This week at C.E.M.A., located at " Domaine du Planet" in a beautiful place, was a bit special.
Thursday 18th was the Presentation day of UAS, which has been honneslty mastered mainy by " Infotron" and " Survey Copter". We performed a private demo to Infotron at the end of the day with the Hexacopter and the " Box" system and now i can say that yes, it flies with sustained 60 to 70 km/h winds. Almost 45° inclination all time to fight the wind ( lol) but it did well !
Today wind was " lighter " ( just 50 km/h....) so we decided to check about what we call " urban legends" from what was previously seen on the internet ( for example, systems flying and recording video at winds up to 60 km/h with a standard frame and gimbal from Mikrokopter, exactly same frame and gimbal we use).
We can say that NO, it is not possible to have a stable picture with such winds, because :
1) The gimbal has a mechanical limit especially on Roll axis, that is very quickly reached with high wind.
2) To keep the altitude + position with the wind + the wind gusts, the level variation of the frames are so large that the gimbal reaches it's elevator and roll limits almost straight away, especialy if you have a bot of tilt engaged tor record in the ground direction.
But it's stil impressive anyway to see the Hexa frames "fighting" against the wind and still get pretty good pictures, the small hick ups are due to violent wind gusts and you will see horizon getting lost quite often when the gimbal is out of it's mechanical abilities..
SO next step is to build a 5 axis gimbal ( 2 + 3 axis) to be able to keep recording in a stable way even with the frames at more than 45° of inclination in the wind, to allow video tracking of ground objects.
Meet us in March 2013 at C.E.M.A. for the first stone inauguration for the European UAV center at the " Domaine du PLanet" for a new demo :)
Also to say, this place is just fantastic for family holidays, i might go back there tomorrow to make a complete aerial video if the wind is less agressive lol !
Thanks to the C.E.M.A. for hosting this event, first but not last of it's kind, and congrats to Infotron and Survey Copter for flying in such conditions, i can clearly say that in this world of " bull sh..ers" i have been more than impresed to see that they went flying, several times, with such winds ( 75 km/h), i had to wait for the wind to drop at 60 / 70 to be able to take off without flipping the machine before lol !