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Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by hoofenshnoz, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. hoofenshnoz

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    Hey Guys,
    I've been looking into the commercial UAV market for a while now but these little guys interest me a lot just based on their price mostly! It seems DJI has designed this system around the just having fun "arial photographer" which in return gives is a seemingly small range to fly with. I'm looking for a system that can use those 25 minutes to say fly 2-4 km's away on a pre destined flight path, take some pics/vids of an area and then fly back. I saw on the DJI YouTube channel of a guy flying it 8 miles down the river, unfortunately he was following it with a boat to keep it in range, would it have been possible for him to just load the coordinates into the phantom and have it land somewhere 8 miles down the road? From what I can read the system can only go on wifi for a short time and then the RF range dies out shortly after that....Is is possible to get a phantom 2 to do what I'm suggesting...perhaps with some 3rd part upgrades? A point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks! :mrgreen:
     
  2. ginsonic

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    Use a Futuba Tx and get more than 3km range.
     
  3. hoofenshnoz

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    A Futaba transmitter eh? Can you extrapolate on that a bit? If video link is lost, being able to control it seems like only part of the plan...Can the Phantom 2 fly it's predestined flight path with just a GPS signal?

    Thanks!
     
  4. LeoS

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    Look up 'Ground Station' for pre-programming a flight path on Phantoms. It requires a few additional components (bluetooth unit?) on Phantom 1 and Phantom 2... on Phantom Vision, a form of Ground Station will be implemented via firmware update. People assume the one on PV will be a 'mini' version compared to the 'full' Ground Station, probably since it's free and doesn't need hardware addition. We'll see.

    As for non-LoS flight, maybe if you use Dragonlink or EZUHF for control... and either cellular (3G\4G) FPV or use a relay station :mrgreen:
     
  5. Ksc

    Ksc

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    check with your local laws. I was speaking with someone in the airport last night who was telling me their state won't let him fly outside line of sight anymore.
     
  6. Hiway

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    I think, a person can work around that by obtaining a HAM license- I am trying, with little success, to find out what that entails. I spent many years in communications, and still have all the tools and even a CLI meter- so I am hoping my foundations in voice, video, and data over ip along with the telco and coaxial experience will net me a shorter learning curve to get that licensing- I do not expect it to be a cake walk, but in my experience, once you get a cert o license, they are easy to renew with a modicum of self study each year.

    I am sure that with new FCC regs being written, that, and maybe some newly (probably ill conceived) licenses will be required- and if that is the case, then there will be money to be made if you happen to be one of those initially few, licensed pilots- and I can be **** sure that folks who already fly real aircraft who want those positions will righteously so fill those spots first- who better, right? They already have a history of air travel procedure and policy, and radio experience to a degree. Perhaps it will be a 2 man team/unit combining pilot experience and communications experience... who knows, but a little common sense allows r/c aficionados to foresee some of what is to come.
     
  7. hoofenshnoz

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    Yeah I'm from Canada and we actually own an aviation company. Canada now requires an SFOC to fly UAV's commercially but as an aviation company we already have one.
     
  8. ussvertigo

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    If I understand the original question, as a pilot, and since I have become aware of the unbelievable advancement of the drone/quad copter performance (and as a new Phantom 2 user) I have concerns as to the interface between the hobby and the aviation sector, as there are some very serious issues with todays hobby copters and the safe passage of aviation aircraft. Flying a copter outside the visual range of its controller, or even if still in range of video connection, is a hazard to private and commercial aviation. There are times when they are tasked with keeping separation from other aircraft by visual identification. But, often the hobby craft, as small as they are, most identification lights are designed to be seen from angles more suitable to ground viewing rather than a near by, possibly higher altitude aircraft. I love my P2, but I have to also look at my perspective as a pilot. I guess in the near future we will see legislation imposing its will on limitations for our beloved hobby. captg
     
  9. cfionthefly

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS


    As a commercial pilot and quadcopter user I see the danger quads present to the flying public. I don't know what the answer or solutions are...but the dangers are very real.
     
  10. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    I would hope that to be the case just about anywhere. Doubly so if in an autonomous mode following waypoints blindly. Way too many opportunities for a disaster.
     
  11. pault

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    I am from the UK and although a PV2 owner I am considering a sidegrade to a P2. Us PV2 owners are waiting for the groundstation software but I have already thought it may not be such a good idea as the drone will essentially be flying autonomously for part of its flight, if not all of it. This may attract the attention of the legislators and I have a real fear that if there any accidents involving members of the public we will face some kind of licencing.
     
  12. goldfishrock

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    I believe in the UK the CAA stipulate that any light UAV is to be operated within 500m of the operator or to the limit of vision, whichever is furthest. I fear getting caught letting your P2 fly autonomously in the UK could land you with a £2500 fine :eek:

    Unfortunately I’m with you on that. The writing is on the wall because of the actions of a few. I can’t see that the CAA will tolerate it much longer without some sort of regulation and licensing. I recently carried out liability insurance and am looking into RPAS Certification with a view to operating commercially however I wonder if this will be the base requirement in the future…..
     
  13. pault

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    And of course, existing licensed flyers may well be in favour because it will protect them from amateurs trying to get a slice of their action by flying unlicensed now and selling their photography. I really fear it will just be a matter of time especially with a new generation of smaller drones that can fly outdoors that will hit the market in the coming year or two.
     
  14. Mooringmaster

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    As a newbie I am very interested in the original question. By using a ground station and uploading a pre-programmed route, can the Phantom 2 (non-vision) conduct a mission once it has flown beyond the range of the controller?? Or will it automatically revert to the "return home" mode upon signal loss even with a programmed mission??
     
  15. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS


    I would think it would have to work beyond the range of the connection. Otherwise what would it do if it lost connection mid-way? RTH? Retrace its steps back to the beginning? What if it was just about to complete the mission and then lost contact, retraced its steps all the way back and ran out of batteries half-way there.

    That said, ground station is a recipe for trouble no matter what. I can't wait to hear the stories. "I sent my Phantom over to land on my friend's roof but it never showed up." Yeah, because you forgot about the building along the way that the Phantom slammed into and rained down on the sidewalk below.
     
  16. macheung

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    While uav like phantom can post a threat to full scale aviation, the actual risk can be minimal if common sense is used. I don't see much chance for collusion if you fly below say 4-500ft AGL and away from airports. Full sized planes don't fly that low unless they are landing or taking off.
     
  17. freyjoel

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    Isn't the possibility of birdstrike exponentially higher than a commercial or private aircraft striking a uav?
     
  18. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    Incursions with aircraft would be less of a concern compared to shorting out a power line or dropping out of the sky on someone's head or causing a car accident or something of that nature. This would mostly apply to built up metropolitan areas.

    As well, metropolitan areas like Los Angeles have a lot of helicopter traffic, mostly above 500ft but they land in a lot of different places.
     
  19. Mooringmaster

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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    Ok.....but back to the original question. Can a Phantom 2 with a ground station and waypoint upload capability fly beyond LOS, and still complete its uploaded mission??? Someone MUST have tried this......my thought is that you could program a mission beyond LOS and have it return to within the signal area....is this possible??? I am not looking to do this in an urban area. I live on the coast of Maine and want to fly over open water below 400ft (thus out of commercial and private airspace.) I just want to know if it has been done.
     
  20. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: Is it possible for the phantom to operate way beyond LOS

    Well, since the firmware that supports the ground station hasn't been released yet, no ones knows for sure but beyond LOS is the working assumption.