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I have never seen a drone fly, so I need advice. Reading this website, I thought someone may be able to help.

In my area of southern France, the Diois, there are two nuisances,  chenille processionaire (processionary Caterpillar, Thaumetopoea pityocampa)  and soon to come the frelon asiatique (Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax). One causes debilitating allergies and the other will kill my bees. Both build nests at the top of high trees.

My idea is to adapt a drone to carry a pressurised 500 or even 250ml can of specialised insecticide and using fpv, a gimbal mounted camera could direct a lightweight tube to accurately spray the nest without damaging the environment.

 

So I need a drone that will hover within 1m of a tree, that a novice can fly with a 400 to 600g payload in addition to battery, camera and gimbal and that won't cost too much.

To illustrate the task I post a couple of photos of the targets. They are high in the pine trees and at the extremities of branches so the drone would have to hover at 1 metre from the tree.

I envisage a servo to trigger chemical flow. My idea would be to use a converted aerosol with a flexible tube then a 400mm al2 tube attached to the gimbal. The gimbal would only have to move on a vertical axis so that might leave a channel open to activate the servo.

The chemical is water based and used by the government to spray vast areas away from habitation. It won't harm drone or (much) the pilot. I want to deliver small quantities targeting the nests. To avoid downdraft from the propellers, , I would try a long, lightweight tube to spray outside the main turbulence and alternatively, spraying vertically down.

I'm confident I can build the spray delivery device after some experiments.

We discussed this problem in the village. Almost every pine tree is infested with at least one n'est. other solutions are more radical; shoot the nests down (there are so many someone would get killed), cut down all pine trees (a shame in mountainous terrain).

My real problem is ignorance of drones so any advice much appreciated.

 

A little research suggested DJI might have something. So I asked DJI and got this discouraging reply "we do not recommend flying "all-in-one" aircraft with any payload other than the included DJI gimbal and camera. Because extra loading may affect the aircraft’s endurance ability and orthocenter which lead to a bad flying performance"

 

I also found a drone called Keyshare Glint-pro+ with good specs including a 1kg payload, at less than €500 including battery, gimbal & camera. But I only found one user review and it suggested the Glint-pro was unreliable to the extent of being unusable.

 

I would be most grateful for any advice on the project concept, knowledge of the Glint pro and recommendations for other drones that might be suitable for my unusual payload.

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Welcome @moorero.  Your idea is a fascinating one, to be sure.  I'm not surprised about the response you received from DJI.  I believe they are simply attempting to protect themselves.  But first, you should research the laws of France regarding drone use.  I am aware that news laws were announced in late fall but I believe they do not go into effect until 2019.  Carrying a payload is one issue and discharging its contents may very well be another issue entirely.  My first suggestion would be to contact Parrot since they are based in France.  They might be helpful.  For you convenience, here is a link to their primary web sight - en francois, for your convenience!

https://www.parrot.com/fr/drones#decouvrez-notre-gamme-

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Thanks Ed, the legal side is of course most important.

For the next two years the legislation is reasonable and pragmatic. Under 25kg and for personal (not professional) use there's no requirements beyond a set of common sense rules to follow.

a good site explaining this is https://www.amateursdedrones.fr/reglementation-legislation-drones/

or for the rules in English http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/Notice_drone_VF_GB_web.pdf

I have the strong support of the mayor, who is law & order on the commune so don't expect any difficulties from that quarter.

I too thought the DJI reply was from their legal dep't rather than from their test pilots.

 

 

Edited by moorero
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Hello @moorero.

I am a little surprised at DJI's response as I am sure that a Phantom would not be suitable for this purpose but they do make larger industrial type UAVs and even one that is designed to spray fields.

https://www.dji.com/mg-1

That looks like it is way to large for what you need but their development platform could be a possibility.

http://store.dji.com/product/matrice-100

Equipped with the their guidance option it may keep it away from the trees. I am not fortunate to own one of these so I can only suggest is as a potential platform to consider and you would need to check to see if it could handle the payload that you require.

