How Much Wind Can my System Handle

Flying in the wind with the R2A is definitely possible but wind does effect your accuracy and LiDAR data.

Most LiDAR collection deployments are looking for "accurate" data. So how does the wind impact your accuracy?

Every airframe will have a different wind rating which tells the PIC what the max level of "sustained" and "gusty" winds the aircraft can handle. You should NEVER fly in situations where the wind on site exceeds either of those readings. But just because the situation is safe, doesn't mean you will have accurate readings.

Sustained winds are when the windspeed is fairly constant and generally in the same direction. In sustained wind the  drone motors adjust themselves to keep the aircraft stable and following the flight route. Sustained winds aren't a bad thing for LiDAR data necessarily, because the drone is fighting that constant wind so the adjustments it makes are minor during the flight  which keeps the LiDAR sensor stable as it's flying.

Gusty winds are a different story. A sudden gust of wind causes the drone to react rapidly to keep it in a constant location/flight path. This quick adjustment is really the propellers on one side or the other working harder to "cant" the drone into the wind. As the drone moves, so does your LiDAR and if these gusts are quick and sudden enough the IMU can't get accurate readings of the orientation of the LiDAR unit through the gusts which produces a "fuzzy" or inaccurate dataset.


Long and short, just because a flight is safe because you are flying under the wind limitations of your aircraft, doesn't mean you will produce good and accurate data. There is no number to say "at x mph of sustained or gusty winds you shouldn't fly with the R2A" because really it depends on how quickly the gusts come up and subside, how often the sustained wind changes direction or speed, etc. Just be cautious and aware that wind will effect your data in a negative way.