Drone filming Chile’s urban bike race requires sophisticated radio equipment


Drones have revolutionized the world of videography in perhaps the most significant way since the advent of digital equipment. They are used to obtain shots that are impractical or completely impossible to obtain by any other means. the [Dutch Drone Gods] specialize in such work. When it came to filming an urban mountain bike race in a dense Chilean city, they had to do some serious tricks.

The FPV video feed was grainy, but good enough to keep the pilot on track. The drone carried a separate second camera to capture high quality footage of the race.

Typically, operating a drone chase camera behind a biker would require good first person flight skills and a fast drone. However, for the Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo urban downhill event, that alone would not be enough. The narrow course winds up stairs between thick concrete walls and even through houses, presenting enormous challenges for maintaining signal integrity. Without a clear video signal, the pilot cannot fly the drone without crashing.

To make all of this possible, the team used a variety of techniques to help combat the uncooperative radio environment. Directional antennas were used to target different sections of the course. Additionally, a second drone flew above the course with a radio repeater, helping to provide better line-of-sight contact with the camera drone following the runners when buildings would otherwise block the signal to the pilot.

Even with all that work, the signal was still spotty and cut out at times. However, with a little blind faith when cutting through the worst areas, the [Dutch Drone Gods] and the [Red Bull] the team was able to set up some amazing FPV drone shooting shading [Tomas Slavik] during his race on the extremely difficult urban course.

Specific hardware details are scarce. However, this is something any experienced drone builder could probably create without too much trouble. The idea of ​​using a drone-based repeater is particularly exciting, and we’re sure something could help many pilots who find themselves operating in harsh urban environments.

We’ve seen a lot of great FPV stories over the years, from early experiments in the 1980s to fun DIY cockpit builds today. Video after the break.


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