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Questions and advice needed for job on a open sea/boat

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by Cloudshots, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Cloudshots

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    Hello everyone,

    I probably have a job on open sea on a boat soon. Looking for some answers and just general advice for flying on open water/off boats.

    This is the vessel: http://i.imgur.com/7D4iGUQ.jpg

    Some questions you can help me with:

    1. When taking off/landing in atti, will I have compass problems because of the aluminium hull?
    2. Will the boat have to lie still in order for me to land? Or is a slow pace of the boat no problem?
    3. Anything else I should look out for?

    I'm planning to use 'hover' instead of 'return to home' just in case something might happen. Although the maneuverability of this big boat might mean there's nothing we can do in case of loss of signal right?

    Any advice or stories regarding flying on open water/boats is welcome.
     
  2. Cactuswest

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    Cloud shots,
    The only thing I heard people do is to practice recovery of the drone by hand instead of landing it on deck.
     
  3. sturgisphoto

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    Cloud,

    I can't answer any of your questions because I've never flown from a boat, but that looks like the perfect offshore drone launch pad. Like having your own aircraft carrier.
     
  4. lake_flyer

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    Aluminium for the hull and super structure (deck is wood?). Should pose no problem for the GPS. Or the IMU/compass (more important) .Try first in GPS mode when the boat is stationary. i would go into Atti for landing and taking off on a moving boat. Preferably the boat stops forward movement when you come in for landing. Always safer to be able to use GPS mode when landing. There's normally a lot of wind out at sea.
    Hand launching/catching is probably not needed. Plenty of room on the deck.
    Make sure they switch off the Radar. Your quad doesn't like radar at all.
     
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  5. lake_flyer

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    inspire-carrier.png

    Hand catching is the best option on this little boat. But I planning to make a custom landing pad that can be unfolded. We're going to use this boat for yacht videos. It even has a toilet :)
     
    #5 lake_flyer, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  6. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    All of the above plus I would not advocate attempting to calibrate the compass in any way whilst on a ship weighing in with several tonnes of steel all around you.
    Make sure you have a good calibration safe on shore and stick with it.
    As long as you are running fairly up to date firmware then the IMU should not be an issue (it was on earlier firmware which didn't allow take off from a moving vessel).
    Obviously do NOT try and do an IMU calibration either - it will never completed on a moving ship!

    Good luck
     
  7. Leszek Kedziora

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    Checking landing/taking off spot with a magnetic app is a must. Normally the readings should vary between 40 to 50 uT. Callibrating the compass (only if it is necessary) should be performed on the land. When flying low switch off the VPS system. Always check the readings in DJI app before and after flight.
     

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  8. Leszek Kedziora

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    BTW checking the batteries is also important as if anything would happen with them You will have no time to act. You should fly only on freshly charged ones and You have to check not only the percentage but the voltage also. IMHO the Healthydrones is the best tool to analize the batteries.
     
  9. lake_flyer

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    deleted sorry, wrong post. Saying something about calibration that in the end didn't look correct. have to investigate further.
     
    #9 lake_flyer, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  10. brad90631

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    I just did a shoot in Long Beach CA. took off and landed from a 16 small boat. rigged a landing pad in the bow. I keep GPS on and the only problem I had was landing on a deck that is moving not only side to side but up and down. I fly I had a camara man and after my first landing I had 1 guy just watching the sea as I landed. Very stress full any mistake and bird is gone.

    Much of what I shot I can not show yet, but here is a clip of what I can show.

     
  11. Cloudshots

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    Thanks everyone! I think we will be allright.
     
  12. ianwood

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    Do not hand launch if you like your fingers. Hand catch keeping the gear up!

    And aluminum boats will still likely have magnetic influences. Check the mod value and be prepared to use ATTI if you encounter anything out of the usual.
     
  13. Hans Devouassoux

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    Biggest item is to have your "vision" system turned off when doing marine filming. Good luck! We do a lot of surf filming and lots of fun. Cheers!
     
  14. SolidStayt

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    It's all sort of been said already here. I just got back from a week long boat trip with my Inspire. Had an awesome time and got some great piccys.

    Tips would be:
    -Calibrate on land, before departing.
    -Do not calibrate on the boat.
    -Be prepared to fly Atti if need be.
    -Launch and land with the boat not moving.
    -Leave yourself plenty of battery to land.
    -Make sure you either use your RC position as the home point, or update the home point every minute or so. Last thing you want is your bird to head off half a mile in the wrong direction out to sea, where you took off 10 mins ago.

    We were hand launching and hand catching. I've made up a hand catch rods for jobs like this one. Basically, it's two poles that sit on both sides, on the bottom of the landing gear between each motor, parralel to the arms. This gives you another few inches between your hands and the props. Makes catching safe and easy.

    Asides from that, have fun! Chasing boats is a great challenge.
     
  15. Richard Brooks

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    All the above, hand launch and catch with gear down, holding opposite corners worked with an assistant for me. Assistant with a radio to talk to the bridge and give them directions if need be. VPS off, plenty of battery to spare. Don't fly too far from the boat. Nerves of steel.:)
     
  16. shaun666

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    So far I have shot over 40 1/2 hour Fishing shows for free to air television, drone used in every show, off the top of my head these are my personal tips.
    Always hand recover & in rough seas hand launch, this gives you about a 5 foot buffer if the vessel rises on a swell. take of full power to clear the boat.
    Always launch with s fresh battery as you never know what may happen to delay your landing. I start the trip back at 30%.
    Calibrate compass on land that morning.
    I always use GPS as the boat goes left right forward back up & down so any assistance helps, you only have to correct slightly for wind moving the boat instead of having to start & stop every movement, basically you cut your stick inputs in half which is great for me personally.
    Use the controller as the home point .
    vision system OFF
    auto landing gear OFF
    Train a person you trust, then they are the ONLY person that hand launches & hand catches the UAV, this builds trust & you both learn together how to safety.
    Alway come in vertically, so the only time it can hit the catcher is when it is directly over head & they are safer from the props.
    If you come in low horizontally there is a MUCH greater danger of injury as the props are at head & body level for the entire landing.
    if you are not sure you can safely put it exacly in the catchers hand then DON'T land throttle up & start the approach again (lots of reserve battery) don't let the catcher reach for the UAV as they can easily lose balance on a moving vessel while they are looking up.
    This is just my list of do's & don't for when I operate from a vessel, I hope this help make your flying from a boat as safe as it can be.
     
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