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Thread: 50km+ Range through Clouds

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    50km+ Range through Clouds

    Hi my name is Kade Illian. I am currently involved in a research project concerning supercell thunderstorms. We are particularly interested in the mid level dynamics of these storms. Obviously, to obtain data from these levels we need some sort of drone or RC plane. We have our plane built, are using Dragon Link for our RC system, have our instruments attached, and now we only have the video system remaining. This video system's range must exceed 40km through clouds and rain. Not sure if this is do able. We also have a $500 budget.
    I am not familiar at all with the video systems involved in FPV. If anyone has a setup that works for them, please let me know what pieces of hardware you use.

    Kade Illian

  2. #2
    Navigator Beerwiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Locked in then trunk of a car.
    Pepperbox or gatling on 1.3 would be my choice. Video IMO will not be an issue, if your airframe / FC can survive the turbulence would be a bigger concern for me.
    "You get what you put in, and people get what they deserve"
    Kid Rock

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Thanks Beerwiser! Our air frame has yet to be tested and will probably a bust, so we figure it will be trial and error process.

  4. #4
    Test pilot addict airtruksrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Whidbey, Washington
    If youre planning on sending the plane into a supercell, will be very interested in seeing how it turns out. One word of caution, build the plane with the expectation that flying ice can clean off video antennas quite easily, might use flexible dipole antennas for both control and video with a yagi on the ground station. Im also using a pepperbox and cp video antennas and know how fragile they become with storage in the garage.

    I remember back to the video post of the plane that was sucked up into the supercell and only after being launched out of the top at some 40k ft up did the telemetry and video come back to the owners relief. Make sure you have data logging capability as he did to check out the results after and view in amazement. Hope your airframe survives!


    Airtruksrus Cockpit Ground Station Systems.
    Open for business
    Always under revision to make it better.

  5. #5
    Navigator Siv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Richmond, TX
    With 40km+, while is achievable on 1.3GHz, has two main issues:
    - you need a high gain antenna which will mean it's highly directional so you'll have to know where you are flying and perhaps use an antenna tracker (done before with off the shelf items)
    - you'll need as light an airframe as possible and highly efficient. I have seen people fly out 40km into the wind and come back but they don't loiter at 40km, they come straight back - usually with enough altitude that the bulk of the return journey is low powered or a glide. Also, a light & efficient airframe may not penetrate in the winds you'll see in the storm so you won't actually be flying anywhere! I think the flight times/penetration you want will be more of a challenge than getting the video link distance.

    You're probably better off getting as close as you can to the storm, yet still safe distance, and launching from there. You can put the antennas on your car roof and pilot from inside the car.

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