Best Autonomous Drones

Autonomous drones enable pilots to take a more hands-off approach to flying, usually so they can focus more on elements like photography and videography.

The automatic features also make it easy to do perfect stunts every time. What are the best autonomous drones on the market?

Here are some excellent autonomous drones for your consideration:

  • DJI Air 2S 
  • Potensic Dreamer Pro
  • DJI Mini 2
  • Parrot Anafi
  • Holy Stone HS700E
  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
  • DJI Inspire 2

This guide will take you through each of these awesome autonomous drones, reviewing their automated features, specs, pros and cons, and so much more. Let’s get started!

1. DJI Air 2S

Editor’s Choice

DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S has the ability to perceive its environment in four directions: up, down, forward, and backward, allowing it to actively avoid obstacles, even in complex scenarios and at high speeds.

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05/20/2023 12:14 pm GMT

Dimensions: 183 x 253 x 77 mm when unfolded
Weight: 595 g
Max Range: 18.5 km
Max Altitude: 5,000 m
Max Speed: 19 m/s in Sport Mode
Max Flying Time: 31 mins
Camera: 1-inch CMOS

✅ Pros

  • Spiffy camera that packs a punch
  • Suite of Intelligent Flight Modes for taking your photography/videography to the next level
  • Two levels of obstacle avoidance
  • DJI O3 video transmission system for sending footage on the go

❌ Cons

  • Decently heavy
  • Doesn’t have the newest version of APAS

The latest version of the Mavic Air is DJI’s Air 2S, which continues in the spirit of autonomous features intended to make each flight more conducive to your goals.

DJI is known for its suite of Intelligent Flight Modes, and the Air 2S doesn’t disappoint.

This all-in-one drone boasts automatic flight modes for photography and videography, including Sphere, Wide-Angle, 180-Degree, and Hyperlapse.

MasterShots is a natural evolution of DJI’s QuickShots feature.

How it works is you select a location or subject, and the Air 2S will do 10 different maneuvers as it films your target, maintaining them as the center of the shot the entire time.

Within MasterShots, you can use Landscape, Portrait, and Proximity modes.

FocusTrack includes yet more Intelligent Flight Modes; three of ‘em! You’ve got Point of Interest 3.0, ActiveTrack 4.0, and Spotlight 2.0. Tracking your subjects has never been easier!

Of course, no one likes stressing about crashing their drone when flying it manually.

The Air 2S has DJI’s Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 4.0, which is plenty suitable these days even if it’s not the latest edition.

On top of that, this drone has four-directional obstacle sensing.

The Air 2S includes a 1-inch CMOS camera that can shoot photos in 20 MP quality and videos in 5.4K at 30 frames per second.

The drone promises to remain in the air for 31 minutes, which is about average but not bad for this drone’s age.

2. Potensic Dreamer Pro

Potensic Dreamer Pro

4K Drones with Camera for Adults, 3-Axis Gimbal GPS Quadcopter with 2KM FPV Transmission Range, 28mins Flight, Brushless Motor, Auto-Return, Portable Carry case and 32G SD Card.

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05/20/2023 08:05 pm GMT

Dimensions: 350 x 320 x 195 mm
Weight: ~ 820 g
Max Range: 2 km
Max Altitude: 392 ft
Max Speed: 8 m/s
Max Flying Time: 28 mins
Camera: 1/3-inch Sony CMOS

✅ Pros

  • PowerAC Dynamic System enhances drone performance so you can capture important moments on film
  • Awesome camera comparable with some DJI models
  • Intelligent Flight Modes for more fun when filming with this drone
  • Auto-RTH prevents crashes from lost signal or dead battery

❌ Cons

  • Its flight time is a little short
  • Could use more robust safety features ala DJI

Everyone’s still talking about the Atom SE from Potensic, but when it comes to autonomous drones, the Dreamer Pro is one of the best from this brand.

Designed for optimal performance, the Dreamer Pro utilizes Potensic’s PowerAC Dynamic System.

This system enables the drone to determine when it needs more strength and power and then gives it some juice.

This drone can achieve 10 meters per second in a matter of 0.1 seconds, which is tripling its power!

Taking a page from DJI’s book, the Dreamer Pro includes hands-off Intelligent Flight Modes so you can begin using this drone immediately, even if you’re inexperienced.

The classic follow-me mode allows the Dreamer Pro to track you. Orbit Flight will rotate the drone around a subject. Even better is you can customize the flight range, speed, and direction.

Return to home will bring the drone back to you without you having to maneuver it manually; this feature has obstacle detection for safe arrival.

Waypoint Flight mode lets you select waypoints for the drone to fly using GPS coordinates.

Safety is a paramount concern at Potensic, which is why the Dreamer Pro uses auto-RTH during instances of weak signal or low battery.

Auto-RTH will also enable the drone to come back to you if you begin losing control.

Its camera is equipped with a 1/3-inch Sony CMOS sensor that can take images in 16MP quality and video in 4K HDR as you fly for up to 28 minutes.

3. DJI Mini 2

DJI Mini 2

Ultralight and Foldable Drone Quadcopter, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photo, 31 Mins Flight Time, OcuSync 2.0 10km HD Video Transmission, QuickShots Gray

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05/20/2023 01:09 pm GMT

Dimensions: 159 x 203 x 56 mm unfolded
Weight: Under 249 g
Max Range: 10 km
Max Altitude: 4,000 m
Max Speed: 36 mph
Max Flying Time: 31 mins
Camera: 1/2.3-inch CMOS

✅ Pros

  • No need to register this drone due to its weight
  • Great wind resistance (up to 38 kph)
  • Many autonomous flight modes for videography and photography
  • Foldable and a delight to travel with

❌ Cons

  • Average flight time
  • Not the newest Mini
  • Not the greatest camera quality

The Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro may be newer, but there’s something about the Mini 2 that drone pilots can’t stop talking about.

Perhaps it’s the affordable price point, the compact size, or maybe it’s all the autonomous features.

QuickShots is included with this drone with a bevy of fun modes like Helix, Boomerang, Circle, Dronie, and Rocket. You can also shoot photos and videos using Sphere, Wide-Angle, and 180-Degree panoramas.

Between these features and the 1/2.3-inch CMOS camera, which shoots in 12 MP image quality and 4K video quality, you can quickly become a drone photographer or videographer who knows their stuff!

The foldable, portable, lightweight Mini 2 benefits from looser drone laws due to its weight.