 

Edited by Spitfire76
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1 hour ago, Spitfire76 said:

Hello @moorero.

I am a little surprised at DJI's response as I am sure that a Phantom would not be suitable for this purpose but they do make larger industrial type UAVs and even one that is designed to spray fields.

https://www.dji.com/mg-1

That looks like it is way to large for what you need but their development platform could be a possibility.

http://store.dji.com/product/matrice-100

Equipped with the their guidance option it may keep it away from the trees. I am not fortunate to own one of these so I can only suggest is as a potential platform to consider and you would need to check to see if it could handle the payload that you require.

 

Thank you,  Spitfire 76, the matrice 100 looks good and can carry a second battery that weighs 5kg so with just one battery it must be able to lift a 5kg payload, 10 x the load I need to lift. But at more than $5000 equipped that's also a bit more than I hoped to spend on a crazy project. 

My problem seems to be that payloads are rarely specified,  except on the keyshare glint ($450) which claims 1 kg payload but for which I can't find positive reviews. 

Edited by moorero
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1 hour ago, moorero said:

Thank you,  Spitfire 76, the matrice 100 looks good and can carry a second battery that weighs 5kg so with just one battery it must be able to lift a 5kg payload, 10 x the load I need to lift. But at more than $5000 equipped that's also a bit more than I hoped to spend on a crazy project. 

My problem seems to be that payloads are rarely specified,  except on the keyshare glint ($450) which claims 1 kg payload but for which I can't find positive reviews. 

@moorero according to the following specs the larger battery is 676g.

https://www.dji.com/matrice100/info

They state a max takeoff weight of 3.6 kg and an UAV weight with larger battery of 2.431 kg, in which case I believe that the max payload should be the difference of 1.169 kg.

Edited by Spitfire76
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23 minutes ago, Spitfire76 said:

@moorero according to the following specs the larger battery is 676g.

https://www.dji.com/matrice100/info

They state a max takeoff weight of 3.6 kg and an UAV weight with larger battery of 2.431 kg. I believe that the max payload should be the difference which is 1.169 kg.

That makes much more sense than the info I found, thanks for the research!

And it is what I've been looking for as far as payload is concerned. Should I then conclude that I have to spend about $5000 on a suitable drone?

It seems to have  a lot of qualities I don't have to have.

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Apart from lifting that kind of payload the other challenge is to get fairly close to the tree without crashing into the branches and at the same time have the UAV piloted by a novice. If the trees are really tall it might even be difficult for a experience pilot to fly that close. Actually how tall are the trees ?.

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The tallest trees on my plot are about 15m. I'm on the side of a mountain so the slope averages 25° . Trees are mostly Spaced so i could pilot from uphill to get a better angle of view. I agree it's not easy, I'll experiment with higher pressure vessels to get a longer jet so the drone could be 2 m from the tree.

looking at cameras and 3 axis gimbals, the weight seems to be about 400g. I don't need high definition or 3 axis stabilisation to aim at a 20cm dia  target so I thought I could use a 1 vertical axis gimbal and small camera weighing < 100g.

equally I don't need 30 minutes flight time (at least not to prove viability of the project) so I could save 100g on the battery. 

I note the drones (eg phantom 3) perform fully equipped at 6000m altitude whereas I fly at 600 - 700 m.

shouldn't this enable me to add a 400g spray unit? In which case could I look at the much cheaper leisure drones rather than high performance professional machines?

Edited by moorero
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Thankyou Spitfire76, you are an inspiration.

Wow the price of the  3DR Solo in the US is unbelievable at less than $300!!! That would be perfect but they won't ship to Europe.

I just checked and it's over $1000 in Europe!! Perhaps it will come down.

 

 

For the P3 I found this video that seems to be by a serious company in the Netherlands. they install thermal immaging equipment on P3s.

 

they show the curent drawn to maintain different total weight of the P3 I summarise their results in attachment.

a 500g extra load increased power required by 70% and reduces flytime from 25 to 15 minutes. that could be OK for my purposes.

 

 

p3 loading.png

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That's too bad about the Solo pricing in Europe.

