What Weather Conditions are Best for Drone Surveying?

The ideal climate for conducting aerial topography projects with drones is one with a clear sky, minimal cloud cover, low winds, mild temperatures and good visibility. Before flying, it's important to check the forecast to get an idea of what to expect. Light winds can affect the drone's battery life, so it's important to take this into consideration when planning your flight. In addition to wind, rainfall and temperature, it's also important to consider relative humidity (RH) and dew point.

The graph of aerodynamic speed and ground speed shows a variety of peaks and valleys during the flight, which come from the drone pointing in or out of the wind. As drones become more popular for topography projects, surveyors want to make more use of them in everyday situations. Fog and cloud cover can reduce visibility and make it difficult to control the drone. By inspecting an earthworks or civil construction site with a drone, you'll get accurate data that you can use to track the progress of your project.

Even if the weather isn't ideal, you may still need to fly your drone. If the drone is operational once dry, you must perform a test flight in a controlled area to ensure that the drone has not suffered serious or lasting damage before flying again. For Canadian pilots, one of the best ways to minimize the chance that the drone will suffer damage or loss is to ensure that you know the optimal flight temperatures for your specific drone. If a fixed-wing drone has only one propeller in airplane mode, the drone must “lean” sideways toward the wind to counteract the force of the crosswind and remain in the line of flight, which has a negative impact on the overlap that can be achieved.

If your drone gets wet from unexpected rain or snow during the flight, be sure to let it dry completely while it's turned off. Weather conditions can have a significant impact on drone performance, so it's important to understand different types of weather and their effects on drone flight.