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About Drone Payload
Drone Payload: The payload is the weight that a drone or uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) can carry. It is usually counted out of the importance of the drone and includes anything extra to the drone, such as cameras, sensors, or packages for delivery.
Extensive UAVs, the kind you can’t buy as a commercial company but similar to those used in the military, have much larger payloads than the drones you can buy. Hence, they also cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, so don’t be too zealous.
Why Payload Matters
The more payload your drone can carry, the more flexible you can use different techniques to customize it to your specific needs. This could be upgrading the camera to dual RGB and thermal imaging systems, adding LiDAR technology, connecting a GPS, or increasing the number of sensors to process more data simultaneously.
Weight Versus Time of Flight
You will often see a flight time listed for your drone model, but be aware that flight time is with or without a payload.
Why? It’s Simple
Flight time is guaranteed to remain reduced if you carry extra weight simply because of the additional force required to lift it (we’ll get to the physics in a bit).
Some astute manufacturers and sellers (not us!) will tell you about fantastic flight times but won’t say this is without payload, making it a pretty useless drone! A commercial drone remains guaranteed to need some load, whether it’s the camera, sensors, LiDAR, GPS, additional data telemetry, delivery systems, or anything else that hasn’t been invented yet. Hence, it’s essential to know when choosing your drone.
Payloads: The Physics
It may all seem a bit obvious, but here’s the rule: the higher your drone’s power-to-weight ratio, the more load it can carry.
Hence: drones with a high power-to-weight ratio are also these vast monsters that your mother couldn’t carry ten feet. Heavier drones will impact the power required to carry large payloads, and you will see this translate into flight endurance opportunities. You can always consider upgrading the battery, but a larger battery means a heavier load and limits what else you can shoot.
It’s all about lift: you can have two drones of the same mass, one with oversized rotors and one with small rotors. The one with larger rotors produces more air thrust for the same power, although the airflow is slower than that of the drone with smaller rotors.
When the Rotors Spin, They Create an Upward Thrust, Right?
But of course… when your payload changes with each flight, you need to know exactly how that affects your life momentum.
By the way, that’s why you should take an advanced drone pilot course – you’ll learn specific drone techniques to maintain manual control of your drone at all times, so your manual hover skills will be in high demand (flying indoors without GPS, everyone?).
Hence, you now have a better idea of the impact of payload on your choice of drone – it’s a much bigger decision than most people initially realize! Think about the extras you want for your drone and balance that payload (no pun intended… OK, intentional) against potential flight drag and your other needs.
There are several different payloads with many different uses and capabilities. One of the best use cases is thermal imaging, which is helpful in several other industries.
Two of the best payloads for thermal imaging are the DJI Zenmuse H20 and the FLIR VUE TZ20. The DJI Zenmuse H20 features dual visual and thermal sensors from imaging specialist FLIR to deliver both live and real-time HD thermal images.
The FLIR VUE TZ20 is an aerial thermal imaging camera for industrial, commercial, and public safety applications. It can remain integrated into your existing UAV.
Thermal imaging cameras can be a powerful tool to use with your drone. It can remain recycled in many fields, such as construction, mining, electricity, surveillance, firefighting, and search and rescue.
To better understand this misconception, let’s look at the classic aviation terms related to this topic. Being closely related to the world of commercial drones, the aviation industry is a perfect guide.
Here is a list of applicable terms connected to aircraft weight:
|Empty weight||Weight of the aircraft with no fuel, passengers, and cargo|
|Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)||Maximum weight official for an aircraft whereas take off|
|Useful load||Total weight of fuel, passengers, and cargo approved|
|Payload||Total weight of passengers and cargo carried|
Peculiarities of the Drone Industry
OnyxStar fox c8 xt red dragon 6k cinema camera drone UAV us – drone payload This distinction between payload and payload is necessary: an aircraft burns fuel during flight and is, therefore, lighter for the landing phase. Accordingly, the payload varies during flight, while the payload remains the same.
Today’s drones remain often powered by lithium-ion polymer batteries, whose weight does not change during flight. This also explains why the maximum landing weight is useless there: the take-off and landing weights are the same.
A quick look at drone data sheets shows that the term payload is often misused: “payload” remains often used, while the stated weight is closer to “payload.” In such cases, manufacturers include the batteries in the payload.
Since OnyxStar aims to offer professional solutions, we have chosen to convey these qualities differently. Since a payload makes the drone profitable (paid), the features we report on our drones show the actual payload capacity (batteries remain already counted separately).
This selection allows our customers clear and helpful information about what can remain done with the OnyxStar drones: the weight of the sensors and the amount that can remain carried.
Here is the list of terms we need to use:
|Empty weight||Weight of the drone with no batteries, device, or mount.||Give knowledge of the drone weight for transportation|
|Maximum Recommended Payload (MRP)||Maximum optional weight for sensor and mount||More weight can be accepted, but performance won’t be optimal|
|Maximum Effective Payload (MEP)||Maximum weight for sensor and mount||Limit that the drone can carry|
|Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)||Empty weight + MEP||Give an idea of the overall maximum weight|
One of the reasons why the drone market is experiencing rapid growth is because of its payload capacity. This allows them to carry many sensors, from the miniature pocket camera to the heaviest measurement devices.
Therefore, it is essential to know the lifting capacity of a drone. This technical specification remain often given under the term “payload.” However, not everyone uses this word with the same meaning.