The beast from the east has brought the stark reminder that the effects of climate change are in fact a tangible and real thing. The weather does affect drone operation.

Freezing Weather and Drones

Temperatures this week dropped below -5 in Bristol, and -3 in London, meanwhile a balmy -10 in Liverpool. With all the snow in the air and on the ground, this may have meant that DSR pilots may have struggled to get their aircrafts flying in the air safely.

Here’s how freezing weather affects drones (and their pilots!)

  • Pilots fingers get cold fast, drone pilots like to have warm hands to control the drone with
  • Propellers are subject to icing, just the same way passenger aircraft are
  • Ice forms more in cold humid air, like we’ve had this week. It adds weight, unbalances props and can ultimately lead to an accident.
  • Batteries (LiPos) are subject to the weather too; low temperatures mean they can run low more quickly, so they either need to be preheated or kept safely on the ground. Accidents like this can happen if battery health is not monitored.

Roof damage from Ice and Snow

Many building materials (not just tiles) can become unexpectedly brittle in low temperatures, particularly if they are iced over and in the cold winds. Rapid thermal change often results in cracking, even micro cracking, which is where high resolution aerial imaging can help out.

The Architects Journal says

“The most significant harmful action on buildings caused by water in a solid form, such as snow or ice, is as structural loading on horizontal surfaces. Problems can sometimes occur when snow is blown into buildings through small holes, particularly into roof spaces.”

This matches the description for the weather we are currently experiencing, so if you are a home owner and think you might have issues with your roof, consider contacting one of your local Drone Safe pilots to take a look (without all that pesky scaffolding or dangerous ladders in this cold weather

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