Falcon 8 UAS GeoEXPERT - Basic Training : Operating Limitations

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Falcon 8 UAS GeoEXPERT - Basic Training : Operating Limitations

Operational Limitations

  • The Falcon 8 has the following operational limits:
    • Operating temperature: -5°C to 35°C.
    • Wind speeds up to 12 m/s in GPS MODE and 15 m/s in HEIGHT MODE.
    • Maximum distance of 250 meters between UAV and the pilot.
    • The UAV is not waterproof.  
    • Flying in dusty or sandy areas may damage the cameras and motors.
    • Altitudes of more than 3,500 meters above sea level are risky and not recommended.
    • Do not take off in areas with strong external magnetic fields


Strong Wind

  • Strong Wind
    • Caution: Wind at ground level may differ from winds higher up (wind gradient, up to 50%)
    • Avoid unpredictable and turbulent conditions
    • Watch out for vortexes
    • Try to avoid flying through the downwash, as it can be turbulent.  Try to descend and fly sideways at the same time to save energy and fly more evenly.


Operation in Higher Altitudes or Weather

  • Operation in Higher Altitudes or Weather
    • 1,500 m (4,900 ft.) above sea level can result in reduced flight time and wind load.
    • 3,500 m (11,500 ft.) above sea level is flyable in calm conditions with drastically reduced flight time.  Recommended to increase altitude gradually in calm conditions.
    • Weather conditions: (Not recommended!)
      • Fog, rain or snow → Possible, but very limited.
      • Sand, dust → Possible, but very restricted. Mechanical parts may deteriorate rapidly.


GPS Obstructions

  • GPS Obstructions
    • GPS aids greatly with controlling the Falcon 8 UAS, however GPS is not a fail-safe:
    • Affected by overhead obstructions.
    • Signal quality can vary by surroundings & satellite positions.
    • GPS quality must be continuously monitored.
  • Precision
    • Open field: approx. ± 2 m
    • Around obstacles such as built up areas, the precision can fluctuate up to ± 15 m.


Position of the Pilot

  • Position of the Pilot
    • The pilot should be positioned downwind from the Falcon and not against the sun → wear sunglasses.
    • Always keep the flight system in direct line of sight.
    • Do not fly further away than 250 m (800 ft.).
    • The pilot should be in a position where distance from obstacles can be clearly judged.


Payload Limitations

  • Payload limitations
    • Maximum payload shall not be exceeded. Do not integrate any own payload.
    • The center of gravity position changes when different payloads (batteries, cameras) are used.
    • Possible risks with incorrect payloads
      • Erratic flight behavior
      • Damage of the UAV
      • Threat to surroundings


Extreme Temperatures

  • Extreme temperatures
    • Inaccuracies of battery warnings
      • Sudden voltage drop towards the end of the discharge curve, especially on hot outdoor temperature.
      • Within temperatures <  5°C, up to 10% reduction in flight time.


Flight Times

  • Flight Times
    • Fluctuates depending on environmental conditions like temperature, weather and battery conditions
    • Always pay attention to the battery signal on the MGS (Mobile Ground Station).
    • There is a sudden voltage drop towards the end of the discharge, especially in high temperatures.