August 23 – Flying the drone from the research vessel (Pâmiut) while sailing was more difficult than I had thought as mentioned in my blog ‘Up in the air’. The metal on Pâmiut was interfering with the drone compass and both take off and landing was challenging on a moving platform. Also, while in the air the drone would often switch to atti mode, a mode where the GPS system is down. The drone will therefore not hold its own position in the air but drift with the wind and thus positioning the drone is much more difficult. Furthermore, if radio contact were lost between the controller and the drone, the drone would automatically fly back and land at the last updated Home Point. In this case that would be open water. All that and more was indeed complicating my flying.
Bogi suggested that we could take the MOB boat and fly the drone from there. This way Pâmiut was not a disturbing factor and in the case of Failsafe (when the copter returns to home) we could quickly turn the small dinghy and return to our Home Point position and hopefully be able to catch the drone before landing in the icy waters of the fjord. The challenge using the MOB boat being off course that it was a small platform on which to take off and land the drone.
Nevertheless, we went for it. The water was calm and there was almost no wind. Boas steered the dinghy and Bogi was my flight assistant. We would film Pâmiut with the airgun equipment on the tow at a speed of 5 knots.
It was so good being out in the dinghy. We raced by Pâmiut and chunks of ice in varying sizes. Laying still way ahead from Pâmiut we launched the drone. Peace of cake. The drone did a good job and we had some really nice footage of Pâmiut, the equipment, the Mob boat and this incredible landscape before landing (hand-catching the drone) and returning to Pâmiut.