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Possible flight condition concerns - Kp Index

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by The_0perator, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. The_0perator

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    Not sure how relevant this might be to everyone on this forum, but there is an interesting event going on right now that could potentially have a negative affect on your flight experience depending on where you are:

    http://mashable.com/2015/03/17/rare-severe-geomagnetic-storm-sun/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link

    The ap I use to sometimes get a quick look at flight conditions displays "Caution" and a Kp-Index of 8 (the highest I've seen to date). For those of you unaware, the Kp Index has to do with disturbance levels of the earth's magnetic field which could, at certain levels, cause interference with radios. More on that here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-index

    I'm in Austin TX (and again, I'm sure it depends on where you live), but you might want to check these levels since Mashable is referring to them as "extreme."

    Just thought I'd pass it on to you guys.
     
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  2. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Thanks for this - I do keep an eye on the KP index and today was especially high (8) so....... Thought I'd go and fly the Inspire to see if there were any effects. I have access to farmland with approx 2 miles of open fields in all directions so that's my 'safe fly zone'

    Happy to report the Inspire flew perfectly and did not drop out of GPS once during five batteriesworth (that's not a real word.. I just made it up) of flight!

    Flew out to approx 1.2km and control, GPS lock and video feed remained constant throughout. The only tiny glitch was at about 600 meters on the outward journey when the video feed switched channels and lasted barely a second. During the turn for home at over a kilometer away not even a flicker or stutter on the video feed.
    I wouldn't particularly advocate urban flying with a KP index of 8 due to the unpredictable nature of RF but I wanted to test very high index flight and any potential GPS issues for my own reference.
     
  3. The_0perator

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    That's useful info Editor, thanks. It's handy to have some acreage and be able to (safely) test conditions like this and what effect they might have on the Inspire. Reading that article, these levels seem very rare so it was good of you to seize the moment so to speak.
     
  4. DaBone

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    I´m sat here and thought about this too. If the sunstorm disturb the satellites, so you'll lose the GPS reception.
    But then you with Inspire 1 end up in ATTI mode and can continue to fly?
    The problem will be if it ends up in the RTH and the drone do not know where it is.
     
  5. flyingclint

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    I've been curious to know what causes these storms and how they affect how our machines fly...???
     
  6. DaBone

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  7. Airwolf13

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    Solar storms. Big ones. They effect RF, GPS, EMF anything having to do with energy in the atmosphere. Totally ruined my ham radio day!
     
  8. Ascender

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    Good advisory, Dan! What app do you use? I utilize the Hover app for iOS which provides local details on wind speed & directions, as well as the Kp index. Indeed its citing the Kp at 8 right now.
     
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  9. The_0perator

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    I use Hover as well Ascender. It's a great app and it has lots of other good information to has at your fingertips in case you need a timer or to see where the no-fly zones zones are.
     
  10. DaBone

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    It was powerful eruptions on the sun, which hit Earth yesterday.

    A few weeks ago I went over 1600km north, only to see the Northern Lights. Last night I watched it at home (South of Sweden), which only happened once before in my life and then it was not near as powerful as it was this night ..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Kilrah

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    Magnificent!
     
  12. Phatzo

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    northern light has been recorded here in Hungary too...
    thank you for the nice pics anyways.
     
  13. tweaker

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    Generally I dont fly if KP is 6 or over.

    However I have a time sensitive job that may require fkying on KP 6.

    Rural flying-thoughts

    Does KP REALLY affect inspire?

    Thoughts/feedback
     
  14. Bob Stekeur

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    the following is from What are the general effects of a geomagnetic storm on propagation?


    When Geomagnetic storms head our way and impact the ionosphere, they cause a number of changes. Due to increased ionization of the lower levels of the ionosphere, signals between 2MHz and 30MHz will experienced increased absorption; if the storm is bad enough, that's 100% absorption.