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UAV Forecast Settings

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TDoodle, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. TDoodle

    Jan 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    I'm a Nomad
    What do you guys have for your settings for it to tell you if it is safe to fly. I'm just wondering if I have some of them set wrong/I don't really need them set at what I have it to. Also, if I have it in bold, can you tell me what it means (you may have to dumb down your description haha)? Most of these, are still set from the 'factory settings'

    Mine is at…
    Max wind - 18km/hr (I have it a bit lower as I am still new at flying)
    Wind Altitude - 33 feet

    Min Temp : -10C
    Adjust for Wind Chill - On
    Max Precip % - 50%
    Max Sky Cover - 100%
    Min Visibility - 3km (I have it set at that seeing that the Phantom's range is 2km. This one I really won't pay attention to anyways)

    Min GPS Sats - Off
    GPS Elev Mask: 5 deg
    Include GLONASS Sats - Off

    Min Est Sats - 10
    Max Kp - 5

    Reason why I'm wondering is because my Est. Sats Locked in the forecast has been less than 10 most of the time (like 90% of the time)

    Appreciate it!!
  2. skitchen8

    Feb 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Wind Altitude is the altitude at which it is forecasting winds, so if it shows 15MPH and your setting is 33ft it means that their forecast model is saying that winds at 33ft will be 15MPH

    I think GPS Elevation Mask is the minimum elevation for GPS satellites, so say you have hills all around you that are approximately 5 degrees above the horizon you'd want that set as 5 degrees, if you're in a Canyon you'll probably want it higher.

    Min Est Sats is the minimum number of sats they think will be above you at the time. Due to their orbits sometimes you'll have more or less satellites above you, and you want the most possible to get the best accuracy in GPS position.
  3. skitchen8

    Feb 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Sorry, I just realized they go into more detail right on the website if you click on the question marks next to each field:

    Q. What is the GPS Elevation Mask?
    The elevation of a satellite is how high above the horizon it appears to be at a given point in time at your location. GPS satellites that are at low elevation are close to the horizon and are more likely to be obscured by nearby buildings or hills, making it more difficult for your GPS receiver to get a lock. The GPS Elevation Mask lets you count how many satellites are actually visible from your location, by excluding all satellites whose elevations are below the threshold value.

    The default value (5°) is suitable for most locations. If there are many tall buildings or mountains at the forecast location, you might want to increase the mask. Note also that most UAV GPS receivers (e.g. the 3DR uBlox modules) use an internal elevation mask of (5°), and ignore any satellites below that elevation even if the receiver has a good signal for that satellite.

    Note that the actual number of satellites visible may vary during your flight. For example, even if the tool predicts only 9 satellites, you might see as many as 10 or 11 when you are at higher altitudes and away from nearby buildings.

    Q. What is the "Est. GPS Sats Locked" column?
    UAVForecast.com uses a proprietary model to simulate the expected number of GPS satellites you will be able to lock, given the following factors:

    • The number of GPS satellites visible in the sky (filtered by the elevation mask).
    • The time of day: ionospheric interference with GPS is worse at night.
    • Your latitude and longitude: ionospheric interference is worse close to the equator.
    • The current or forecast Kp index.
    Note that the estimate is just that - an estimate - and the actual number you see will vary according to local conditions, random fluctuations in the ionosphere, and so on.
  4. Mark The Droner

    Aug 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I use max winds 15 mph at whatever height I'm going to fly that day, but my default is 400 ft. But if the winds are from the north or west I'll sometimes fly anyway since that's the direction I normally head out.

    Min temp blank.

    Max precip chance 50%.

    Max cloudcover blank

    Min visibility blank

    Min GPS satellites visible 7

    GPS elevation mask 20 degrees - I have high trees and hills all around me.

    Include GLONASS satellites blank

    Min GPS satellites locked 6

    Max Kp 5

    Show daylight hours only blank

    *None of these are deal killers - they just alert me to potential problems. For example I don't fly far with less than 7 satellites locked, and I know I'll likely get more satellites once I gain some altitude. The important thing is to have a good home point before I launch.
  5. Djw93

    Jan 10, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Are these settings in the dji go app?

    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
  6. Mark The Droner

    Aug 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    No - it's simply a handy tool to advise you of flight conditions. Go to uavforecast.com and take a look.
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 8, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Don't take this too seriously either.
    It's an app taking data and predictions from a range of sources of variable accuracy.
    It can't tell what the wind is actually blowing right where you want to fly at the time you want to fly.
    That's up to you to determine. The app is just an indication of what conditions might be - not what they are.
    And think about the parameters too.
    Cloud cover makes zero difference to flying and there's never been a case of K-index affecting Phantom flying.
    As for the number of satellites, if you have the Advanced or Pro and use Glonass + GPS, you'll always have enough sats.
    If you have the Standard using GPS only, it would be very rare to not have enough sats.
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