Contemporary UAVs are unbelievable electronic equipment that is able of completing great tasks in the maritime activities. They can be programmed to discover herds of animals, locate a shipwreck or map an island, discover a safe harbor, flyover an uncharted territory, search objects or individuals that dropped overboard, stream 4k video and air photo of the vessel either at port or oversea, or even deliver supplies or other tool to isolated locations.
Nevertheless, UAVs need to be programmed specifically when operated in the inland or enclosed environments, in addition to certain series that are more practical for the isolated and remote locations.
1: Design and function
There are many problems that should be think through when picking a UAV for hazardous environment: DJI manufactures all kinds of drones operational in hazardous environment. The maritime UAV is waterproof and makes a great utility for flood rescue missions. GoPro and DJI have recently unveiled miniature new series that transforms and minimize in small boxes and are usable of cruse for 15+ minutes in 10+ miles per hour of wind!
A: Form factor – think about when and where you will keep your UAV aboard your vessel – in a closet, in a storage locker, on the helipad. The UAV must be kept in a isolated location where children and women will not drop water on the UAV or move or touch the unit.
B: Air Time – think about air time and battery performance. Miniature UAVs may have less than a half hour flight time while larger UAVs fly up to 35 minutes. For amateur films, 5 minutes flight time may be enough, however if you are determined to use the UAVs to find hidden treasure or isolated island, then think about buying a UAV with larger batteries.
C: Equipment – A lot of UAVs installed their own onboard camera, while other models are capable of manufacturing usage of modular cameras like a Gopro or DSLR. Build-in cameras range from low resolution with images stored on a hard drive while others are suitable of HD resolution (streaming quality) and depending on live streaming via Bluetooth to a mobile device, laptop, or controller LCD monitors. Modular cameras usually provide the operator more choices and better image, but may not be completely combined with the onboard navigation system.
One example is the DJI package to adopt the GoPro HD or 4K cameras. This is a great platform designed for situational sharp film in most disturbing environment. Nevertheless, while the user can see what the camera captures on the Typhoon controller LCD monitor, the controller cannot adjust any of the parameters of the GoPro camera and the user has to turn on the video record function on the GoPro before flying away and then can only turn off video recording after the UAV returned. On-board cameras usually can be controlled from the monitor.
D: Capable of flying in windy conditions. This is a critical problem that users need to keep in mind when buying a UAV. A number of the miniature UAVs, like an older DJI model or a newer GoPro camera lack many functions and do not provide flight stabilization when encountered more then 5-10 miles per hour of wind. Besides, these UAVs do not have gyroscope camera modal to reduce the wobble and disturbance in bad weather. Larger UAVs and drones with improved navigational systems and gyroscopic camera mounts installed have reliable high wind resistance.
E: Retrievable – many small Drones do not have “home” capability and are difficult to land in any condition. Most new Drones have a highly developed “home” capability and are able to land back to their starting location automatically.
Most, if not all Drones today, utilize GPS. Other Drones use a hand-held or wrist mounted device so the Drone can “home in” on the controller or other device location. Newer Drones incorporate a combination of Optical Recognition and the GPS location of the controller. The latest DJI Drone has a down-looking camera that takes thousands of photos as it takes off and then compares the photos to the landing location. In my opinion, this is fantastic technology if you are using the Drone from a moving yacht or boat!
Another feature that newer Drones incorporate is object collision technology that allows the Drone to “see” and avoid ships sides, radar arches, and other structures that may interfere with the flight or landing.