You can also forego FAA registration. It can fly for 31 minutes at a time, which isn’t bad when you consider this drone’s age.

4. Parrot Anafi

Parrot Anafi

Thermal Drone 4K – 2 High Precision Cameras – Thermal Camera -14°F to 752°F + 4K HDR Camera – The Ultra-Compact Thermal Drone for All Professionals.

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05/20/2023 08:07 pm GMT

Dimensions: 17.5 x 6.3 x 23.9 cm unfolded
Weight: 11.3 oz
Max Range:  2.48 mi
Max Altitude: 4,345 m
Max Speed: 33 mph
Max Flying Time: 25 mins
Camera: 1/2.4-inch CMOS

✅ Pros

  • A drone with a reputation that precedes it, but in the best way possible
  • AI automated features are smart and highly functional
  • Exceptional safety features and tough construction good for beginners
  • Powerful camera
  • Beautiful lossless zoom

❌ Cons

  • Fairly heavy
  • Must register it

The Parrot Anafi is one of the best-known drones in existence, and there are many great reasons for that.

This AI-driven drone features an assortment of autonomous modes sure to delight.

There’s follow me, a standard, and Cameraman. This mode frames the subject when taking overhead videos. You adjust how the Anafi moves, and the Cameraman mode keeps the subject in focus.

Hyperlapse allows you to create faster-than-life videos showcasing moving clouds, heavy traffic, or even sunrise to sunset (or vice-versa!). Do the opposite with the automated Slow-Motion mode.

The Dolly Zoom Effect zooms automatically according to what the Anafi picks up in its visual tracking system.

SmartDronies is for aerial selfies, while CineShots includes modes like 360-Degree, Rise, Epic, and Reveal.

The Anafi has several features to keep you safer in the skies. Find My Drone uses mapping to help you find your lost UAV.

Geofencing might sound like a bummer at first, but you control the parameters. You can also use smart RTH to guide your drone back to you.

The carbon fiber body lends this drone durability without driving up its weight too much. You’ll still have to register this drone, as it’s over the 250-gram threshold.

Its 1/2.4-inch CMOS camera can achieve 2.8x lossless zoom, and it produces 21 MP image quality and 4K video quality. The gimbal can tilt 180 degrees.

5. Holy Stone HS700E

Holy Stone HS700E

4K UHD Drone with EIS Anti Shake 130 FOV Camera for Adults, GPS Quadcopter with 5GHz FPV Transmission, Brushless Motor, Easy Auto Return Home, Follow Me and Outdoor Carrying Case.

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05/20/2023 08:08 pm GMT

Dimensions: 380 x 230 x 125 mm
Weight: 577 g
Max Range: 999 m
Max Altitude: 3,277 ft
Max Speed: N/A
Max Flying Time: 23 mins
Camera: 4K camera

✅ Pros

  • Very affordable autonomous drone
  • Good Intelligent Flight features for the cost
  • Durable with brushless motors

❌ Cons

  • Low flight time
  • Only okay camera

The Holy Stone HS700E proves that you don’t have to spend a small fortune on a drone to enjoy autonomous features.

Intelligent Flight functions included with the drone are further augmented through the free Holy Stone app. You can use modes like follow-me or point of interest.

Tap Fly is like waypoints in other drones, as you can draw a flight path, and the HS700E will follow.

The HS700E also includes a 4K camera with electronic image stabilization. The camera can transmit images at 5 GHz and is adjustable at 90 degrees with a 130-degree FOV lens.

Brushless motors keep the HS700E chugging along as it flies for up to 23 minutes per battery.

6. DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

Drone with 20MP Camera 1″ CMOS Sensor 4K H.265 Video 3-Axis Gimbal White.

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05/20/2023 09:59 am GMT

Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.5 x 9.25 in
Weight: 1,375 g
Max Range: 4.3 mi
Max Altitude: 6,000 m 
Max Speed: 45 mph
Max Flying Time: 30 mins
Camera: 1-inch CMOS

✅ Pros

  • Offers the FlightAutonomy platform
  • Includes all the standard DJI Intelligent Flight Modes
  • Good flight time for the weight
  • Amazing camera with a mechanical shutter for preventing distortions

❌ Cons

  • Very heavy

The DI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is the crème de la crème when it comes to the best autonomous drones. It has plenty of flight modes you’ll use all the time.

FlightAutonomy is the flight automation and aerial intelligence platform included with this drone. This advanced DJI platform produces 3D maps to gauge the surrounding environment in real-time.

Compasses and IMUs filter for errors to keep your drone safer.

Speaking of safety, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has five directions of obstacle avoidance, making it among the best DJI drone for avoiding dangers.

Getting back to autonomous features, the Intelligent Flight Modes are easy and effortless to toggle between.

Use ActiveTrack to keep an eye on objects, vehicles, or people. RTH will help you get your drone back after a day of adventuring.

TapFly is for course mapping. The drone will fly according to its automated route so you can focus more on getting the perfect photos and videos.

Draw Mode lets you create a drone route by hand, while Gesture Mode will take selfies or videos according to how you gesture.

The drone has a 1-inch CMOS camera sensor that takes photos in 20 MP quality and videos in 4K at 60 fps.

Its flight time of 30 minutes might not sound like much, but considering this drone’s weight, it’s impressive!

7. DJI Inspire 2

DJI Inspire 2

Auto-return, follow-me, gps, image-stabilization, integrated-camera, obstacle-avoidance, video-downlink-capable, wi-fi

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05/20/2023 03:54 pm GMT

Dimensions: 42.7 x 31.7 x 42.5 cm without propellers
Weight: 3,440 g
Max Range: 4.3 mi
Max Altitude: 2,500 m
Max Speed: 58 mph in Sport Mode
Max Flying Time: 27 mins
Camera: Zenmuse X7

✅ Pros

  • Top-notch camera for professional photography and videography
  • Awesome speeds
  • Great tracking features
  • Many autonomous Intelligent Flight Modes to choose from

❌ Cons

  • Surprisingly expensive
  • Extremely weighty

Admittedly, the DJI Inspire 2 is not your average hobbyist drone. It’s for commercial drone photographers and videographers, and serious recreational pilots.

Spotlight Pro is one autonomous flight mode of many. This tracking mode has advanced visual algorithms that can find a subject as you fly the drone, even if the Inspire 2 isn’t flying in that same direction.

Within Spotlight Pro are Composition Mode and Quick Mode.

Composition Mode allows you to choose the tracking position of the drone and the subject.

Quick Mode is easier to get started with. Simply pick an object, and you’re ready to track.

