Flying a drone in winter – what do you need to know?

Dimitri Wolf Von Dimitri Wolf 5 Min. Lesen
Flying in winter can have its own special charm if you keep a few points in mind. Picture: pixabay

In winter, drone pilots not only have to deal with shorter days, but also with wet, snowy and cold weather. In this guide, we would like to briefly explain what you should bear in mind when flying a drone in winter.

Drone pilots have two options for what they can do with their drone in winter.

  • Either they continue to use it and fly it in cold temperatures. Or …
  • you decide to store your drone over the winter and leave it for the time being.

Depending on what you decide, there are a few points to bear in mind, which we would like to explain to you here.

Flying a drone in winter

If you decide to use the drone in winter, you should pay attention to a few points that are less relevant in other seasons. For the time being, it doesn’t matter which drone you want to fly.

  • Make sure you have a clean take-off and landing area. Never let the drone take off or land in the snow
  • Bring the drone and the batteries up to temperature before take-off.
    Each drone and battery has a specific operating temperature that should be respected.
  • Use ND filters

Clean and dry landing area

Especially in winter, when flying outdoors, it is not always easy to find a clean and, above all, dry surface to take off and land the drone. However, both are important, because on the one hand drones are usually not waterproof and on the other hand, depending on the model, there are some sensors on the underside of the drone that should not get dirty.

A landing platform can help here, as they are already available for a few euros. They are easy to transport and are a helpful companion for drone pilots at any time of year. We have compiled general information on drone landing platforms for you in the following article: Drone landing platform – information, tips, purchase recommendation

Bringing the drone and batteries up to temperature

Bring the drone and batteries up to temperature. Every drone and every battery has a certain operating temperature, which you can find in the manual of the drone. Warming up the battery beforehand will increase its performance and reliability.

For example, the DJI Mini 4 Pro has an operating temperature of 0° – 40°C,. Both the drone and the battery are therefore only designed for certain temperatures. Outside of these temperatures, the drone’s material may deform or its performance may decrease. In this way, functionality is no longer guaranteed. DJI, for example, also points this out in its manuals.

drohnen winter betriebstemperatur hinweis dji
Warning in the manual of the DJI Air 2S

Special battery warmers can help here to bring the batteries to an appropriate temperature in advance.

Use ND filters

Another point to consider is ND filters. They help to reduce the incident light on the camera (or the camera sensor). In this way, overexposure can be avoided. But they also give the drone pilot more control in controlling the light.

Especially in snowy places, overexposure can quickly occur when the entire landscape is shrouded in white.

ND filters are available for different camera drones, among others at Amazon*.

More tips

Further tips on flying in bad weather can be found in the article Flying a drone in bad weather – what to look out for.

If you also want to earn money with your drone in winter, the following article provides you with the 10 best ideas for services that you can offer even in winter: Drone use in winter: 10 services that are worthwhile.

Storing your drone for the winter

Put the drone in a box and that’s it. Simple thing, isn’t it? Not quite! There are a few things you should consider if you plan to not use your drone for a few weeks or even months.

Battery

Batteries should always be removed from the drone if you don’t plan to use it for a long time. It is important not to store the batteries fully charged or completely empty. LiPo batteries do not like this at all, as they can be damaged in the process.

The batteries should be brought to their storage voltage. This is about 65-75% of the maximum charge. The intelligent batteries that DJI drones use, for example, discharge themselves to an ideal storage voltage. When they do this can be set in the DJI Go 4 or DJI Fly app for the currently inserted battery. The default value is that the battery automatically starts discharging after 10 days of non-use until it reaches its storage voltage.

DJI Go 4 App Akku Entladezeitraum
In the DJI Go 4 app, you can set the time period after which the battery begins to discharge.

It is also important to note that you should not constantly check the battery level during storage. Pressing the button to display the charge level resets the internal timer for the discharge process!

For LiPo batteries that do not have an automatic discharge function, special chargers/dischargers can help. You should also make use of these if you do not want to damage the batteries you are storing. We have a model we can recommend for you here.

