Drone tethers aren’t merely a safety precaution to ensure your drone doesn’t go off course, they are an alternative power source to enable continuous flight without changing batteries. Tether stations are quickly becoming an essential piece of equipment for commercial drone operators who want the freedom to fly 24/7.
One of the biggest limitations of drones to date has been the inability to fly for extended durations. Our recent survey of drone users highlighted flight time as the second most important consideration, after camera quality, and given the average flight time of a drone standing at around 30 minutes, the limitations of battery life can be frustrating at best.
Drone tethers use mains electricity (or a generator for field work) to power your drone via a micro cable which carries both power and data safely and securely, giving the ability to live-stream video or information to allow fast and informed decisions to be made in an instant.
Another benefit of drone tethers is the ability to fly in more built up areas, where CAA regulations would normally be restrictive. More information on CAA rules can be found on their website.
An aerial perspective makes all the difference in times of trouble and any downtime can have serious repercussions for emergency services or search and rescue teams. Tethers are invaluable for those needing to deploy a drone for an unknown duration as they allow first responders to make sure that situations developing on the ground can be monitored, continuously and in great detail.
Emergency services can be assured of non-stop communications, even if telecommunications channels are down by using a tethered drone to boost communications signals.
For pilots needing to survey large or complex areas, it’s hugely frustrating to get so far and have to stop to swap a battery out. Using a tether means that a full survey or monitoring project can be carried out without having to stop, meaning the more jobs can be carried out in less time.
Tethers also make drone flights safer and more secure thanks to the additional flight modules which regulate both the power and the flight. If you experience a power cut, or problem with your generator, the drone is sent a signal which returns it to home, with an additional two minutes of flight time stored in the module to allow for a safe landing.
Drone tethers are starting to see widespread use in the broadcasting sector thanks to the ability to provide coverage of events with no breaks in transmission. Whether you are filming a music festival or sporting event, being able to provide uninterrupted, live footage will help you to secure jobs and provide clients with exceptional quality video.
It’s easy to build a business case around drone tethers – they save time and money and assist in providing high-quality, continuous data. If you would like to know more about using tethers, read our blog or speak to one of our commercial drone experts.