The Intelligent Flight Modes included with the Inspire 2 are truly impressive.

ActiveTrack is for object and person recognition and tracking, while TapFly utilizes the drone’s two-axis onboard FPV camera to produce a main and flight camera view.

You can still map out the route for autonomous flight.

The smart RTH is perhaps more intelligent than ever due to downward and forward vision detection systems.

The Inspire 2 will map out its flight and then return along that route if the drone loses signal. Its primary camera can detect obstacles up to 200 meters away.

This highly amazing drone features a magnesium-aluminum composite exterior and carbon fiber arms. Its dual battery promises 27 minutes of flight time, which is great considering how heavy the Inspire 2 is.

The included Zenmuse X7 camera shoots 4K videos at 100 Mbps, 5.2K videos with Apple ProRes support, and 6K videos with CinemaDNG.

The image quality is sensational, and with continuous bursts, you can keep shooting as you please.

Autonomous drones enable beginners to feel like pros, as their drones can do amazing things reliably thanks to these features.

Commercial pilots use automation to focus more on photography and videography, as do some recreational pilots.

Whichever need you have for an autonomous drone, as the technology continues to become more commonplace, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for a drone with smart features.

Holy Stone and Potensic now produce drones with intelligent tracking that rivals what DJI can do.

When considering the best autonomous drone for you, take into account more than price but factors like drone weight and maneuverability, ease of use, portability, and camera quality.

I hope you find the drone for you on this list!

European Consortium to Exand Medium-Risk, SAIL III and IV Applications: U-SCUAR Project

U-SCUAR ProjectU-SCUAR Project to Conduct Research to Enable SAIL IV UAS Operations

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

The presence of open category operations restricts the current use of unmanned vehicles to a narrow scope of applications, limiting their ability to be deployed in other beneficial use cases with great value and high operational complexity.

In response to this issue, the U-SCUAR consortium was formed to conduct advanced research in the field of unmanned systems. The goal of the project is to enable the safe use of unmanned vehicles in advanced operations such as firefighting, maritime rescue, and coastal surveillance. The consortium seeks to develop a comprehensive system capable of operation in medium-risk SAIL III and IV operational scenarios in line with the SORA methodology and in compliance with the requirements of the European regulations on UAS.

In recognition of its strong strategic, technological, and innovative nature, the U-SCUAR project was made a part of the Aeronautical Technology Program (PTA) of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. This program is framed within the Strategic Project for Aerospace Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE), approved this past March by the Interministerial Commission. PERTE intends to mobilize roughly 4,533 million euros in the time between 2021 and 2025 in order to reinforce the aviation industry, with U-SCUAR having made major contributions to unmanned aerial vehicle technologies.

The consortium of companies working on the U-SCUAR project will be led by Wake Engineering, with strategic partners including UAV Navigation, Pildo Consulting, Aurea Avionics and Aeromedia UAV. The consortium will also collaborate with Research Organizations such as AICIA, UPM or CATEC. The project has been subsidized by the CDTI, co-financed with European funds from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism and supported by the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

The U-SCUAR consortium’s efforts will enable a greater number of potential applications for the use of UAS of specific categories, allowing them to participate in missions of great societal benefit.

Read more:

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.

Skyports – Vertiport/Airport Planner

Skyports, established in 2017, is the leading owner and operator of vertiports to enable electric air taxi operations in a number of cities around the world.

Skyports designed and built the world’s first passenger vertiport prototype in Singapore in 2019 and, in collaboration with Volocopter, conducted the first-ever urban flight trials in Marina Bay. Since then, Skyports has designed, built and activated two additional testbed vertiports to continue to refine our product; one in Paris with Groupe ADP and one in California a key OEM partner, Joby Aviation.

Skyports is focused on designing and building vehicle-agnostic vertiport networks in a number of cities around the world with the first commercial flights planned for 2024. To support the launch of commercial operations, Skyports have ongoing projects in the UK, France, Middle East, Singapore, Japan, and the US.

As the leading innovator in Advanced Air Mobility infrastructure, we are actively engaged with aviation authorities and industry bodies in the US and EU to help shape vertiport standards and regulations. Our HQ is in London with regional offices in Singapore, Middle East, Japan and the US. Skyports just completed its $23m Series B round with more strategic investors on board such as Ardian, F2i, Kanematsu, ST Engineering and Goodman Group in addition to Deutsche Bahn, Groupe ADP, Irelandia Aviation and Levitate Capital.

Role Description:

To help us continue our impressive growth, Skyports is looking for an Airport/Vertiport Planner who can fulfil several functions when it comes to planning and designing our vertiport networks around the world. You will assist in the production of technical drawings and documents for vertiport identification, site acquisition, planning and design of all aspects of our next generation eVTOL infrastructure, as well as help develop the vertiport product. You will work closely with and report to the Vertiport Planning Lead and commercial teams on vertiport projects, as well as assist the technology team to help define and create Skyports’ core product. You will be a key member of a team that will design and operate the world’s first commercial network of passenger eVTOL vertiports.

This role is perfect for the motivated candidate that wants to be a trailblazer in an emerging transportation industry. The ideal candidate will be a hardworking, flexible and ambitious person with a strong desire to innovate and learn. This person will be very proficient in CAD design software and will have experience in planning or design. An ideal candidate will also be confident in their abilities and comfortable communicating on behalf of Skyports to a wide array of external stakeholders. Airport or related aviation experience (helicopter/heliport is a plus) is highly desirable. The candidate must be calm under pressure and have no issue working in ambiguity. We need someone who can help us accomplish hard goals without an instruction manual. Creativity and thinking outside the box is applauded at Skyports.

Role Location: London, England

You will sit with Vertiport Planning team in the London office, however projects may be located all over the world.

