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Using the Phantom 3 in Polar regions
1323 15 2015-7-10
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dunbarlewi
lvl.1

United States
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Hi,

The Phantom 3 manual states that the drone should not be used in polar regions.

Does anyone know what is defined as the polar region, and why this is? Is it to do with temperature, or something to do GPS/compass errors from being near the magnetic poles?

I am intending to take the drone up to the Arctic in the next couple of weeks, and am interested to know what latitude I can safely use it to, and what the risks are of using it further north than that.

Thanks!
Dunbar
2015-7-10
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gregg1r
First Officer

United States
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Lithium polymer batteries don't like cold weather. DJI either sells or sold a blanket for the batteries use in the Inspire 1,

I don't believe it has anything to due with magnetic north.
2015-7-10
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Rigworker
First Officer
Flight distance : 52303 ft
Canada
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-7-11 08:45
Lithium polymer batteries don't like cold weather. DJI either sells or sold a blanket for the batter ...

I am wondering if it isnt to do with snow getting into the works. As mentioned, the batteries dont like cold either. I fly my blade 350 in the winter here but I hand launch and land it so it doesn't blow snow from the ground. I keep the batteries inside my jacket. I havent had any issues so far.
2015-7-11
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gregg1r
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United States
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Rigworker Posted at 2015-7-12 00:15
I am wondering if it isnt to do with snow getting into the works. As mentioned, the batteries dont  ...

Keeping the batteries in your pocket during cold weather is a good thing. The battery can lose 30% of it's capacity at 0 degrees F or colder in short term. I think once you're flying, the heat generated by amperage draw keeps them toasty warm.

If you used to get 18 minutes of flight during warmer weathe, the reduction in capacity means cold weather flights as short at 10-12 minutes.
2015-7-11
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droningaroundth
lvl.2
Flight distance : 2988219 ft
Switzerland
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Temperature has nothing to do with it (one can have low temperatures outside of Polar areas). It has to do with the compass. TODAY I received an email from DJI about a Phantom 4 I lost in the Arctic. It says:
2017-6-9
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droningaroundth
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Switzerland
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Compass navigation bias was too large, the aircraft lost control due to environment.The Phantom 4 cannot operate within the polar areas.


"According to the analysis, the incident was not caused by any product malfunction factors. As such, we could not provide warranty service.

Should you have more questions, please feel free to let me know.

Best Regards,

DJI Tech Support"
2017-6-9
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Nigel_
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United Kingdom
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droningaroundth Posted at 2017-6-9 03:19
Temperature has nothing to do with it (one can have low temperatures outside of Polar areas). It has to do with the compass. TODAY I received an email from DJI about a Phantom 4 I lost in the Arctic. It says:

What was your location?
How close to the magnetic north pole?
2017-6-9
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droningaroundth
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-6-9 03:26
What was your location?
How close to the magnetic north pole?

still hundreds of km away.... but in the arctic circle

Home point:74.7215634, -91.8416966; Last point:74.7154911 -91.7417518
2017-6-9
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Nigel_
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droningaroundth Posted at 2017-6-9 03:44
still hundreds of km away.... but in the arctic circle

Home point:74.7215634, -91.8416966; Last point:74.7154911 -91.7417518

That place does have a big difference between the direction to the North Pole and the direction to the Magnetic North Pole, nearly the biggest you can get on land.  Move around to Iceland and you are normally OK since the difference in direction is a lot less.  Also not good for the inclination angle, which results in a very weak direction reading.   

If you have the problem again, you can often get control back by switching to Atti mode which doesn't use the compass for navigation.
2017-6-9
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droningaroundtheworld
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-6-9 04:07
That place does have a big difference between the direction to the North Pole and the direction to the Magnetic North Pole, nearly the biggest you can get on land.  Move around to Iceland and you are normally OK since the difference in direction is a lot less.  Also not good for the inclination angle, which results in a very weak direction reading.   

If you have the problem again, you can often get control back by switching to Atti mode which doesn't use the compass for navigation.

Thanks a lot Nigel... not going back soon that way, but maybe to Svalbard in 1.5 years.
2018-12-5
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solentlife
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United Arab Emirates
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Not Temperature ... as long as battery is warm and you ideally calibrate IMU in cold ... its fine.

The problem is two fold ... 1. Variation (difference of Mag North to True North) is large depending on longitude. This then means that any direction derived from successive GPS position calculations differs significantly and it throws up an error. 2. GPS although said to be 100% global is NOT ... as you approach the higher latitudes your angle of elevation of sats gets worse, reducing the positional accuracy. Because it was always assumed that use of GPS was primarily for use in reasonable latitudes - emphasis was on best accuracy in that band. Move outside that band and the further you go - the worse it gets. You will have positional sat fixes at the poles - but less reliable.

