A few months ago we were invited by a Non Government Organisation to fly at a hill resort. They are exploring the possibility to use drone equipped with camera or Gopro to monitor the status of the forest reserve.
Until recently, in the name of development and some “Unknown” reason, a lot of pristine forest has been clear for human activity such as farming, residential and commercial purpose. A recent finding also suggest that the only water catchment area may be in danger of being clear by some un-responsible party.
Since this is a high altitude mountain area, road access is limited. Effective monitoring of the forest reserve had been an uphill task for the organization. But now they may have a new weapon to level the fighting ground - Low cost UAV.
Our test flight area is about 1400 Meter ASL, from there, our drone has to climb for another 800 meter before heading to the first waypoint to avoid terrain.
We are using Skywalker 2014 power by a 4S 6000 Mah battery and 2814-8 1000 kv T-motor. When I hit RTL to climb for altitude, I notice the climb rate is slower than what we normally use to be. But it was climb at a healthy rate, a few minute later it reach the designated altitude and start the journey. We fly a total range of 17 KM, As you can see from the video, some parts of it is above cloud level which make a very scenic view.
The APM is totally reliable throughout the whole test flight in high altitude condition. It hold altitude and flight path nicely. We also experience strong thermal where our plane has been circle for a few minutes with zero throttle without losing altitude.
With the low cost drone system, we hope they can monitor the situation more effectively. The photo and video taken by drone will serve a good visual impact to create public awareness and ultimately our environment can be protected for us and many more generation to come.