What you will do:

  • Manage the technical execution and day to day tasks for various Skyports projects, including external stakeholder management (eVTOL OEMs, landlords, airports, consultants, regulators, etc)
  • Support vertiport and airport planning related tasks of all kinds, including in landside, terminal, airfield and airspace disciplines. Undertake site feasibility assessments for suitability of siting a vertiport
  • Airspace due diligence
  • Contribute and support the development of internal documentation, e.g. operating manuals, ConOps and vertiport planning and design manuals, capacity assessment, operations research.
  • Support the Infrastructure team in partnerships and business development with landlords and eVTOL OEMs


  • 3-10 years of experience in airport planning, engineering, or other aviation related technical field
  • Strong foundation in the principles of airport planning (heliport/vertiport is a plus)
  • Proficiency in design software such as AutoCAD. Deliverables may range from highly technical drawings to graphical sketches/PPTs used to support complex narratives or business development. Other design software (such as SketchUp) is a plus.
  • Be able to distil information from various international design manuals and planning standards
  • Be able to take a simple idea and develop it into a high fidelity concept with limited oversight
  • Fluency in English
  • Willingness to work flexible hours to support projects in different time zones
  • Ability to travel when needed

Behaviours we are looking for:

  • A high standard of work and pride in showing continuous growth and improvement
  • Willingness to expand beyond the scope of your previous work experience and education
  • Willingness to take ownership of tasks and take initiative when you see an opportunity to add value to the company in new ways
  • Comfort navigating through ambiguity and shifting priorities. This is a new industry and no one has all the answers. You must be a self-starter who is comfortable proposing your own solutions/answers to big challenges
  • Ability to think critically and challenge your colleagues when necessary
  • Eagerness to learn and embrace feedback


  • A competitive salary and pension
  • Fantastic learning environment
  • A unique exciting fast-paced working environment where we can truly make a change for good to the world of transportation
  • Generous stock options
  • Unlimited holiday allowance
  • Work from home opportunities
  • Team lunches
  • Company swag
  • and more!

Apply for this job

AURA Secures $75 Million in New Funding Round

Following successful demonstrations of its proprietary network designed to enable remotely piloted commercial flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), AURA Network Systems (AURA) announced it has closed $75 million in funding, with $55 million committed by Fortress Investment Group, or its affiliates, and $20 million from previous investors Mudrick Capital Management and Tracker Capital Management, or their affiliates.

The company’s safety-critical network capabilities as a Command and Control Communication Service Provider (C2CSP) were exhibited during the recent National Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Industry Forum in Springfield, Ohio, as well as mid-July demonstrations in Western Maryland. Both involved aircraft outfitted with an AURA airborne radio and voice comms module supporting the company’s commitment to provide a safe and reliable communications service encompassing command and control data, telemetry data and air traffic control voice service.

“The latest funding is a major milestone for our company and an accelerant as we head into 2023,” said AURA CEO Bill Tolpegin. “The financing enables AURA to continue our core development work while providing us with the financial runway to launch commercial services. Our entire team is grateful for the confidence of all our investors and partners as we continue to grow our role in the groundbreaking journey to transform transportation by ultimately delivering C2-communications capabilities in a regulatory-compliant network specifically designed for aviation.”

With the investment from Fortress—known for successful spectrum-based investments fostering innovation in critical infrastructure—Managing Partner Drew McKnight will serve on the company’s board of directors. “We have followed AURA closely since its founding and are deeply impressed by the company’s progress, including its launch in 2020 of the nation’s first and only coast-to-coast, secure network purpose-built for the aviation industry,” said McKnight. “We are confident that AURA will emerge as a critical innovator and service provider across a full range of crewed and uncrewed aircraft applications, including emerging markets for autonomous air cargo and urban air mobility that together are projected to capture nearly $150 billion in annual spending within the next 15 years.”

Tolpegin added that since he and other AURA cofounders created the company in 2019, they have remained laser-focused on building the safest, most reliable private communications network possible via Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-licensed spectrum for aviation-only use and proprietary technologies. That approach has led to a four-year cooperative R&D agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and two Space Act agreements with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Last July, AURA raised $30.9 million in an equity financing, including $30 million from Mudrick Capital Management and Tracker Capital Management, as well as nearly $1 million from company management. The company’s initial financing totaled $7.5 million.

About AURA Network Systems

AURA is on a mission to deliver an FAA-compliant nationwide network utilizing unique, licensed aviation spectrum to accelerate advanced levels of autonomy in the National Airspace System. As a Command and Control Communication Service Provider (C2CSP), its vision is to empower the aerospace industry’s pioneering technology solutions that improve accessibility and safety, drive economic expansion and further environmental sustainability—while transforming the concept of aviation for crewed and remotely piloted aircraft. AURA’s frequencies in the 450 MHz band have extraordinary propagation characteristics ideal for secure and reliable communications. The company’s technology increases the commercial viability of autonomous operations. See for more information.

AURA Media Contact:

What is a Cinewhoop Drone? Getting Started with Cinewhoops (Explained for Beginners)

Cinewhoop drones enable close proximity and indoor FPV flying that was previously unachievable without taking some seriously dangerous risks. Have you seen those one-take clips through real estate or through a factory? These shots are captured by skilled FPV drone pilots flying cinewhoops.

BetaFPV Pavo 25

Cinewhoop drones are first-person view (FPV) drones designed around flying close to subjects and in tight spaces. FPV drones are flown using a set of video goggles that receive a near real-time video feed from a camera on the drone, so the pilot can see from the drone’s perspective.

These drones have propeller guards or ducts to prevent spinning propellers from impacting a subject when filming and are usually compact so they can fly in small spaces and through small gaps.

Cinewhoop drones are all about filming, so we’ve set out some tips on getting started with cinewhoop drones and some tips for filming with them.

What is a Cinewhoop drone?

Cinewhoops get their name from the combination of small, ducted FPV drones, known as Tiny Whoops, and Cinematic FPV flying. Cinewhoops started out as small ducted drones with 3-inch diameter propellers carrying an action camera like a GoPro.

» MORE: Why Don’t Drones Use Ducted Fans?

Cinewhoops now come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small, 75mm propellered, tiny whoop drones carrying stripped-down action cameras, to 5-inch and larger propellered drones carrying a cinema-grade camera, such as the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Cameras.

One of the first cinewhoops was the Shendrones Squirt, which was a fully ducted cinewhoop. The ducts of this drone were designed so that the propellers dig into the wall of the ducts to keep air moving between the tips of the propeller and the wall of the duct.

This was supposed to encourage more airflow through the ducts and improve efficiency. However, for a number of design and flight performance reasons, cinewhoop designs tend not to be ducted anymore and merely have propeller guards for safety.

Image Credit: Shendrones Squirt

Cinewhoops have become increasingly popular for commercial FPV drone filming, and many drone pilots and videographers are adding FPV to their skill set utilising cinewhoops.

These drones tend to be quite durable due to their lightweight and caged design. However, these drones are also incredibly loud.

Even the DJI Avata makes a loud, shrill sound in flight. Many have tried testing different propeller configurations to try and reduce the overall sound from these drones, but this is still a problem to be solved.

What Cinewhoop should I buy?

