C conditions and putting them through a grueling test campaign in similarly frigid environments. Matrice drones were put into action at -25°, flown continuously for 24 hours and repeatedly powered on and off again. Then, a cycle test saw them flown continuously for 72 hours in temps ranging from -25° to -55°. After getting their blessing, the M300 Matrice is ready for action.



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