Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Flying around metal

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by stujol, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. stujol

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    16
    I have locations with a lot of steel I want to fly, one is a metal scrap yard that belongs to a friend who wants some pictures, The other is a large steel boat. Will I be able to fly at those locations ? What kind of problems will I be facing ?
     
  2. Mike_p3p

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi stujol, you may well get compass errors when starting up or flying around such structures. I tried landing my p3p on roof of a car and it started behaving erratically. My personal view is avoid such environments as far as possible, unstable drones are not fun to fly and crashes are expensive.....
    If you HAVE to fly in such locations, stay as far away from the large metal structures as possible to avoid interference....
     
  3. ScatSpeak

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    MO, USA
    Be sure to NOT CALIBRATE COMPASS in these areas with lots of metal around. Make sure you already have a good compass calibration from somewhere else not too far away that was free of surrounding metal for quite some distance.

    As @Mike_p3p said, you may encounter lots of compass errors and a significant potential for erratic flight if close by these large quantities of metal... so, caution is advised. Taking off and landing in those areas is probably higher risk - better tactic would be to take-off some distance away and get decent altitude before flying around them.
     
  4. Dirty Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    I would think you are probably OK flying OVER the area but don't take off or land on ferrous metals. Now if there happened to be a lightning strike that directly hit a large pile of scrap that might conceivably create a large magnetized field around the area.

    Once I sat my Vision+ on the top of a massive stereo speaker without thinking. The next few times I went to fly I kept getting compass calibration messages. It was then that I realized what I had done & I wound up having to degauss the compass to sort things out.

     
  5. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,729
    Likes Received:
    3,450
    The factors that affect your compass around steel are:
    Size of the steel object & how close you get to the object.
    Put your Phantom on your car roof and you get a compass error
    Fly 10 feet away from your car and it's OK
    As long as you aren't taking off from on or right next to lots of steel and don't get down close, you'll be fine.
    As long as you are trying to photograph the scrap yard or large parts of it rather than getting in close to photograph small parts there should be no problem.
    For the steel boat .. the only issue would be if you are launching from the boat.
    If you do, you might have to get someone to hold it up high for a hand launch.
    Launching from a steel deck would be problematic.
    Here's an example of shooting a large steel boat (720 feet long) with no problems.
    [​IMG]
     
    Dirty Bird likes this.
  6. reboot81

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Uddevalla, Sweden
    First, I try to fly as safe as possible and do my best to not launch near metal.

    But theoretically, let's say I launch from the deck of a ship with somewhat normal compass values. Phantom is calibrated back home out in a field far from magnetic objects, and flown without any errors after that.

    My guessing is that the ship may interfere at launch and landing (with a high possibility of an uncontrollable flight), but as soon as its airborne and away from the ship, the on board compass will work without any problems. Am I correct?

    Or does the flight controller/compass take in the bad values it momentarily had during takeoff in its calculations and affect the compass during its entire fight?
     
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,729
    Likes Received:
    3,450
    You can't launch from the steel deck. You will have a compass error and won't be able to start motors unless you can lift it above the deck. Hand launch might work and hand catch is probably needed too.
     
  8. Bulman

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    England/Sea
    I would say you would only encounter problems if you try takeoff/land or their are electrical signals given off.
    An example of this is, I flew from a cruise ship, taking off was nearly impossible, I had to take off from a wooden table, if I wanted to have GPS, in certain spots I would lose GPS, mos likely cause by the radars/satellites, just be prepare to switch over to manual flying, maybe practice a few times in that mode.

    I nearly lost my bird, it said it had lost GPS signal and started flying it's self, but all I did was flick the switch and flew it without GPS not really hard at all, moved it to a different place, saw it had GPS signal again and flicked the switch back. Landed on top of the metal ship with no problems too, as their was no way I could land back on the tiny table in the wind.

    Just ensure that you keep clear of obstructions in case your bird does start flying it's self, and that you are comfortable flying without GPS (forgot what the mode is called), and not a panicker.
     
  9. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,729
    Likes Received:
    3,450
    I fly around ships all the time and can't see any reason you should have any issue with GPS
     
  10. Bulman

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    England/Sea
    Well I was very close to the Satellites, they were basically next to where I took off. Flying around the ship I had no problem it wasn't until I came in to land.
     
  11. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,729
    Likes Received:
    3,450
    Flying around the ship is no problem but trying to take off and land you'll get a lot of interference just like you do in city areas + the compass issues that mean you can't launch from the deck.
    [​IMG]
     
    reboot81 likes this.