Due to their popularity for commercial FPV drone filming, there is now a plethora of bind-and-fly (BNF, pre-built) cinewhoops on the market.

With mass/weight restrictions becoming more prevalent in drone regulations across the globe, these drones are becoming lighter and more capable, to help them come in under 250g restrictions.

The GEPRC Cinelog, iFlight Protek, and BetaFPV Pavo series of drones are all good examples of reliable BNF cinewhoop drones. For flying and filming indoors, you’ll want to go with a 3-inch propeller sized cinewhoop or smaller.

For staying under 250g mass you can try a 2.5-inch propeller sized cinewhoop or smaller.

BetaFPV Pavo 25
BetaFPV Pavo 25 supporting a SMO 4K camera.

The BNF cinewhoops currently on the market all fly quite nicely out of the box, but some may need some tuning to help with flight characteristics and efficiency.

This tuning involves adjusting a feedback loop running on the flight controller firmware, such as the PID controller in Betaflight firmware.

Many of these BNF drones come tuned for flights without a payload, for example without the weight of an action camera on board.

We won’t go into the details of tuning here, but if you have a cinewhoop that has warm motors after a short flight, or audible oscillations, then your drone could benefit from tuning, especially if you are trying to carry a heavier payload like a full-fat GoPro camera.

Cinewhoop designs haven’t evolved too much since the Shendrones squirt, but they have now started to fall into two design categories – traditional upright mounted motor designs and inverted motor designs, in a so-called pusher configuration.

A benefit of the pusher design is that the air pushed by the propellers is not being disturbed as there is nothing below the propellers to interfere with airflow.

However, this design configuration can make it difficult to take off from rough or loose ground because the propellers may catch on the surface that you’re taking off from.

Traditional upright mounted motor designs (or puller configuration?) can be easier to take off from rough ground, but the drone frame can disturb airflow from the propellers.

However, in reality, airflow improvements of pusher configuration drones do not seem to have any real benefit over puller configuration drones, and whether you choose a pusher or puller design is really down to personal preference.

So you have a Cinewhoop and want to create some epic shots?

Even with a well set up and tuned cinewhoop, pilot skill is still the key to capturing smooth footage with a cinewhoop. To create smooth cinematic shots, you’re going to need fine control over all axes of the drone.

Good throttle control is especially important to keep the drone steady in flight.

Cinewhoops are relatively heavy for their size and can be difficult to keep at a steady altitude. This can result in bobbing up and down during flight, which can’t really be filtered out from your footage by stabilization tools in post.

Like most FPV drones, you’re going to need to fly in manual or acro mode to get the smoothest flight footage.

This mode of flying offers no self-stabilisation from the drone, meaning the pilot has to constantly fine-tune the controls to hold a smooth line and follow a clear flight path while filming.

One way of making this fine control easier is to decrease the rate of the drone. Lowering the rates reduces the amount the drone moves about each axis for a given input on the controls.

If you’re familiar with DJI or other camera drones, lowering the rates on a cinewhoop, or any other FPV drone, is like switching from normal to cine mode on a DJI drone – the rate at which the drone moves when you move the sticks is a lot less.

By having lower rates, you can make much finer movements with the drone because you have more stick resolution. For example, rates on a cinewhoop for some indoor scenarios can be less than 200 degrees per second at the end of full stick range.

However, this may not suit all situations, so it is worth spending some time finding a few different rate settings for different environments.

Rates are a very personal thing, and you should experiment with finding rates that feel natural to you. That being said, we’ve provided an example rate settings panel from Betaflight that you could try as a starting point.

You can help dial in your throttle control by adding some expo component to your throttle curve (this is normally linear), but this is really only a last resort.

An example rate profile for Betaflight firmware.

With your rates set up, you can then maintain sweeping turns and smooth lines by balancing roll, pitch, and yaw control inputs.

Turning the drone using more yaw input than roll input allows you to slide through turns more, whilst using more roll input compared to yaw input helps tighten up turns.

As mentioned, holding a steady altitude is key, and stabilization tools can only help with vibrations or corrections for the other control inputs; roll, pitch and yaw.

What camera should I use with my Cinewhoop?

This brings us to the cameras used with Cinewhoops and the stabilisation tools available.

The GoPro Hero 10 or GoPro 10 Bones are the go-to cameras for mounting on a Cinewhoop. However, the size and weight of the camera you can carry will depend on which cinewhoop you have.

For example, 2-inch propellered cinewhoop drones won’t be able to fly well with a full-size GoPro attached.

The GoPro 11 will likely gain popularity over the Hero 10, but many will still use GoPro 8, 9, and 10 series cameras with their cinewhoops as they are more than capable for most applications.

Even DJI Avata owners are strapping GoPro cameras to their Avata drones.

Slightly older action cameras like the GoPro Hero version 8 and 9 cameras have adequate built-in stabilisation so long as you are very smooth on the sticks and have a well set up drone.

In some cases, you may not need built-in stabilisation. Many pilots choose to film without built-in image stabilisation and use software programs like Reelsteady and Gyroflow to stabilise their footage in post.

Cameras like the GoPro Hero 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 have a gyro built in for logging vibrations. The gyro data can then be used to stabilise the footage in software.

Filming in 4:3 aspect ratio is beneficial here because you can reframe the shot in post (if exporting in 16:9) and the stabilisation tools tend to work better with taller aspect ratio video, resulting in less cropping towards the centre of the image.

The built-in stabilisation on the newer GoPro cameras like the Hero 10 is quite a step up from its predecessors. However, the same software stabilisation tools can still be applied in post to footage from these newer cameras.

Many other high-end action cameras from other manufacturers like insta360 and DJI also have built-in gyro logging and built-in stabilisation options.

Stabilising footage in post allows you to find a good balance between stabilised footage and the amount that footage is cropped. Built-in stabilisation crops the image by a fixed amount. This means less scope for reframing the shot in post.

What camera settings should I use when filming with my Cinewhoop?

Shutter angle

Many pilots, both amateur and professional, follow the 180-degree rule for shutter angle.

This is set by shutter speed = 1/(2 times your frames per second).

If you were filming in 24 frames per second then your shutter speed would be 1/48s for 180-degree shutter angle.

Shutter angle comes from the days of recording images on film, where the mechanical shutter exposing the film was on a rotating wheel.

A 180-degree shutter angle is considered by filmmakers to provide the most natural motion blur.

