Which DJI for long-range autonomous scouting?

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Trackerputnam put very wise comment which might be true though. I agree with it.
If something seems unreasonable then very likely we don't know the reason.
 
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Why not follow behind in a car or pickup? And have it land at the end.
 
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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
If it’s the same area that you want to keep under observation, what about some game cameras?
 
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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!
Wow, that is some incredible imagination you have there, Trackerputnam! Into conspiracy theories much?

Nope, it's a little bit more mundane, I'm afraid; My wife and I enjoy boondocking in our 31 foot travel trailer (manufacturer's photo of our model is shown below). Boondocking is going out into the South Western desert areas in the middle of nowhere, on BLM land, and legally camping for up to two weeks.

However, the problems are many and varied, especially hauling around a 4 metric ton dead weight on four wheels: You don't want to get stuck in a washout that just appeared last week or last year (way after Google Maps took their satellite photo of the area), or meet up with a un-passible rut or washout with no way to turn around with your 46 feet of truck and hitch and trailer combination. Or the spot you picked up on Google maps may already be taken, and traveling back to the highway on a bumpy dirt road with a trailer is a very slow and brutal experience.

So, why a drone and not a motorbike for recon? Well, getting down the heavy motorbike from its carrier is a backbreaking and time-consuming experience, and I wanted to make sure -- the easy way -- if it was even worth getting the bike down and taking off down the road. If the drone found no problems, I would head down the road on my bike to fully check it out; if not, we just pack up the drone and move on.

Sorry to disappoint Trackerputnam; wish I had a juicier confession for you...
2019-Autumn-Ridge-27RLI-3-4-2.png
 
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I likely have been all over that desert where you are talking about. Not much of the Mojave I have not been through. I have run into illegals and smugglers and others exploring. Finding old mines tucked back into some out of the way corner is also fun. Blowing old dynamite not so fun. LE not so happy about that. So I get what your saying. So putting the drone up every couple of miles would really hinder your progress in such a fast expanse with the limited coverage of the drone. Taking a motorbike would still be a better option.
 
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Hey - I know that guy!

 
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You should be keeping drone within unaided visual range at all ties and in the UK certainly you cannot fly above 400 ft above the ground. Max range on a Mavic is 7km, but I would be certain that after 4 it would be screaming to come home and you would be lucky if that battery lasted that long. Drones are a sensitive subject. Please stay within the guidelines/regulations to avoid screwing it up for everyone else
 
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What you intend to do is illegal period. Using binoculars is illegal. Not to mention your libility if you hit a car or person. Most people can see a drone about 1200 feet out in front of them at an altitude of 100 feet on a sunny day with no haze or cloud cover. How do I know this. We teach this at the University I teach at
 
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VLOS implies you can judge the distance between your drone and any manned aircraft. For most of us, we can't tell if a drone is 2000' or 2500' away. Discrimination of the distance of a manned aircraft and your drone gets very difficult after you are more than 2000'. If you have a "spotter" team in place, you have more range potential.

BTW ... I recently had to pay $4000 to a lawyer (with no drone law knowledge) to throw out 2 erroneous charges. I was flying legally (not even on the fringe), my drone footage and AIRMAP data was hard evidence that I was not on railroad property, but, while the judge had the charges dropped, he fined me $900 for "disrupting the peace" where no-one called in to say I was disturbing them.

Lesson learned. Avoid any flying that might, in any way, be questionable to anyone. Flying with FAA rules in rural or unpopulated areas is a reasonably safe bet. Too bad!
 
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What you intend to do is illegal period. Using binoculars is illegal. Not to mention your libility if you hit a car or person. Most people can see a drone about 1200 feet out in front of them at an altitude of 100 feet on a sunny day with no haze or cloud cover. How do I know this. We teach this at the University I teach at
Hey have you tried strobes during the day? Firehouse technology has drone strobes they work great.The white ones during the day improve sight.At night you can see them up to 1 1/2 miles and more.I also painted the drones with florescent paint to reflect the light as long as you don't mind a pink and green drone.
 

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Hey have you tried strobes during the day? Firehouse technology has drone strobes they work great.The white ones during the day improve sight.At night you can see them up to 1 1/2 miles and more.I also painted the drones with fluorescent paint to reflect the light as long as you don't mind a pink and green drone.
Wow, thanks offroadpyro; this is a great idea, and many of the comments at firehousetechnology.com say that these strobes still work fantastically even during the day. Appreciate this super constructive idea!
 

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BTW ... I recently had to pay $4000 to a lawyer (with no drone law knowledge) to throw out 2 erroneous charges. I was flying legally (not even on the fringe), my drone footage and AIRMAP data was hard evidence that I was not on railroad property, but, while the judge had the charges dropped, he fined me $900 for "disrupting the peace" where no-one called in to say I was disturbing them.
Lesson learned. Avoid any flying that might, in any way, be questionable to anyone. Flying with FAA rules in rural or unpopulated areas is a reasonably safe bet. Too bad!
So that's how that all ended up! It was indeed an attitude arrest, and the conviction for disrupting the peace was that of the LEO who would have preferred you not argue with him! Fly as you will, but certainly don't argue with any man with a badge and a gun who confronts you! That's the lesson to be learned. Had you complied with his orders and been contrite, you could have left with a verbal warning and a "Have a nice day." Respect and a little contrition goes a long way!
 
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So that's how that all ended up! It was indeed an attitude arrest, and the conviction for disrupting the peace was that of the LEO who would have preferred you not argue with him! Fly as you will, but certainly don't argue with any man with a badge and a gun who confronts you! That's the lesson to be learned. Had you complied with his orders and been contrite, you could have left with a verbal warning and a "Have a nice day." Respect and a little contrition goes a long way!
There was absolutely NO argument. My drone was flying an Intelligent Flight mode so that it would NOT have stopped and hovered. I did, being a responsible Remote Pilot in Command, have to, at a minimum, touch my control stick to end the autonomous flight. Had I complied with the policeman's orders to take my hands off of the controller, during the morning rush hour, auto drivers could have been distracted and seriously injured themselves or others. I would agree with your advice given the LIMITED knowledge of the situation you had.
 

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There was absolutely NO argument. My drone was flying an Intelligent Flight mode so that it would NOT have stopped and hovered. I did, being a responsible Remote Pilot in Command, have to, at a minimum, touch my control stick to end the autonomous flight. Had I complied with the policeman's orders to take my hands off of the controller, during the morning rush hour, auto drivers could have been distracted and seriously injured themselves or others. I would agree with your advice given the LIMITED knowledge of the situation you had.
By your own statements, you didn't comply with policeman's orders. You disobeyed him. You paid the price! He could have pulled his gun and shot you. You got off easy.
 
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By your own statements, you didn't comply with policeman's orders. You disobeyed him. You paid the price! He could have pulled his gun and shot you. You got off easy.
Had I complied with the policeman's orders and my drone distracted a driver leading to the death of the driver or a pedestrian, I'd have paid a higher price ... a situation I would not have wanted to live with.
 

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