HOBBYTIGER SKYRC iMAX B6AC 3S RC NiMH NiCd Lipo Batterie V2 Akkulader Digitale Balance Charger Ladegerät+4 Stecker(2 T Stecker+2 XT60 Stecker
  • B6AC verfügt über die so genannte automatische Funktion, die den Speisestrom während des Prozesses der Laden oder Entladen einstellen kann. Besonders für Lithiumbatterien kann es die Überladung, die wegen des Fehler des Benutzers vielleicht zu einer Explosion führt, verhindern.
  • B6AC setzt einen Einzeln-Zellespannung Stabilisator. Es ist nicht notwendig, einen externen Balancer für Balance Lade zu verbinden.
  • Dreieck-Spitze Empfindlichkeit: Das automatische Gebührenendpunktprogramm basiert auf dem Prinzip der Delta-Peak Spannungserkennung. Wenn die Spannung der Batterie die Schwelle übersteigt, wird der Prozess automatisch beendet.
  • Die Ladekapazität wird immer als der Ladestrom multipliziert mit der Zeit berechnet. Wenn die Ladekapazität den Grenzwert überschreitet, wird der Prozess automatisch beendet werden, wenn Sie den maximalen Wert eingestellt haben.
  • Während des Prozesses der Entladung kann B6AC jede Zelle der Batterie einzel überwachen und balancieren. Fehlermeldung wird angezeigt und der Prozess wird automatisch beendet, wenn die Spannung irgendeiner einzelnen Zelle anormal ist.

The batteries should then be packed in a bag or something similar and stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

If you want to be on the safe side, you can also buy special battery storage bags. In our opinion, such special bags are not absolutely necessary. But if you don’t have a suitable container for your batteries anyway, they can of course be an option.

Lipo Safe Bag Flammhemmend, zum sicheren Laden von Akkus - Verschiedene Größen 20x15x10cm I Feuerfester Akku Beutel - Lipo Schutz aus hochwertigem Aramid Gewebe
  • SICHER UND EINFACH ZU VERWENDEN Laden, transportieren und lagern Sie Ihre Batterien viel sicherer, indem Sie auf die richtige Lagerung achten. Lipolix Lipo-Taschen sind dank des flammhemmenden Aramidgewebes die ideale Lösung zum sicheren Laden und Aufbewahren Ihrer Akkus.
  • Abmessung XXL Tasche: 20x15x10cm
  • Hochwertige feuerfeste Glasfaser schützen außerdem Geld, Wertsachen, Dokumente und vieles mehr
  • SAFE BAG unsere feuerfeste Batterieschutztasche ist die perfekte Lagerungsumgebung für wiederaufladbare Lithium-Polymer-Batterien

Don’t forget your remote control when storing it either. It also contains a battery. As a rule, however, it is not automatically discharged. So check the battery status before storing it and try to bring it to a suitable storage voltage.

The drone itself

Let’s move on to the storage of the drone itself. The first thing to do is to put on all the protective caps that come with the drone. This way you can protect the gimbal and the camera during storage.

You should also clean the drone again before you pack it away. This way, no dirt will stick to the drone from the last flight. That way, you know you’ll find a clean drone when you unpack it. Our guide to cleaning drones properly can also help you with this.

Before you store the drone in a suitable box or bag, remove the propellers. This prevents the propellers from being exposed to unnecessary pressure during storage and from being damaged in the long term.

Depending on the model, you can also take a small protective measure for your remote control and fix the analogue sticks. Special attachments are available for little money. They can also be used to protect the remote control during transport. By fixing the sticks, they are not unnecessarily stressed during storage or transport.

Mavic Pro Fernbedienung Schutzkappe
With extra protection for the drone’s remote control, it can be protected from unnecessary stress.

Many newer models offer the option to simply twist off the sticks and store them in corresponding compartments in the remote control itself. You should make use of this when storing your drone.

*The links contained in this article are so-called affiliate links. With these links DeinDrohnenpilot.de gets a commission for mediated purchases. The price does not increase for the customer.

Letzte Aktualisierung am 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API

Folgen:
Dimitri is the founder of DeinDrohnenpilot.de and has been working at skyzr since 2021. He has been fascinated by the topic of drones since 2016. When he is not flying a drone, he is responsible for planning and developing new concepts for the platform as well as writing and creating content. He is also responsible for the technical implementation and maintenance. His training as an IT specialist for system integration and his bachelor's degree in media informatics help him with this.
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