Which DJI for long-range autonomous scouting?

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I'm very new to drones, but I found through online research that the DJI drones appear to be the most advanced for the money (such as the Mavic Air and the Phantom 3 Pro). But what I need to know is which model would be optimal for sending it autonomously down long desert roads (say, for 5 to 10 miles, then back home -- beyond radio control range), while it takes high rez pictures every few seconds. (I would assume I simply need to feed it GPS coordinates or a simple compass heading). Once the drone returned, I would then take the memory card out, put it in my computer, and see if the road ahead is worthwhile traveling down, or if it is even passable.

Is all this technically possible?

dirt.jpg
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Thank you!

-Cotter
 

Fly Dawg

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(say, for 5 to 10 miles, then back home -- beyond radio control range),
You wont get that kind of range. Total 5-7 miles at best, that includes to and back. But yes Litchi will do that autonomously as probably the easiest option.
 
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Fly Dawg

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But what I need to know is which model would be optimal for sending it
Most any model will accommodate this, Litchi is the flight program. Again you wont get that kind of range without modifications. Not to mention FAA violations.
 
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Fly Dawg

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Thanks, Fly Dawg, for all the info, as well as the FAA regs warning. I will see how far I can see the (hopefully red!) Mavic Air with my tripod-mounted 12-40X80 military binoculars. And even though some amount of drag will be unavoidable, the addition of a small reflective, glittering Mylar streamer should help. I'll experiment. (And I know this doesn't matter FAA-wise, but the drone will be flying in the middle of the Mojave desert, at maximum altitude (450'), and with its built-in collision avoidance detection enabled).
 

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Thanks, Fly Dawg, for all the info, as well as the FAA regs warning. I will see how far I can see the (hopefully red!) Mavic Air with my tripod-mounted 12-40X80 military binoculars. ....
(And I know this doesn't matter FAA-wise, but the drone will be flying in the middle of the Mojave desert, at maximum altitude (450'), and with its built-in collision avoidance detection enabled).
Since you aren't going to be complying with FAA rules, why bother with th binoculars etc at all?
Obstacle avoidance isn't going to be much use 450 ft up and will only slow the drone and shorten the range.
And if you are planning to fly at 450 ft,the drone has a very wide angle lens so Google Earth is going to give you the same information anyway.
 

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I will see how far I can see the (hopefully red!) Mavic Air with my tripod-mounted 12-40X80 military binoculars.
Of course that's illegal too.

Sigh.

Please do as others have said and research the regulations before you buy (fly).
 
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I'm very new to drones, but I found through online research that the DJI drones appear to be the most advanced for the money (such as the Mavic Air and the Phantom 3 Pro). But what I need to know is which model would be optimal for sending it autonomously down long desert roads (say, for 5 to 10 miles, then back home -- beyond radio control range), while it takes high rez pictures every few seconds. (I would assume I simply need to feed it GPS coordinates or a simple compass heading). Once the drone returned, I would then take the memory card out, put it in my computer, and see if the road ahead is worthwhile traveling down, or if it is even passable.

Is all this technically possible?

View attachment 109552_____View attachment 109553
Thank you!

-Cotter
Yes, but not with a DJI sUAS. You’ll need the AeroVironment Puma Visit Aerovironment Inc..
As others have mentioned, you’ll be breaking regs on VLOS and altitude of 400’ max.
 
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Thanks, Fly Dawg, for all the info, as well as the FAA regs warning. I will see how far I can see the (hopefully red!) Mavic Air with my tripod-mounted 12-40X80 military binoculars. And even though some amount of drag will be unavoidable, the addition of a small reflective, glittering Mylar streamer should help. I'll experiment. (And I know this doesn't matter FAA-wise, but the drone will be flying in the middle of the Mojave desert, at maximum altitude (450'), and with its built-in collision avoidance detection enabled).
The Mojave Desert is outside the US? Who knew....
 
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Fly Dawg

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(And I know this doesn't matter FAA-wise, but the drone will be flying in the middle of the Mojave desert, at maximum altitude (450'), and with its built-in collision avoidance detection enabled).
And this fact matters how? You could be flying in the New Mexico desert and you would still have the same issue. ( And trust me you do not want to fly there).....
 
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Fly Dawg, I even said, "And I know this doesn't matter FAA-wise...". (And I will obviously keep it under 400 feet -- I thought that 450' was the limit, but I had "misremembered"!).
But a big question, 'cause now I am very confused with all of the above comments: I read the FAA regs weeks ago, but they stated:
  • Keep your drone within your line of sight

    So why are other members saying that using binoculars as an aid to a person's limited vision illegal?? (I didn't see any mention of "naked eye" at all. It's almost like saying that I can't wear my eyeglasses while flying a drone).

    What am I missing here?
 

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It's almost like saying that I can't wear my eyeglasses while flying a drone).
You are missing a lot. If you read the full reg's you will see.

By definition, a model aircraft must be “flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft.” P.L. 112-95, section 336(c)(2).1 Based on the plain language of the statute, the FAA interprets this requirement to mean that: (1) the aircraft must be visible at all times to the operator; (2) that the operator must use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the aircraft;
 
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Fly Dawg

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The link for the image is below. For now 336 is still in effect. But will change very soon:

reg1.PNG



SEE HERE: Recreational Flyers
 
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Wow, the FAA has their regs nailed!! Thanks for the citation, that helps a lot.

However, as I am sure you guys have talked about here a ton, both pro and con, this FAA rule reminds me so much of the Red Flag Laws in England, that demanded that any motorcar on the road must have a man or boy in front of it waving a red flag (for "safety" reasons). This retarded the English automotive industry for years, allowing America to dominate...

red-flag-act.png
 
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To answer the question of the OP, (You are responsible for your own regulations so I’m not going to mention them)
you might want to consider a fixed wing platform. You will get significantly more range. You may need to learn some more about planning with different autopilot
I use this for larger area recon
FireFLY6 PRO
Nice vtol features and not too hard to set up mission plans
 
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Jack, that is an incredibly advanced UAV. Beautiful, and it would be absolutely ideal, if not for the price. I'm very impressed, to say the least.
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So I am not worried about or will not mention the regs either since the proposed flights are beyond what the faa allows. But I wonder why the flights need to be made at all? What are you looking for and what possible time savings would be helped deploying the drone in the first place? Military? No they already have stuff we could not imagine. Any government entity will have what they need. So me thinks the op is not concerned with regs at all possibility because maybe illegality is the purpose of the flight in the first place! Say a “coyote” wanted to see if the coast was clear ahead? A smuggler checking a meeting location? As stated, checking the road ahead is the main objective and if legal was a concern you would just drive up the road and see! Of course I am just speculating here!
 

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