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Old 09-04-2019, 07:43   #61
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: San Francisco
Boat: Fountaine Pajot, Helia 44 - Hull #16
Posts: 609
Re: Drone Use While Underway

Originally Posted by Peio64 View Post
I also own a Mavic Pro and also two Phantom 3 A. I never had the guts to launch them from my boat but I own a ketch with rigging everywhere. I think that the main difficulty is take off since these drones are designed to hover perfectly in place before they are not high enough for moving forward or backward. If you launch them from a boat underway, the best thus would be to do it from the rear provided this place is clear from rigging or any obstacle such as solar pannels, davits etc. This is not the case in my ketch ! Further, I wonder how they manage when taking off from a plateform which is not more or less horizontal and stable in level.

Concerning your second point, "home" is not the last known controler position but the position of the take off point unless you set it to "dynamic". In this case, "home" is regularly updated at the actual position of the drone. When your aim is to follow a sailing boat this is better for RTH than setting failsafe to "hover", but this is not perfect. As a Litchi app user, I see an other solution which is the "follow" mode of this app. Its advantage over active track mode is that it creates a tether to the GPS module present in a device (phone) which can be different from the device used for flying. It is therefore not reliant on lighting conditions and can work at larger distances than active track provided you are under the limits of wifi transmission. But with this mode, you make sure that your drone will always follow the boat like if it had a leach...
Take off it pretty easy, just need a clear spot behind as the drone will hover as the boat goes forward. I haven't had any problems launching on a pitching deck.

Recovery is the tricky part and the more lines shrouds and sails around, the harder it is. Boat pitching also increases the difficulty. I have thought about using a towel but never had to. I would be concerned about potential damage. While waterproof is nice, my guess is you will never recover a drone that goes into the water while under sail, but it would probably be a good MOB drill [emoji1] .
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Old 09-04-2019, 14:43   #62
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Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 10
Re: Drone Use While Underway

Originally Posted by Mal Reynolds View Post
Wondering about the realistic feasibility of carrying and using a drone while underway. I have no experience with them but the footage I've seen is amazing. Anyone have experience?

Seems like the hard parts would be 1) keeping it out of the water, and 2) retrieving it as I think you would have to physically grab it, not try to land it on the moving boat?

Maybe this is just a drone suicide mission...
Used DJI Phantom 3's are cheap now. Buy one and get used to it on land.

Know it's every move and software settings. I set mine to "Hover" if signal is lost. That way you can cruise back and get it while it waits for you. As you approach it, it will reconnect and you will have control again.

Regardless of settings, if the battery reaches "Critical Low" level, it will just descend slowly, straight down.

I always hand catch mine on land using it's legs. Super tricky to do so on water in my 23' Sea Ray, especially in wakes or close to other boats causing a lot of motion.

I also use a lanyard round my neck with the remote so I can operate it with one hand while catching with the other.

Plenty of "How To" vids on YouTube
Steve Whelan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2019, 13:33   #63
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 128
Re: Drone Use While Underway

The SwellPro drone can fly and also submerge while filming and remaining fully functioning as an underwater drone (think submarine that flies)!
SDChristian is offline   Reply With Quote

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