What is a Drone?
Drones are aircraft that fly without a human onboard. These unmanned vehicles follow the commands of a human operator. The term "Drone" is often used to describe Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or UAVs) like the Predator or ScanEagle.
Drones operate independent of central control with some degree of artificial intelligence. Our drones have an autonomous failsafe mode that allows them to return home and land if control is lost. This function is a safety measure to prevent accidents or injury. Our drones have no intelligence beyond this "go home and land" ability.
Why use a Drone?
Unmanned vehicles can go places where traditional manned platforms can't. They can be subjected to higher risk scenarios and can be operated in harsher environments and for longer periods of time. Drones carry equipment (payloads) that can be used to collect data, shoot video, or monitor the environment.
What can I use a Drone for?
The most common use is to capture film, video, and photographs. Whether for cinematic use, inspection of crops, showcasing real estate, or surveillance, our platforms provide a completely unique perspective.
Drones can also be used to monitor environmental conditions. We can equip our drones with any number of sensors to monitor things such as air quality, particulate, and radiation levels. We also use our drones to monitor crops using NDVI.
Why should I use a drone service instead of purchase and fly a drone myself?
We operate drones for any application you have, but you can also purchase and fly a for drone yourself. While modern platforms are remarkably stable, proficient flight requires practice. Both quadcopter and fixed wing designs require a great deal of experience to generate good results. As technology progresses, all unmanned vehicle platforms will become easier to operate, however, there is no substitute for the skill of an experienced pilot.
Our platforms are operated from an on-site ground station via direct RF Control. An experienced pilot flies the platform while a spotter assists with other tasks. When flying a drone as a cinematography tool, there's a lot going on, so much that sometimes it takes the coordinated efforts of several people.
Also, crashes can be dangerous and are often expensive. We encourage those who buy platforms to take it slow and make sure you're ready to go before you advance to tougher scenarios.
Are these related to the drones used for war?
None of our systems are weaponized. They may be used in a security or surveillance capacity to provide police or rescue teams immediate intelligence. They may also be used by journalists to cover and prevent abuses by the same. Or, a game warden might use a drone to prevent poaching. Drones, by virtue of their name, operate at the command of a person, and as such, are neither good or evil.
I've seen drones for sale in Radio Shack and Brookstone, why are yours special?
The number one difference is payload capacity- the amount of weight the drone can lift. Greater payload capacity allows us to carry better cameras, gimbals, sensors, and radios which means a leap forward in professional results, range, and flight time. The technology powering these vehicles is progressing rapidly, and the drones for sale at Radio Shack and Brookstone were mere pipe dreams 10 years ago. Our focus is staying on the leading edge of drone technology which is why we use the latest systems as well as develop our own.
How long can the drone fly before it needs to be recharged?
Current flight times average between 15-20 minutes depending on wind, altitude, and the maneuvers being performed.
How much video can it take?
Video is recorded to a micro SD card. It can hold approximately 3 hours of footage at 2.7k. Cards can be swapped out in less than a minute, providing limitless recording compared to the flight time.
Are these drones related to the Amazon delivery drones I've read about?
The technology is similar, but the Amazon drones are largely a novelty and publicity stunt. Our drones exist and fly now. We use the DJI Phantom 2 as a base platform for its reliability, availability, and simplicity. Our drones currently provide services for various California businesses.
Where are these Drones made?
A large quantity of the parts come from China which has made much of the innovation possible due to cheap sources. Final assembly, testing, and most of the engineering takes place here in the USA.
What is the range of flight?
We fly within line of sight. This means that you can see the drone with your naked eye. We operate from vantage points that allow us to see the entire field of operations.
What kind of wind can you operate in?
Stability is constantly improving, but our general rule is less than 10kts of wind. This is for the safety of the platform and everyone around. However, wether or not we fly is at the discretion of the operator on site. Every service is unique and we would be happy to provide a consultation about any project you may want to explore.