new guy needs help - UAV to track animal movements

hello everyone, 

I'm new to the forum, and I had a brilliant idea this morning, why not use a UAV to track the movements or animals or to track problematic animals like feral hogs. I have access to nightvision, thermal, and a wide range of optics, but i've never though about using a uav before, in fact, i didn't know civilians could get them. so below I'm going to list the criteria,

a UAV that can be controlled in the field

real time video that could be viewed in the field

gps so movements could be tracked, or teams directed to the area with problematic animals for removial. 

maxium range and elevation capable

easy to use so i can get rolling quickly. 

what would you guys recommend? I keep thinking about a blimp type set up for extended flight time and ease of use.

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Replies

  • the only issue with drones are the battery life, although the newst DJI now has a single battery that can last up to 55mins!!
  • Just a thought for you. Don't discount the blimp idea due to wind. I operate blimps of varying sizes and the speeds they can reach would blow your mind.....!

    I am not saying they are best suited for the job, just an option. actually I could suggest that one airframe type would not be the solution in the long run. think about a sensor system you can swap between vehicles. It is not that hard to do. for development work on the sensors the blimp would work quite well apart from the cost of the helium. reasonable endurance, reasonable speeds, fairly stable.....

    Good luck with it. It sounds like a very viable idea!

  • what is the max range you could get with one of these and maintain a live feed to the video? I know you can get software that allows for auto pilot, which is fine, but the video feed would have the be maintained. is it sad that i already have the thermal camera sourced ;-)

  • I would suggest a plane. Remember, legally you should stay under 400 ft so if you are using FPV equipment your range will only be 2 miles at best. I would suggest something like a skywalker 1900 for great flight times fitted with a good FPV setup taking video from an IR camera. 

  • Hi Jay,

    Two examples for you - fixed wing

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1478852

    and multi-rotor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqlptPhFmk0

    MJ

  • A blimp could be nice but could easily be pushed out of range by strong winds. A plane would probably be the best option in my opinion. All of the things you listed are possible with telemetry (radio that talks to the ground station), and a first person video setup (transmits video back to the ground). I'm mostly familiar with multirotors so I'll let someone else recommend specific planes that could work.

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