Homing signal?

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My recent experience of using a drone at sea and in an environment in which the GPS signal can be lost got me to thinking. Would it be possible to incorporate a homing signal into drones? The idea would be to use a device that transmits a homing signal that could be picked up at longer ranges than signals between the drone and the controller. A homing device would remain on the ground and could presumably transmit a stronger signal than the drone or the controller, and it could also have a larger antenna. Including this technology wouldn't require increasing the weight of the drone. It could presumably be used as a fail safe precaution that would allow the drone to fly toward the direction of the homing signal, and it would eventually either reconnect with the controller or be visually spotted by the operator.
 

alokbhargava

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Your idea is similar to the concept that a lost sailing ship can find its destination by looking t the lights of a light house.

Thanks.

My comments:

1. Have you worked out the cost of implementation?

2. If homing signal is much stronger than lightbridge, DJI will replace it with homing signals.

3. Per my experience GPS is highly reliable and available all the time unless you fly between high rise buildings. To make system reliable, one can have redundancy for GPS chip.




Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
 
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I wouldn't advocate replacing the existing connection between the controller and the drone since the two-way nature of that form of communication is essential. I think it might be a good idea to use a homing signal (which would be a one-way form of communication) at a different frequency from a source that transmits at a higher level. I wouldn't think it would be expensive to add this capability to the drone. The basic idea is that a device that has a larger antenna than the controller could send out a stronger signal. One probably wouldn't want this capability to be incorporated into the controller since it would have to be more massive and cumbersome than the controller, but it shouldn't be overly expensive to build such a device. The idea was inspired by the fact that GPS signal can indeed be lost, such as at high latitudes. The motivation for the idea would be to have an additional safety feature to help avoid losses. During fieldwork in remote areas, there is more at stake than the financial loss when a drone is lost, and that is part of what motivated my thinking. We took two Phantom 3s on the Arctic trip. I was reluctant to put them at risk early on the trip just in case of an opportunity to get some amazing video footage came up later on. Any technology that would make loss less likely would be very welcome on such a trip.
 
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... As if the conditions weren't challenging enough, Williams found he couldn’t fly the drones in GPS "autopilot" mode, which allows stable, autonomous flight. Williams said he suspected the strong magnetic pull of the South Pole was to blame. Without GPS mode, Williams could still pilot the drone, but he needed to use manual controls almost exclusively, "and that's where the skill level of the pilot requirement increased," Williams said....
Drone's-Eye View: Flying Vehicles Could Monitor Ice in Remote Regions
 

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