• We found that only orignal 3dr pixhawks dont have problems with below 0 temperatures. We tested it even under -20'C. Chinese pixhawk copies often doednt want to pass initialization below 0. 

    its good idea to carry batteries in pants pockets ;) before flight during winter flights.

  • Our chief electronics engineer just told me that each autopilot should be calibrated individually. This requires a thermal chamber. I'm sure that manufacturers of inexpensive autopilots do not do this.

  • From formal point of view Pixhawk (at least old one manufactured by 3DR in past) uses components rated for industrial range from -40°C.

    It seems that root of problems is in thermal calibration of sensors. Sensors should be calibrated for whole range of working temperatures and I suppose that they calibrated for "normal" temperatures only.

    This stuff is outside of my knowledge but I saw lot of problems with our fleet (>50 drones of different makes) in low temperatures.

  • I've flown hexa Pixhawk that was overnight in  car at -15..20  , worked just fine, both that, and 3DR radios and video tx. 

  • From our experience -10 °C is absolute minimum for all Pixhawk varietes what we had in hands. The same for ESCs from different manufacturers. And for DJI avionics too.
    You can use you drones below -10, but you should do all preparations in your car/house and don't left your drone outside longer then couple of minutes.

  • I am in Canada. Currently the temperature is about -10˚C. It works well. The battery itself can produce heat during flight. A high discharge rate battery is recommend to lower the voltage drop. Also you can wrap the battery with some warm clothes.

  • Joshua - did you ever get an answer to your question regarding the Pixhawk components operating in the cold?


    Bret C

  • Hi, I have the same question and can't find the direct answer. So I have checked datasheets of some core components and their low operating temperatures are -40°C.

    However there are lot of other components that I didn't check and some of them may not operate at such a low temperature.

    So in general I would recommend to not operate at temperature lower than 0°C (which is guaranteed by all the modern RC components).

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