Although it was a mild fall, the cold weather has settled in and like many business in New England, drone operators have to adapt to the seasonal changes. There are some steps that operators and business can take to help combat the winter weather.
The primary setback cold weather brings for drone operators is how the subzero temperatures impact flight performance. Certain drone models have seen a 60-70% decrease in flight duration. The majority of drones being used today are not intended to be flown in temperatures below 32 degrees. The reason being is that Lithium Ion batteries, of any kind, significantly lose their ability to hold a charge in cold weather. From a technical perspective, lithium ion batteries generate energy from an internal chemical reaction. When a battery operates under cold conditions the chemical reaction slows down and its internal “resistance” increases, making it more difficult for the batteries transfer their stored energy to the drone.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix to the impact that cold weather has on your drones batteries. If a drone operator knows they will be conducting a cold weather flight, part of their pre-flight checklist should include keeping their batteries warm as long as possible prior to takeoff. Simply keeping your batteries in a heated car or in a cooler with “hot-packs” will significantly increase your lithium ion batteries performance.Once onsite and underway it is crucial to keep your drones motors running. By doing so your battery will naturally put off heat and that heat will keep your battery warm and at the peak performance temperature during the flight.
Another simple straight forward precaution a pilot can take is to keep any eye on your local weather forecast. Though it sounds simple, a difference in a few degrees of temperature can have a major impact on your drones battery performance. It’s also important, if possible, to avoid flying on significantly windy days. Wind obviously makes any flight more challenging, but windchill will also hamper the performance of your crafts batteries.
At CDS we have strict pre and post flight protocol to ensure that all of our crafts batteries are maintained to factory standards. If you have a project you’re interested in leveraging drone technology for, contact us today.
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CDS, Inc. provides end-to-end aerial services across New England. Our passion is creating and implementing transformational business change through the application of drone and UAV technology. We provide our clients aerial footage for marketing, mapping, inspection and data collection. We pride ourselves on our commitment to safety, process, and extremely fast turnaround time on each project. CDS, Inc. is fully insured and FAA Part 107 certified.