My understanding is in order to have a stable and maneuverable flight characteristics the thrust generated by the motors and propellers needs to be about twice that of the total weight of the drone. Its one thing to get off the ground but its another to also have control.

If you think that the P3 can handle the payload and still have good control it might be better to get the advanced or professional as these, I believe, have optical flow sensors that help keep it more stable when hovering rather than just relying on the GPS.

Edited by Spitfire76
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That's several  good points, especially as I would like the drone to remain still while I spray.

I found a site that claims to give the permissable extra loads. For P3 they estimate 300 which is not enough. Frustrating but I m sure I'll find the right drone in the end. 

They mention another drone " It can carry 2,300 grams or 5.07 pounds in addition to the weight of its built-in components"

 thesite is http://drones.specout.com/l/853/JYU-Spider-X

jyu spiderX is the drone, availablein Germanyfor a little over $400 in fpv version. 

i can't find any reviews, can you form an opinion on basis of the spec? .

building one is a good idea but I would have to follow a long and painful learning curve.

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The manufactures website does boast some impressive specs.

http://en.jyu.com/products/spider-x/info/

A carrying capacity of 2.3 Kg and so with its weight of 2.1 Kg that's a MTOW of 4.4 Kg!

It also states the motors are 3508 and propeller are 1345 which means 13 inches long with a pitch of 4.5 inches so we should be able to determine the thrust. One spec that is really impressive and can't possible be correct is the 209 mins of flight time!

 

 

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It also has an 8s 5A-H lipo! But... I found an excellent German Co who have the DE concession. Seems the drone has teething troubles and isn't available to the public yet.

I also found so many inconsistencies in claimed "payload" that the figures seem to be meaningless. batteries, gimbal & cameras are sometimes included sometimes excluded but often not clear. payload is confused with max takeoff weight. No-one seems to have analysed available drones to give precise comparisons (true payload, motor thrust etc.

I presume the 35 and 08 must mean something tho I haven(t found what precisely except that heavy drones have "35" and more something and lighter ones less than "35". 

I did learn that a drone should hover at 50% max thrust or it can't be controlled. As you already mentioned.

So surely it ought to be possible to get a reasonably precise correlation between thrust and motor reference and/ or propeller dia in inches? Maybe with that I could get a better idea of acceptable takeoff weights and hence payload?

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I doubt that the Spider X at such a low price uses these high quality motors but they are 3508 and T-Motor provides very detailed performance specs so we can check the thrust at different throttle levels.

http://www.rctigermotor.com/html/2013/Navigator_0910/36.html

With a MTOW of 4.4 Kg to hover at 50% throttle each motor would need to generate 1.1 Kg of thrust and the best I see in the tables with a 13 inch prop is 550g (380kv and 6S battery). It looks like 80% throttle would be required to hover. Of course we don't know the manufacture of their motors so it could be different.

Edited by Spitfire76
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Ignore my last post. I miss-read the specs. 840 g is the weight of the transmitter, the drone is 1240g so only a 180g payload!. I thought it was too good for this size drone which is about the same as the DJI P3. Also it looks like Autel Robotics can't ship to France or any other country that requires CE certification.

Edited by Spitfire76
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maybe I should find courage to follow your advice, Spitfire76, of many posts ago and build a drone adapted to the specific needs,; stable flight, good payload (might as well look for at least a kilo), maybe gps and visual positioning for hovering, 10 minute flight time (i have to refill the spray) extendable if i use carrying capacity for battery rather than spray contraption.

In the meantime its time i learnt to fly so i bought a x8hw to make my first mistakes with.

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@moorero I really like building UAVs almost as much as flying but recently find myself looking at the ready to fly ones as they can actually be cheaper and have more features. In your case you don't really need a 3 axis gimbal and high quality camera. You also need to carry a custom spray unit so building one might be a better way to go. Also its typically easier and cheaper to repair a home built UAV. Once you learn to fly the x8hw let me know if you need some help in selecting the parts. Also checkout the DIY section of this forum as others and myself have added several posts on our builds.

Edited by Spitfire76
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