FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MICRODRONES

We give you an overview – not only from the air, but also about open questions on the subject of the world of UAVs and drone applications. Read the answers to frequently asked questions here. If there are still unanswered questions, please contact us.

How long has Microdrones been in business?

When investing in a professional drone system, the company's longevity and stability is important. Microdrones is an industry pioneer; we've been around for more than a decade!

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Why should I use drones for surveying and mapping?

Drones help you to: 

  • Save time. Get more done.
  • Improve worker safety. 
  • Takes away some of the less fun parts of your job. (Dirty, poison oak, etc.)
  • Be more competitive - people are asking for drone surveying. It is becoming a standard of up-to-date work.
  • Collect data without shutting down work.
  • Expand the scope of your work.
  • With DG - slash post-processing times and eliminate the need for GCPs.

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How hard is it to get started?

Making drones a part of your business is actually easy. Here's what you need to do: 

  • Find a UAS that is a good match for your application. It should include everything you need to get started and be made specifically for what you're doing. 
  • Get your part 107 remote operator's license.
  • Learn to use your drone system. mdAcademy can help!
  • Master drone use as you go. 

Most flights will be automated, so it is very easy to get started. Microdrones technical support is available anytime you have questions or issues along the way.

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What certifications and regulations do i need to know about for the United States?

Under Part 107, which the FAA put into effect in August 2016, commercial drone operators are required to: 

  • Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at one of 690 FAA testing centers across the country.
  • Be vetted by the Transporation Security Administration.
  • Obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate with a small UAS rating (like existing pilot airman certificataes, never expires).
  • Pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months. 
  • Report accidents to the FAA within 10 days of any operation that results in injury or property damage over $500.
  • Conduct a preflight inspection, to include specific aircraft and control station systems checks, to ensure the small UAS is safe for operation. 
  • No medical exam is needed. 
  • No need to register drone with the FAA unless it is more than 55 lbs (25kg in Germany). (All Microdrones UAS weigh less than 55 lbs.)

Some other rules and regulations: 

  • You must fly in the daylight.
  • You must fly under 400 feet. 
  • Establish a direct line-of-sight - no flying BVLOS.
  • No flying in national parks.
  • No flying directly over people.

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Will I have help along the way? How does Microdrones support their customers one they purchase a system?

Microdrones customers have access to: 

  • mdAcademy training - Learn to use your UAS to the fullest. We offer basic training as well as more in-depth payload-specific training. 
  • Technical support - It's easy to get in touch with questions - you will usually get an answer within one business day. 
  • Marketing/PR support - we want to tell and publicize your success story.

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What should I consider when choosing a drone solution?

  • Cost over time and ROI.
  • Data accuracy - not all results are created equal. Make sure you choose a professional system. 
  • Flight times with specific payloads. 
  • Resistance to environmental challenges.
  • Technical support. 
  • Quality engineering.
  • Ability to swap out payloads.
  • Company stability.
  • It should be complete for your application.

What complete drone solutions does Microdrones offer?

Microdrones offers complete UAV mapping solutions that are perfection for surveying, construction, mining, precision agriculture, and other geospatial applications.

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How long do Microdrones UAVs fly in a single battery charge?

Flight times is a function of

  • Wind
  • Payload
  • Altitude
  • Temperature

Within changing ranges of these conditions, mdMapper solutions will operate between 30 and 45 minutes on one battery charge. 

The mdCockpit app has a resume flight feature that makes it easy to restart missions where they left off for a battery change.

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What if the weather's bad? Can I still do my job?

Poor weather won't stop professionals who use Microdrones UAVs. Our aircraft perform well in challenging environmental conditions, including wind, rain, snow, dust, heat, and cold. 

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How do UAVs improve on-the-job safety?

  • Humans no longer need to physically access high-risk sites to collect data or project overviews. 
  • Great for dangerous industries like mining and construction. 
  • Access crumbling structures.
  • mdMapper1000DG eliminates the need for ground control points (GCPs), which takes away dangerous and dirty work.

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How hard is flight planning, monitoring, and extracting the data I collected? Is the process for that complicated? How much time does it take?

Planning a flight is simple with the mdCockpit app! Just: 

  • call up the location within mdCockpit, which utilizes Google Earth
  • use your fingertip to draw a polygon around the area to be mapped
  • tap to select your camera/sensor and set flight parameters

The process takes less than 5 minutes the first time and is stored for future use. Monitoring the mission in real time is also easy with the app and extracting the data can be accomplished in minutes via Bluetooth.

