More hobbyist and professionals in Harris County GA and Columbus GA are using drones for different purposes such as land surveys, real estate, natural disaster assessment, outdoor events or just a vacation in the mountains or beach. This has resulted in more government regulations such as requirements to register your drone if over a certain weight. Also for commercial use, you need to acquire a part 107 license. You are not allowed to fly near government buildings, within 5 miles of an airport and maximum altitude of 400 feet. Never fly near people or within moving traffic and always be aware of your surroundings
Drone technology is becoming more advanced with features such as accelerometers which are used to determine position and orientation of the drone in flight, tilt sensors combined with gyros and accelerometers provide input to the flight-control system in order to maintain level flight and obstacle avoidance sensors.
The body of a drone is generally made of composite materials to reduce weight, absorb vibration allowing it to cruise at extremely high altitudes and the rest is the flight control system. When turned on, it usually searches and locks on to several satellites for positioning allowing the drone to return home automatically if it loses the controller signal, low battery or initiated by the drone pilot.
What gives the drone smooth flight is the gyro stabilization technology which provides navigation information the the flight controller system. The IMU (inertial measure unit) detects the rate of acceleration and rotational changes using the accelerometer. The propeller motors receive data from the speed controller and flight controller to hover or fly. The app provides current flight telemetry so you see on the screen what the drone camera sees.
Most manufactures including DJI implement a no fly zone technology in restricted areas to increase flight safety and prevent accidental flights. No fly zones are in category A and B which can be updated using firmware updates. Unfortunately the entire city of Columbus GA is a no fly zone which makes it impossible to fly your drone without requesting an unlocking request from DJI. This is something that is not well known until after you purchase your drone and try to fly it. Always research your area with DJI’s geo map to find out if the area you live in is a no fly zone.
Calibrating the compass allows the system to know it’s home point in case the drone needs to return to home in case of a loss of signal between it and the remote controller. The live video feed latency is dependent on the signal strength between the remote controller and aircraft. The Phantom 4 Pro can transmit live video up to 4 miles distance using the new Lightbridge technology. There are inexpensive antenna range boosters you can buy on amazon to help extend transmission ranges. Longer ranges are obtained by transmitting over LTE/4G networks with the Sky Drone FPV 2. The gimbal keeps any vibration of the aircraft from affecting the camera which provides sharp quality video and photos.
The high resolution 4K video cameras are usually found on more expensive drones such as the Phantom 4 Pro and photos are taken at 20 mega pixels. The camera is attached to a gimbal which provides smooth no shaking video and photos. Video can be taken in raw, mp4 or mov formats which works with any of your post processing software.
Before flying your drone, you should calibrate the compass and IMU to ensure stable and safe flight. On bright sunny days I recommend using ND (neutral density) filters on your camera which helps with glare when flying over reflective water. It’s like sunglasses for drones.
I purchased a Phantom 4 Advanced several months ago and have enjoyed flying it over the Chattahooche river in Columbus GA and in various places of Harris County GA. It came with one battery which will give you around 25 minutes flight time so I purchased 2 more batteries. It came with one 16GB SD memory card which gets used up rather quickly shooting high definition 4K videos so I recommend buying a 32GB or 64GB SD card.