However, at some frame rates and when filming very high-speed shots or very close to subjects, the amount of motion blur caused by a 180-degree shutter angle can become distracting or can affect focussing of the image.

It is worth trying 180-degree and 90-degree (1/2 the shutter speed of 180-degree) shutter angles at various frame rates to see how they affect motion blur and clarity in your footage.

In addition, some stabilisation tools struggle to cleanly stabilise footage filmed with slower shutter speeds and at lower frame rates, which can result in some blurring in footage stabilised in post.

Shutter speed

Once your shutter angle is set, you will also want to get hold of some neutral density filters to help manage exposure at the fixed shutter speed chosen for your desired shutter angle. These filters are like sun glasses for your camera.

The particular neutral density (ND) filter you need is the one that is going to prevent parts of your footage from becoming overexposed. It is better to be slightly underexposed than overexposed.

You can buy multiple different strength ND filters in kits for a variety of cameras so you have the right amount of filtering for the lighting conditions you’re filming in.

For shots that have transitions between light and dark spaces, you can set the shutter speed to auto-adjust or maintain a fixed shutter speed and allow ISO to vary.

Throttle control

Now you’ve got your camera settings dialed in for the environment you want to fly around, then away you go. In flight, you need to ensure any altitude changes are smooth and purposeful, and it helps to follow a line through the space you’re filming in.

When filming with a cinewhoop you want to try and keep the quad moving forward at all times. They don’t like stalling, and that’s where you can start to bobble up and down when trying to adjust throttle control.

By exploring a space before you fly through it, you can map out a smooth, continuous line through the space in your mind. Then you can try to follow this line as best you can to ensure that you are always moving through the space.

Need to slow down your footage when flying through particular areas? Try filming in higher frame rates like 50fps and above so you can slow down footage in post without the footage becoming choppy.

Need to time shots with a moving subject? Get your spotter to give a signal to the subject as they come into the shot.

Editing your Cinewhoop footage

After you’ve recorded your awesome flight footage, you’re going to want to edit and colour grade your footage. There are plenty of applications for doing this for both mobile and PC platforms.

For best quality and efficiency, you’re going to want to process your footage on a computer using a software package like Davinci Resolve. This is free software that is used by video professionals and has all of the tools you really need.

Just want to share footage through Instagram Reels or TikTok? Apps for your camera like the GoPro Quik App and other mobile video editors are convenient and quick tools for editing and grading footage for social media.

Although the mobile apps have far fewer features compared to programs like Davinci Resolve.

In summary, cinewhoops are compact drones for filming indoors and close to people, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

There are many pre-built / BNF options out there to choose from, but the GEPRC Cinelog, iFlight Protek, and BetaFPV Pavo cinewhoops tend to be popular packages.

There are also other bespoke cinewhoop options available from specialist providers that come tuned ready to carry heavier action cameras etc.

GoPro cameras seem to be the popular choice among cinewhoop pilots, however cameras like the insta360 go 2, DJI Action 2, and BetaFPV SMO 4K are also great lightweight options if you want to keep the weight of your drone to a minimum without having to tear down a full-size GoPro.

Like most FPV drones, the learning curve for getting started with FPV flight is quite steep, and filming with cinewhoops is no exception. The fine control required for cinewhoops is quite different from flying other camera drones.

» MORE: 9 Best Drone Flight Simulators for 2022 (FPV and Commercial)

Fortunately, there are plenty of simulators available to get used to the controls in a virtual environment first before making your first real flights. That being said, cinewhoops are quite robust and can take a few bumps here and there. They’re quite beginner friendly in that respect.

Squirt V2 — ShenDrones (link)
Drone Co Productions (link)

QinetiQ prepares Airborne Technology Demonstrator (ATD) for next-generation systems and sensor capability - sUAS News - The Business of Drones
QinetiQ prepares Airborne Technology Demonstrator (ATD) for next-generation systems and sensor capability – sUAS News – The Business of Drones

QinetiQ and BAE Systems have collaborated to develop an Airborne Technology Demonstrator (ATD) to enable and de-risk the development of future sensors and technologies in the Air sector. To illustrate the potential utility, QinetiQ and BAE Systems have worked closely to create an engineering mock-up of a fast jet radome fitted to the ATD.

On public display for the first time at the Royal International Air Tattoo show 2022 (RIAT), the nose modification is the latest innovative, cutting-edge capability delivered by QinetiQ’s Aviation Engineering Centre (AEC) in conjunction with BAE Systems Air business. The ATD – fitted with the new nose – is expected to take to the skies with this new configuration later this year and will enable the aircraft to accommodate next generation Radar and Sensor systems to support future development programmes.

A bespoke, modular multi-role capability that meets the requirements of both military and civil customers, the ATD supports cost-effective specialist training, experimentation, air carriage, and Test and Evaluation (T&E) activities. 

Nic Anderson, Chief Executive UK Defence, remarked, “Building on QinetiQ’s Aviation Engineering Centre’s exceptional track record in aircraft design and modification, this latest variation represents an exciting development in UK flight test capability. Working with BAE Systems in collaboration to support the development of future sensor capability is very exciting.”

Ian Muldowney, BAE Systems Chief Operating Officer (Air), added, “The ability to utilise the asset in conjunction with our MBSE approach and Systems Integration approach will undoubtedly reduce schedule and technical risk on many of our programmes internal and external – current and future, and with the right approach will help validate our model-based efforts in a low-cost agile way.”

Using an RJ100 airframe, the addition of fast jet nose cone is just the latest in a series of modifications to this platform. Transformed into a flying laboratory and classroom, the ATD provides power and data backbones and flexible workstations to enable research and development projects to be quickly and easily integrated. Including a number of other innovations, this systems-rich resource enables quick role change and ultimately, the successful delivery of critical customer mission activity.

About QinetiQ

QinetiQ is a global integrated defence and security company focused on mission-led innovation for defence, security and civil customers around the world.

We are 6000 people creating new ways of protecting what matters most; testing technologies, systems, and processes to make sure they work as expected; and enabling customers to deploy new and enhanced-existing capabilities with the assurance they will deliver the outcomes required.

Septentrio brings OSNMA anti-spoofing security to market
HAPS Alliance White Paper Offers Guidance on Safe, Efficient and Scalable Fleet Operations

The HAPS Alliance, an international association of cross-industry players working to enable a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) ecosystem, today announced the publication of a new white paper, entitled HAPS Operation Using Attended Autonomous Fleet Systems, which is available for free to download.