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What about corridor mapping long, linear structures like roads, canals, powerlines, railways, oil pipelines, etc.? Can a Microdrones system help me be more efficient with these types of projects?

There's no better system on the market for tasks like these. mdMapper1000DG revolutionizes corridor mapping and achieves incredible accuracy and efficiency – in one line of flight with no GCPs.

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What kind of accuracy can I achieve with a mdMapper1000DG system?

The level of accuarcy depends on a number of factors: weather conditions, altitude, and use of the system. 

However, the system can generally achieve accuracy of 1-3 centimeters GSD in X and Y and 3-5 centimeters GSD in Z. 

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What is direct georeferencing (DG) & how is it superior to RTK and PPK?

DG solves a lot of problems inherent in RTK and PPK that impact accuracy and efficiency. One of the key things is RTK and PPK CALCULATES Z, while DG actually MEASURES it. 

We'd provide some additional resources, but explaining would take a lot of reading. If you would like to discuss the science of direct georeferencing in greater detail, we suggest getting in touch with one of our UAV experts by sending us a message.


Can I really perform surveying and mapping projects without ground control points?

YES! Direct georeferencing eliminates the need for GCPs and allows users to drastically condense the amount of time it takes to complete surveying projects. 

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How can I get more information to help me decide if Microdrones mdMapper systems are right for my business?

That's easy! Simply e-mail us your questions and ideas and a UAV expert will personally get back to you within two business days.


What is the maximum height and range of a Microdrones UAV?

Here there are no "real" restrictions and the main limit is nearly always the battery. We have tested our system in service up to 5000m in Switzerland and Tibet.

With special rotors we could actually reach even higher altitudes. With respect to the range, the maximum distance from the operator or ground control station is the same when we talk of pure range (e.g. in automatic flight mode). When we examine remote control it depends very much on the option selected. We can offer radio connections from 500m (typical for "inspection services") to several kilometres (typical scenario for "border controls").


How much do I need to invest to buy a microdrone?

Please contact our sales team for a detailed offer.


What safety features are on the Microdrones UAS?

As well as GPS, which guarantees precise handling of your Microdrones UAV, other safety features are integrated including: self test, GPS homing (automatic return to base), automatic landing, virtual fence, real time error messages and automatic emergency landing in case of battery or control problems, to name just a few ...


Can a Microdrones UAV fly in rain, snow or strong winds?

Yes. Thanks to its rugged carbon fibre housings, advanced motors and highly efficient batteries, microdrones can operate in the toughest conditions including rain and snow. Wind up 8 m/s or scorching desert heat or icy Artic conditions are all taken in their stride, shown by over 1,000 Microdrones working every day around the world.

VIDEO OF MICRODRONE MD4-1000 IN STRONG RAIN AND WIND


Can Microdrones quadcopters fly over fire or extreme heat?

Yes. The housing and the electronics of Microdrones UAVs have been comprehensively tested for thermal stability. In different tests amazing results and insights have been recorded. For instance, the structural parts and electronics can operate without problem in temperatures up to 130°C. Flight testing over real fires resulted in temperatures recorded inside the UAV of less than 50°C, showing that a Microdrones aircraft can easily fly over fires. Despite strong winds and extreme thermic conditions, automatic GPS allows the Microdrones UAV to hover of a POI without the pilot having to make any inputs.


Can Microdrones UAVs be used to inspect high voltage power lines?

Yes. The electronics and the system were successfully tested at 380 kV in the High Voltage Laboratory of the Technical University of Dresden. Here the Microdrones quadcopter was placed as close as 3m to the high voltage cable. In a further test the influence of magnetic fields was tested. The results confirmed the trouble-free operation of all systems. Worldwide numerous companies profit from our highly professional approach to high voltage testing.


Is Microdrones a German brand?

Yes. Microdrones was founded in 2005 in Siegen, Germany. However, long before the founders of Microdrones were developing the key components of Microdrones UAVs based on quadrocopter technology. Pioneering work that still sets an industry-wide benchmark.


What is the maximum flight time for a Microdrones md4-200 or a Microdrones md4-1000?

The Microdrones md4-200 can currently fly for up to 25 minutes. The Microdrones md4-1000 has reached a maximum flight time of 45 minutes.