Navigating the sky: select a drone fit for your business

Welcome to the world of drones! One of the most frequently googled questions is 'What drone is the best to buy'? Just like cars, not all drones are the same, and they can be tailored to meet various business needs. Think of a drone as you would a car- there are a range of manufacturers worldwide each with their own standards and uses. Just as you wouldn’t expect the same performance from a small hatchback as you would from a rugged 4WD Ute, the same applies for drones.

Before choosing a drone, it’s crucial to consider its intended use. This will guide your purchasing decision, aiming for a system that provides predictable performance and gathers the information you require to make timely decisions in a manner that is more efficient, effective, and safer than what you currently do.

Below is a simple table below that outlines some functionality you should consider while making your decision:

 Low price pointMid-price pointHigh price pointIndustry Leaders
Size of the unitSmallMediumLargeVariable
Land base area to be covered per flight < 5ha5-25ha<1000ha> 1000ha
Required flight time< 20 mins< 40 mins< 2hrs> 3hrs
Battery life50 charges150 charges>250 charges> 250 charges
Battery typeLiPoFuel
Hydrogen cell
Flying hours across drone lifespan< 50< 250> 1000> 2000
Payload (weight it can carry)< 250gms< 1500gms< 30kgs>50kgs
Speed across the ground< 20 km/hr< 45 km/hr< 95 km/hr>140 km/hr
Image type requiredBasic picturesGeolocated within 2m accuracyGeolocated within 5cm accuracyHigh quality geolocated within 5cm accuracy
Types of map outputs requiredNilAuthomosaicAuthomosaic and digital elevation modelsHigh accuracy Authomosaic and digital elevation models
LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) sensor for accurate 3D modellingNoNoYesYes – high accuracy
Thermal CameraNoNoYesFLIR thermal imaging
Laser range finder giving location of targetNoNoYesYes
Meets CASA requirements for Airspace approvalsNoNoYesYes
Drone sound outputAudible from groundSome models built for low soundInaudible as low as 120mVaries based on specs

Remember, this table is just a guide and not a substitute for advice from manufacturers and resellers. Technology advances rapidly, so always compare your requirements with what the manufacturer can offer at different price points.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can use drones in your enterprise, check out our website for upcoming training opportunities. Note, Agskilled funding has now extended to include livestock producers alongside cotton, grains and production horticulture making it a great opportunity to come along and find out more. Happy droning! creating choice through knowledge.

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