Indoor Flying Guidelines

This article provides important guidelines for flying your multicopter inside.

Warning

  • When flying indoor make sure you have plenty of space and follow safety procedures.
  • GPS does not work indoors and needs to be disabled. (no exceptions)

Overview

The main point note when flying indoors is that Global Positioning Systems will not work. Even if you see that you have the correct number of satellites and a low HDOP, this is due to multipathing of the signals from the satellites. This means the single is being reflected to the antenna via walls, windows and other surfaces from outside. If you look at the position on a map you will see that the location will not match your current location, or will be drifting, at time many meters or even 1000s of metres from your location.

Stabilize

Stabilize mode does not use GPS, and as the least problems, but the pilot will need good control of the copter.

Altitude Hold

Altitude Hold mode use the barometer to hold a specific altitude. The barometer relies on a constant air pressure. Air-pressure in a room can change due to doors opening or closing. Also climate control devices like fans and air-conditioning will also cause pressure changes. The likely outcome is a sudden crash in the floor or ceiling.

Sonar

Downward facing sonar or lidar can help avoid with sudden changes in altitude in AltHold mode causing crashes into the floor or ceiling.

Safe Indoor Flying Dos

  • Disable GPS in non-auto** modes - set AHRS_GPS_USE to 0
  • Disable GPS_FAILSAFE
  • Enable Battery_failsafe to LAND only or disable (not RTL) - set FS_BATT_ENABLE = 0 or 1
  • Enable Throttle Failsafe to LAND only or disable (not RTL or continue) - set FS_THR_ENABLE = 0 or 3
  • Disable FENCE - set FENCE_ENABLE = 0
  • Use Sonar (if available)

Safe Indoor Flying Don’ts

  • Don’t fly in small confined spaces. Use common sense, flying inside a warehouse with a high roof = OK, bedroom = not OK.
  • Don’t use Auto* modes

* Auto Modes are ones that requires GPS i.e. Loiter, Position Hold, Guided, Auto

** Non-auto modes are Stabilize and Altitude Hold