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Inspire or Matrice 600 operation in Inclement weather

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by Dlsuavak, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Dlsuavak

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    Can someone enlighten me about operating the Inspire or Matrice 600 in light rain or snow?

    I'm curious if it is an absolute no-no or if it can be done ok?

    Thanks, Dennis
     
  2. DesertWindAero

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    I guess I would ask...why would you want to?

    First, they weren't designed for it...secondly, rain or snow on a lens tends to degrade imagery...so, why?
     
  3. Dlsuavak

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    Well, I live in a place where nice weather and the time I can schedule to fly do not necessarily coincide. Yes water on a lens degrades quality. I am not questioning what my imagery will look like, I am questioning if either one of these quads can handle the moisture. I certainly don't want an expensive unit crashing because of a little moisture.
     
  4. DesertWindAero

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    The manuals say not to fly in rain, snow, and smog.
     
  5. Dlsuavak

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    I must have read right over it. I was wondering if anyone went against the manual and had operated in the rain or snow. I'm sure the reason for DJI stating to not fly in smog is for reduced visibility, I cannot think of any reason smog would affect the performance. I guess they are protecting you from yourself. By making a statement to not fly in smog makes me think there is no problem with flying in the rain or snow, they are just covering their potential liability.
     
  6. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    The reason not to fly in moisture is because any precipitation or dampness on the prop blade can turn to ice due to the difference in pressure between the upper and lower surface of the blades (which is how a prop produces lift)
    Many people are unaware that this icing can occur at temperatures above freezing due to this phenomenon since a sudden drop in pressure produces rapid cooling.
     
  7. lake_flyer

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    Maybe start a thread/sticky with 'Things most multirotor pilots would want to know but are afraid to ask'?

    Not saying this to the OP, I think he is wise to ask and it shows at least he is serious, but more in general:

    This should be common knowledge for all hobby RC pilots, as it used to be back in the club days. But unfortunately, most new multirotor pilots never been to a club and are completely 'cold started', and some think (or claim even) they master the skies after a few GPS flights.
     
  8. Dlsuavak

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    I do not feel my question is unwise. I have more than 35 years experience operating aircraft in marginal environments. I did photography as a side avocation since the '80s. I do know about inclement weather and rain or ice on a lens. I also am well aware of propellers, aerodynamics and the accumulation and effect of ice, even with turbine engine operation. My question was intended to be a bit general in that I was wondering if moisture, frozen or not will and how it will affect the operation of one these multi-rotor UAVs, ie has anyone experienced uncontrolled flight due to moisture on the airframe, propellers, electronics or GPS satellite reception. I have very specific tasks I would like to use one of these for and I will not have the option of waiting for a nice day.

    I am relatively inexperienced using an RC coupled with photography, and what I imagine doing may not be possible with either of these multi-rotor RCs.

    I learned a long time ago to learn from other's experience and mistakes.

    Thanks for your replies.

    Dennis
     
  9. AeroMirage

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    I have been out taking pics of lightning and cool sunsets when foul weather was approaching. But when the first raindrop hits I land immediately.
    I have far too much invested to take chances.
    ******************
    I was out flying one evening and ran into a sudden storm.
    I was enjoying videoing lightning and saw the storm coming. There were a few dark clouds off to the south and wind speed was 5mph with 7-8 mph gusts.
    I was just about to land the bird and not push my luck waiting for the first raindrop.
    Then IT hit.
    IT was sudden sustained wind of 34-45 mph. (16 - 20 m/s)
    Not gusts, sustained wind.
    I was about 30 meters up at the time and it seemed like I would never make it back to the ground.
    I pointed her into the wind, and at one point I see that I had to exert 85% forward stick just to hold position.
    The flight log shows several times in the last 3 minutes of the flight where I had to do this. Also plenty of down stick to decrease elevation.
    The wind kept pushing her up.
    Those 3 minutes seemed like 30!!
    I was pretty sure / worried that this was going to end badly. Either the wind would suddenly stop and the bird flip over, or when landing, sudden change resulting in a crash.
    Well, I made it!!
    I managed to set her down without mishap. 28% remaining battery. Set her down as gentle as an egg!!

    I am VERY impressed with the Inspires' ability to resist wind. VERY!
    Also proud that I kept my cool and didn't panic and do some dumb $#!##.

    2 minutes after I loaded it and left the field it started raining violently. The kind of rain that you can barely drive in even with wipers on high speed.
    This was one of those storms that come out of nowhere and took about 5 minutes to go from a few dark clouds to...... "The sky is falling!!!!"
     
  10. Dlsuavak

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    Thanks for the reply. I'm sure glad you landed it OK. It is encouraging that the machine could handle that much wind. Have you inadvertently flown it in the rain, got caught in a shower?

    Thanks, Dennis
     
  11. AeroMirage

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    Yes, I was very glad to land. For awhile, I was pretty sure it was going to end badly.
    No, I have not flown in the rain. Guess I'm afraid to. I have seen posts of others who had hardware rusting just from exposure to salt air flying seaside. Another scary aspect is that the motors are air cooled and draw air right through them.
    See: http://www.dji.com/mg-1 for explanation of the opposite process. This drone forces filtered air out through the motors. It is safe to fly in rain, but very costly.
     
  12. Air Miles

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    Ok Guys,
    I have much invested in my birds. By October I will have the Matrice 600 which is quite costly. My new company "Aerial Imaging & Inspections, L.L.C.
    depends on me not placing my birds in harms way so unless you have a lot of money to throw away, I would advise not taking chances with mother nature. Moisture and electronics have never been a good mix.
    The editor is so right and he shares his knowledge to help keep you flying. The forum is a place for you to learn and we all can learn from one another, especially when we push the limits as all of us have from time to time. We all must help one another and respect each others opinions. Fly safe everybody and have a lot of fun!!!
     
    The Editor likes this.
  13. Dlsinak

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    Ok, let me ask this another way..... The relative humidity is fairly low during the summer where I live and quite low during winter, we even get dry snow.... I'm sure people operate around the Gulf Coast where is is rather humid. Has anyone experienced problems associated with high humidity? I'm sure I can prevent water droplets from getting in the craft, but how does humidity affect one. How about the effect of salt air as on the ocean front?

    I'm not trying to beat a dead horse with opinions, just to make intelligent decisions (and modifications) about dealing with humidity and snow. Obviously flying in wet snow is not a good idea at all.

    I think that using shrink tubing on the connections and painting on liquid electrical tape (applied carefully) will be all that is needed.

    Thanks for your replies.

    Dennis
     
  14. AeroMirage

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    Sealing the electric connections may help. But, again, the motors are air cooled. So, air, plus anything that is in the air, is drawn through them.
    Salt air has been reported to cause rust of hardware, and I wonder what the stators look like in those motors. They aren't too visible until dis-assembly of the motors.
    If you can afford to take the risk, then go for it.

    Please get back to us with any updates, as sharing information is what these forums are all about.