The Budgetary And Oversight Committee has deemed it acceptable for me to allocate a certain amount of funds towards sUAS equipment this budget cycle. The Committee has also allowed the applicant to keep the existing tools if purchasing new tools, but the applicant feels it is best to sell the existing tools to help offset the cost of any new tools.
My current setup:
GoPro Hero4 Black
6x OEM 3DR Batteries [Sketchy batteries at this age]
1x mRO Prototype Solo M9N GPS Upgrade with PPK-Enabled firmware
What I would need to get flying more with the above is aftermarket 10500mAh Li-Ion batteries + Li-Ion BMS by Jon Botherton and MadHacker, getting me about 22min/pack of flight with the full camera payload at the price of about $200 for battery+BMS.
I’m not sure how familiar people are with the Solo and it’s backpack, but this thing is absolutely massive. Just… Massive. So, I don’t often take it around with me.
My potential setup:
Parrot Anafi FPV
This comes with everything I need to get flying, and is a very small backpack (camera-bag sized) and the Anafi itself weighs less than a Solo’s battery alone, is pretty much silent, has a really nice camera, and is overall just a really competent platform.
What I am potentially missing:
I adore ArduPilot and the Solo. The openness, the control, the transparency of everything. The fact that 6 years on I can still reliably fly and use it due to community support is amazing. I’m not getting that anywhere else, I know that.
I’m not sure if the Anafi can do PPK or not. I’m also not sure if it speaks MAVLink and I can command it using things like Mission Planner, QGroundControl, and Solex. I do not wish to give up that level of control of my flight plans. Nope. Not happening.
This Parrot whitepaper seems to indicate that it does, and confirms my suspicions that the Parrot stack is a forked ArduPilot/PX4, but that’s besides the point:
If this budget cycle is anything like prior ones, I’ll just hem & haw and wring my hands and go another year without actually flying.
I no longer work in Precision Agriculture and my current employer does not see the need/value of any sUAS survey, so they will not fund work by me.
I am not a professional photographer or Real Estate/Insurance surveyor, either. These are purely for my own fun and data collection.