The freezing COLD and ArduCpoter.

The ArduCopter that I’m building well be put to use in Aerial Photography, more specific a lotof high altitude mountain shots and videos ( at less that’s my plan ) .


I want to know if there well be any problems with the IMU and MEGA functionality in temperaturesfrom 0 to -25 , the humidity in the air, snow, or altitudes from 1.500 to 2.500m.


I know the wind well be a very important element, but I we’ll try to fly just in SunnyWinter Days .

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  • Well, if all your parts are to industrial electronic standard then they should operate a low a -50°C
  • Well, I imagine if the temperature is a huge problem you could always put insulation around the APM + IMU , with a little heating element wrapped around.

    Then control that via the APM with some extra code ;)
  • Thanks guys for your valuable input .
    I hope I can get it all together until this winter and make some kick ass vids and pics .

    Jani I think that box could be a good solution, the main body would be a closed and inside would be the box with the electronics and Lipo packs , something similar to double walls to prevent condensation form the insight hot temperature to the freezing cold outside , if condensation wood appear it well form in the interior of the 1st wall ( the body ) not inside the electronics box ( in theory ) .
    And if it crashes , the good part is that the snow would make a good “airbag” :) .
  • Hi Dan, Doug is exactly right. Its change in temp that's not good. Its not so much that the rate factor changes with temp as the zero or calibration point when the IMU initializes. What matters is if it has reached thermal equilibrium. And I thought I was the only one to put my IMU in the freezer! I had the usb cable closed in the door, holding my little notebook. There was no yaw correction in there. The virtual plane would start rotating more or less as the temp changed. I calibrated it outside and then put in the cooler and observed. Once in the freezer for a while and rebooting, it worked as OK as far as yaw drift (not moving). Then I set it out on the floor and saw the reverse as it heated up again. So I would keep the IMU from direct sunlight and any wind, and let the thing set for a while and equilibrate with ambient temp before flying.
  • Developer
    HI Dan,

    I haven't looked at all the individual component spec sheets so I can't say with certainty, but you will probably be fine.

    Altitude will not be a problem at all. I live at 1500 meters and fly here all the time. I would certainly expect no issues from the electronics at 3000 meters or even 5000 meters. Your airframe may have difficulty at very high altitudes due to loss of lift with low air density though. With an electric power system you can generally compensate well with higher kv motors or larger props.

    Humidity will generally never be a problem as long as it is non-condensing. If you expect your electronics to get wet, then you need to find a method to protect them.

    Temperature could be a problem, but probably not. Change in temperature is generally a bigger concern. As a quick test you could stick APM in your freezer. Let it get cold soaked, then hook up a usb cable and see how it is operating in there.
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