Okay I work for a fire department in northern Arizona and i am looking for a plane with an xyz camera on it that can fly over the 800 acre location we work out of. I was wondering if there is a possibility to have both the controls and the video still work and ranges that long. This plane will be used here for flying over the facility and searching for wildfire for faster response. If anybody has a parts list that could benefit my needs that would be appreciated.

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technically I don't know if what you are wanting to do is allowed based on the new FAA rules.. which in its documentations mentions the uses of such UAV platforms.. one of which was fire fighting recon.


I think your best bet for that sort of range would be using the EagleEyes OSD which has a antenna tracker.. and then use a long range yagii (directional) antenna for transmit and receive.  If you have a HAM/Amateur radio license then you could use stuff in the 70cm (430MHz) range and get some great distances.


800 acres is 1.25 sq mi.. which doesn't seem all that large.. most directional antennas will give you a TX/RX for those distances.  Diydrones.com has a 2.4GHz amplifier.. which would give you 4-8 miles on the TX side if you use a 2.4GHz radio.


For video.. well this is where you get into the HAM/Amateur radio stuff.. over a certain wattage you really need a technician class.. which isn't all that difficult these days..   rangevideo.com has some great TX for video.. like a 1000mW transmitter.


Then the real trick would be a good flying wing with some serious width so you don't have to fly all the fast and thus can look around more.   You really only need a Pan and Tilt.  UrbanDrones.com has a nice light, cheap one for $6.. that mounted to a lage flying wing should be pretty smooth.

sucks that you didn't get a response until 24 days after your 'bump'.. and a whole month after your original posting.

seems like overkill for something that the APM can deal with in regards to failsafe functionality.. continue on to waypoints or return to home... plus back to my original point.. 800 acres = 1.25 sq miles.. which really isn't that much distance.


Seems like most configurations can do a 2mile range pretty easily.


Regarding the FAA link..  there is currently a lawsuit regarding these wavers since the FAA has granted a few dozen of them in total.. and so the lawsuit seeks to get the list of who has been granted wavers..  this path seems like a dead end due to the limited number of wavers really being allowed.

Interesting stuff.. yeah I am new to all of this..  which is exciting to have such entrepreneur activities going on and other innovative ideas.  I think the concepts of the open community will allow for all sorts of awesome stuff to solve all sorts of interesting problems.


I think the original message functionality for fire spotting is pretty cool... granted the reason forest fires are so bad in recent years is the fact we don't let the brush burn out naturally.. so when there is a fire you got a lot of material to burn.

Interesting Topic..... I know there is some video analisys software that can recognise smoke and fire and sound an alarm. The million dollar question is whether it can trigger that alarm based on composite video feeded by your real time av transmition.was you would use a VTOL for this project since the distance you need to cover is not that big and in case you need to doublecheck a spot you can do it very nicely with an autohover.

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