In the Desert
What to look for
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Practical Use of Drones
There is certainly a lot of talk about UAV's and their use in the desert. Businesses, government agencies and individuals are now using them to improve their view of the world we live in. The FAA is now involved in the act with new regulations to control and register their use. Individuals are also getting into trouble flying in restricted areas. So what good use could you use a drone for?
UAV's, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
This is a great way to view rock crawling events, off road adventures, and to look over new areas in the desert before actually entering them. YouTube has thousands of videos taken with Drones. The video above is a perfect example. How else could you get a perspective like that?
Here's an example of one of the good uses of a drone. Todd Copeland has been flying them for 2 years. He's come up with some great videos showing what you can do with a drone.
Video courtesy of Todd Copeland
View "Full Screen" for a beter experience.
Information about the above video supplied by Todd Copeland: "The drone used in the above video was a DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus. The camera was included with the Vision Plus so it's also made by DJI. The software I used to edit the video was Cyberlink's PowerDirector. I'd label it as intermediate... not too expensive and easy to use. I live in Sandy, Utah and have lived here for 10 years now. The Phantom 2 Vision Plus was my first UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.. or drone) and I've since been using a Phantom 3 (which has much improved capabilities). I've been flying UAVs for about 2 years now. Most every consumer camera UAV has similar controls and they are very easy to fly. Almost all of them now use GPS to maintain their location. So when you let go of the controls the UAV will stop and hover in one place. Most higher end consumer UAVs (3DR, DJI, Yuneec, etc) use gimbals that stabilize the camera so "jello" is pretty much non-existent. UAV's give a unique perspective of objects, one that you may only be able to obtain from a helicopter or small plane".
Firefighters, farmers, police and surveyors are now using drones. They come in all sizes for use indoors as well as out in the desert.
Now we even have micro-drones and nano-drones. Some of these fly pretty good and would probably be fun. None of these is yet capable of photography or video though. For that you need a bigger drone. There are literally hundreds of drones on the market today and you can even build your own.
This is the RC Quadcopter by Potensic It lists for $198 and comes with a 2 megapixel camera for photos and video. Video is 1280 X 720 HD. See the ad on the left side of the page with a link to Amazon. An inexpensive way to get started. There are other alternatives out there. We do not sponsor or promote any one of these Drones.
Drone prices vary from $50 to over $20,000 for professional UAV's. The DJI and 3DR drones are probably the most widely known that actually work and fly easily (priced between $800 and $2,000). Some of the less expensive ones are harder to control and are really not good for video use.
Some drones have a problem with video, called the "jello effect". Sometimes this can be corrected with a new gimbal or by padding the camera and balancing the blades as seen in this Google Search HERE. There are a lot of pros and cons concerning the "jello effect" but one that makes the most sense is balancing the blades with a Du-Bro Tru Spin Precision Prop/Wheel Balancer. A good camera gimbel is also a must.
The illegal use of drones near forest and desert fires is becoming a real problem for the pilots that are trying to dump fire retardant on the fires. Quite a few times in the past their operations have been shut down because of individuals flying their drones in the fire area (Caifornia and Utah). Some states now offer rewards for the prosecution of these individuals. Check the FAA rules and don't fly in No-Fly Zones! The fines can be steep!