Written by the HAPS Alliance Aviation Working Group, the authoritative paper explains Collaborative Traffic Management for the Stratosphere (CTMS), informed by the principles of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), as an operational end-state that enables safe and scalable operations of HAPS vehicles operating at altitude as Attended Autonomous Fleet Systems.

“We wrote our new white paper to better equip the industry with background knowledge on the use of CTMS for autonomous fleet systems. The paper discusses the current approaches to cooperative traffic management solutions, with a look at what’s needed to support the growing number of use cases,” said HAPS Alliance Aviation Working Group Chair Andy Thurling. “UTM principles, adapted to this airspace, will allow regulators and operators to test this approach in a low-density, lower-risk environment and adjust best practices quickly based on lessons learned.”

“Sooner than many people expect, fleets of HAPS-enabled unmanned aircraft will be serving diverse connectivity needs. Unlike individual aircraft, fleets of high-altitude vehicles will be required to cooperate and coordinate with each other to handle mobility tasks properly. The HAPS Alliance white paper highlights how a collaborative traffic management approach can enable fleets to leverage HAPS technologies to carry out a range of functionalities, from sensing to maneuvering,” said HAPS Alliance Officer and Treasurer Gregory Ewert. “We are grateful to the HAPS Alliance Aviation Working Group members for their contributions to this paper.”

Broad HAPS deployment is on the way. Not only does the HAPS Alliance white paper serve as a guide to support safety and regulatory discussions, it also sets out near- and longer-term steps toward achieving the Alliance’s vision of safe and effective autonomous aircraft operations. With the HAPS market is expected to reach $4 billion in value by 2029, according to Northern Sky Research, telecommunications, technology, aviation and aerospace companies, as well as public and educational institutions, will benefit from the paper’s information and insights to tap into market opportunity and connect the unconnected.

HAPS Alliance Membership Benefits
All companies interested in the HAPS ecosystem are encouraged to become HAPS Alliance members. Alliance membership levels — Principal, General, and Government and Education — are open to organizations in any industry sector. Members have the opportunity to become involved in various membership initiatives, including working groupsmember-only meetings, and collaboration with other HAPS Alliance members to work on technology components and use cases for enabling a smarter world.

About the HAPS Alliance
The HAPS Alliance is an industry association of High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) industry leaders that include telecommunications, technology, aviation and aerospace companies, as well as public and educational institutions. United by a vision to address diverse social issues and create new value through the utilization of high-altitude vehicles in the stratosphere, the Alliance is working to accelerate the development and commercial adoption of HAPS technology by promoting and building industry-wide standards, interoperability guidelines and regulatory policies in both the telecommunication and aviation industries. For more information, please visit

Robotics Centre and Smith Myers announce small drone payload to find and reach mobile phones during Search & Rescue Operations - sUAS News - The Business of Drones
Robotics Centre and Smith Myers announce small drone payload to find and reach mobile phones during Search & Rescue Operations – sUAS News – The Business of Drones

Integration of ARTEMIS mobile phone detection technology on Echo SAR payload will enable responders to locate and communicate with any cellular device; Marks first time this life-saving technology is available on small UAVs; New payload built for use on the Teledyne FLIR SkyRaider and SkyRanger Unmanned Aerial Systems

Robotics Centre, Inc. and Smith Myers announced that the Smith Myers ARTEMIS Mobile Phone detection, location and communication suite has been integrated into the new Robotics Centre Echo SAR (Search and Rescue) payload for small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) built by Teledyne FLIR Defense.

Echo SAR enables operators to quickly find, map, and interact with mobile phone handsets in fast-moving disaster situations, aiding and boosting first responders’ ability to locate victims and save lives.

Designed for use on Teledyne FLIR’s R80D SkyRaider™ and SkyRanger® R70 drones, the advanced Echo SAR payload will provide users with the stand-alone ability to find an individual mobile handset, conduct mass mapping of mobile phones in out-of-service areas, and to communicate either with individuals or groups of mobile phones.

“Previously, ARTEMIS airborne capabilities were only available for use on manned rotary and fixed-wing platforms,” said Dr. Eric Karmouch, CTO of Robotics Centre. “Now, for the first time, this life-saving technology can be deployed in minutes on a small quad-rotor UAV, providing a whole new capability to SAR operators working in the most difficult conditions.”

“ARTEMIS turns a mobile phone into a rescue beacon and was designed specifically for SAR and natural disaster situations,” said Andrew Munro, Director, Smith Myers. “By integrating this capability onto Teledyne FLIR drones through the Echo payload, Robotics Centre has created a truly game-changing tactical UAS solution.

“This new system can prove vital in emergency circumstances where a rapid response can mean the difference between life and death,” Munro added.

The operationally-proven Teledyne FLIR R80D SkyRaider and SkyRanger R70 UAVs, used by military and public safety agencies worldwide, are rugged, all-weather platforms well suited for Search & Rescue missions. Easily deployed and operated by a single user, the drones can provide extended situational awareness when and where it’s needed most.

“The Echo SAR payload adds a critical new sensory capability to our SkyRaider and SkyRanger platforms,” said Anne Bulik, Vice President of Unmanned Aerial Systems at Teledyne FLIR Defense. “From disaster relief to border security and beyond, we see many applications for small UAS mobile device detection across both our defense and non-defense customer communities.”

About Robotics Centre
Robotics Centre, Inc., established in 2009, is an Ottawa-based company with offices in Sapporo, Japan, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  We work with Government, SAR, & Industrial clients to create integrated unmanned systems solutions to address a wide range of challenges. To learn more, visit us online:

About Smith Myers
Established in 1984, Smith Myers is an award-winning UK company specialising in the design, development, manufacture and support of application-specific cellular network and handset capabilities for Network Operators, Government Agencies, Law Enforcement, Military, and Search & Rescue organizations. For more information, visit:

About Teledyne FLIR
Teledyne FLIR, a Teledyne Technologies company, is a world leader in intelligent sensing solutions for defense and industrial applications with approximately 4,000 employees worldwide. Founded in 1978, the company creates advanced technologies to help professionals make better, faster decisions that save lives and livelihoods. For more information, please visit or follow @flir.

UK MOD announces new Aquila-led air traffic system operational - sUAS News - The Business of Drones
Airspace Link will provide operational safety of commercial drone skyway in Michigan and Ontario, Canada – sUAS News – The Business of Drones

Airspace Link, Inc., the leading North American provider of data, software and managed services to enable the safe, scalable use of drones, is collaborating on a first-of-its kind technology initiative created by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and multiple economic development partners in Michigan and Ontario, Canada.