When you fly ATTI mode - you remove the problem of 1. - because now the AC is not flying to GPS data. It is in practical terms flying 'free' with all control in your hands. For the compass - it now does not care about True - Magnetic variation as all it uses is angular change ... you have displayed direction but the number is irrelevant ... it is the change of direction it now monitors and uses. With GPS direction from position calculations now not used to compare with compass ... AC should be ok.

I am a little concerned at DJI reply ...

Nigel

2018-12-6
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Mark The Droner
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United States
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solentlife Posted at 12-6 01:40
Not Temperature ... as long as battery is warm and you ideally calibrate IMU in cold ... its fine.

The problem is two fold ... 1. Variation (difference of Mag North to True North) is large depending on longitude. This then means that any direction derived from successive GPS position calculations differs significantly and it throws up an error. 2. GPS although said to be 100% global is NOT ... as you approach the higher latitudes your angle of elevation of sats gets worse, reducing the positional accuracy. Because it was always assumed that use of GPS was primarily for use in reasonable latitudes - emphasis was on best accuracy in that band. Move outside that band and the further you go - the worse it gets. You will have positional sat fixes at the poles - but less reliable.

Yes - I agree with your comment regarding "angle of elevation" at higher latitudes.  I've posted words to that effect in the past and have been corrected and told I'm wrong and that GPS fixes are always a perfect vertical line from the surface of the earth going straight up - which makes no sense to me.  

Re DJI's reply in post #6, I know the P2V+ manual says specifically "The Phantom cannot operate within the Polar areas."  

See page 25 here:  http://dl.djicdn.com/downloads/p ... _Manual_v1.8_en.pdf

Apparently this is stated in the P3 and P4 manuals too.  So if DJI says the Phantom cannot operate within the polar areas, and then somebody operates a Phantom within the polar areas, and the Phantom misbehaves, who's to blame?  

2018-12-6
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RedHotPoker
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Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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I live in Edmonton Alberta, and eh what do you know?
The sun is shining today. haha
As mentioned, keep your flight battery warm...


RedHotPoker
2018-12-6
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Goldenseal
First Officer
Flight distance : 372359 ft
United States
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RedHotPoker Posted at 12-6 10:30
I live in Edmonton Alberta, and eh what do you know?
The sun is shining today. haha
As mentioned, keep your flight battery warm...

Yep, that answered a lot of things. Keep those earmuffs on your skull. LOL

Your guilty by association. The only other person I know from there, metal detects all winter. He looks like a brown bear with icicles hanging off of him.
2018-12-6
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solentlife
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United Arab Emirates
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Mark The Droner Posted at 12-6 04:05
Yes - I agree with your comment regarding "angle of elevation" at higher latitudes.  I've posted words to that effect in the past and have been corrected and told I'm wrong and that GPS fixes are always a perfect vertical line from the surface of the earth going straight up - which makes no sense to me.  

Re DJI's reply in post #6, I know the P2V+ manual says specifically "The Phantom cannot operate within the Polar areas."  

I believe DJI is covering its a*** by saying no flying in high latitudes because people will expect to fly P-GPS same as in lower latitudes.

I am a navigator by 'original profession' and this makes me look at the points I noted before. The error of GPS derived course made vs Compass direction ...
If the Flight Controller is receiving such - it may interpret it as large drift as in flying in strong wind ..

Who knows whats going to be the result ?

Nigel
2018-12-6
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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Goldenseal Posted at 12-6 17:50
Yep, that answered a lot of things. Keep those earmuffs on your skull. LOL

Your guilty by association. The only other person I know from there, metal detects all winter. He looks like a brown bear with icicles hanging off of him.

That activity must be like an addiction for many. Doing it all year long.

Yeah, I can understand why one would wish to start discovering some fine booty as soon as you buy the detector. ,  ;-)
I even see people scanning playground sand boxes and below swings in public parks, school, playgrounds. Metal detectors in hand.

I heard about a guy recently who paid $10K for a top grade metal detector, and went out only to discover a huge piece of gold. The rewards are certainly still out there, only to be found by those who are willing to put the time and effort into looking for it.
Yeah, this was just posted, five days ago, lucky beggar... ha

Hey are you making jest of my choice Head Gear? They are nice, aren’t they.... sound great too...
7CFDAC19-AF1E-4E24-BCC6-2BB4C57CCF67.jpeg And if the Stax and Ultrasone's weren’t enough for you, there’s the Abyss. Another planar magnetic design, the components are "machined from solid aluminum," with "low carbon steel front baffle" and lambskin pads. I'll letCNET's Steve Guttenberg explain, "With good recordings you feel like you're in the room with the band; no other headphone can come close to producing that level of realism." He mentions, "The Abyss AB-1266 is the most expensive headphone I've ever tested, but it outruns the competition in every way I evaluate headphone sound."
Reviews
The Absolute Sound's First Listen: "Is the $5,495 Abyss AB-1266 planar magnetic headphone the best device of its kind on the planet? Based on some preliminary listening I’ve recently done, I think it very well might be."

RedHotPoker


2018-12-6
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