Airspace Link received the award from the Michigan Department of Transportation to provide an analysis of the economic and community impacts, as well as the existing airspace, air traffic infrastructure, and ground infrastructure required to ensure operational safety of advanced commercial drone flights in new shared use air mobility corridors. Airspace Link’s AirHub™ Insights software, data and services will be foundational in performing the risk analysis to inform the safety case that will be used to support advanced operational approvals from the FAA.

AirHub™ Insights utilizes over 50 robust authoritative data sets, including Esri GIS data, from federal, state, local governments and proprietary third parties, and turns it into the knowledge government, private operators and end users require. Those insights are ultimately transformed into actionable data sets to inform planning, decision making and operations ensuring that UAS activities are safe, legal and in harmony with the community.

Airspace Link has assembled a strong team which includes Thales, a leading provider of airspace management and air traffic control systems, CityFi, a consulting and advisory group with expertise in transportation planning, Northern Plains UAS Test Site, an FAA approved test range for advanced UAS operations, Grand Sky Development Company, an economic and real estate development organization specializing in aviation parks for UAS, and Aviation Innovations, a consulting company with expertise in international aviation. This team will provide a comprehensive analysis leveraging Airspace Link’s data services, software and technology, and subject domain experts that will inform the State of Michigan’s strategy and approach to establishing this Air Mobility corridor. The study will consider potential economic impacts, applicable state and local zoning restrictions, environmental factors (like social equity and noise considerations), travel and transportation network impacts.

“Cross-border partnership is critical across all dimensions of mobility, including aerial systems. Michigan and Ontario have a rich history of partnering on groundbreaking innovations and this project by Airspace Link continues that tradition,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Considering the density of auto suppliers, logistic companies, technology start-ups, and consumers in the region, it is a natural fit to test this cutting-edge aerial technology here. The vital research could lead to faster product deliveries and reduced supply chain disruptions in the future, helping us grow Michigan’s economy and put Michiganders first.” 

The newly formed partnership with Airspace Link and their team, will develop a feasibility analysis as a first step to establish infrastructure required to support a range of commercial and public advanced air mobility use cases.

“We knew Michigan would be a great place to start our business with its deep roots in mobility and have continued to see extraordinary growth for our business in this state,” said Michael Healander, CEO of Airspace Link. “The willingness to embrace new technology and advancements from both the public and private sectors has been critical in fueling our success and placing Michigan as a top choice for these types of technology pilots and new infrastructure.”

Last year Airspace Link announced it completed a $10 million series A capital raise with Altos Ventures, an early-stage investor based in the Bay Area, as well as Thales, the leading provider of air traffic management systems that manage 40% of the world’s airspace, and a global technology leader with operations in more than 68 countries. 

The company is led by CEO Michael Healander along with founding members Ana Healander and Daniel Bradshaw, who grew the Detroit-based team to 32 full-time staff in the last year and has developed partnerships with over forty-five government agencies and municipalities in the United States to implement Airspace Link’s AirHub™ platform for drone infrastructure.

About Airspace Link, Inc:

Airspace Link’s vision is to create a world where the safe integration of drones fuels human progress, advancing social equity, the environment, and the economy. Founded in Detroit in 2018 by CEO Michael Healander, Airspace Link is one of the few FAA Approved UAS Service Suppliers of the Low Altitude Authorization & Notification Capability (LAANC). Airspace Link’s cloud-based platform, AirHub™, provides the digital infrastructure required to support the safe use of recreational and commercial drone use in communities at scale, supporting the growth of drone operations, drone service providers, drone manufacturers, package delivery, and air taxi deployment in the future. Visit

HAPS Alliance White Paper on Flight Tests Demonstrates Communication Opportunities
HAPS Alliance White Paper on Flight Tests Demonstrates Communication Opportunities

The HAPS Alliance, an international association of cross-industry players working to enable a High-Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) ecosystem, today announced the publication of its new white paper entitled “Bridging the Digital Divide with Aviation in the Stratosphere – HAPS Flight Test Results Show Path to Unlock Stratospheric Communications,” which is available as a free, downloadable document. Written by the HAPS Alliance Aviation Working Group, the authoritative paper highlights how members have been testing and improving HAPS vehicles and communication systems to bring connectivity to more people, places and things worldwide.

The aviation testing and use cases described in the white paper reveal HAPS technology’s potential to offer greater connectivity as well as support a broad range of applications, including earth observation, disaster management, mobility communications and humanitarian missions. Telecommunications, technology, aviation and aerospace companies, as well as public and educational institutions, will benefit from the paper’s information and insights.

“As the HAPS landscape and aviation ecosystem continue to evolve, so have the flight test techniques and use cases needed to unlock the stratosphere’s potential and to offer greater connectivity and support for a wide range of applications,” said HAPS Alliance Aviation Working Group Chair Andy Thurling. “A lot has changed and much has been learned over the last few years, and our white paper highlights new updates and additional use cases from Alliance members. The paper also notes how the legacy of HAPS pioneer and Alliance co-founder Loon is making new industry opportunities possible and is helping to overcome the challenges that lie ahead. We thank the HAPS Alliance Aviation Working Group members for their contributions to this paper.”

To tap into the larger market opportunity, HAPS solutions in the stratosphere need to operate in harsh thermal conditions, including temperatures as low as -90° C. The white paper shows how HAPS Alliance member organizations are navigating these challenges to build a cooperative ecosystem. In fact, by 2029, the HAPS market is expected to reach $4 billion in value, according to Northern Sky Research. The paper outlines how HAPS Alliance Aviation Working Group member solutions are unlocking the potential of the stratosphere, filling a capability gap between terrestrial networks and satellites at 18 to 50 kilometers above the surface of the earth.

“As we head into 2022, the HAPS Alliance continues to drive advancements to the HAPS ecosystem. Our new aviation white paper is a great example of how the Alliance is accelerating the commercial adoption of HAPS technologies and building a robust HAPS ecosystem, which are our ultimate goals,” said HAPS Alliance Officer and Treasurer Gregory Ewert. “This paper shows how the Alliance is enabling member companies to work toward eliminating the digital divide and expanding connectivity worldwide.”

Alliance members collectively advocate for the advantages of HAPS with relevant authorities in various countries, build a cooperative HAPS ecosystem, develop common product specifications and promote the standardization of HAPS network interoperability. The Alliance brings together some of the world’s most recognizable companies across telecommunications, technology, aviation and aerospace.