How does Skydio 2/2+ use GPS?
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Skydio 2/2+ has built-in GPS, which enhances the autonomous flight experience with features that enable it to follow a Beacon or go to a point on a map within the Skydio 2 app. Below are some details about the GPS capabilities of your Skydio 2/2+ drone.
|You can monitor the strength of the signal connection and GPS quality. Select the Connection Status icon to display the connected drone status, signal strength, GPS quality, and satellite count.|
Acquire GPS lock
After launching, fly a few meters in a lateral motion (forward, backward, left, or right) to acquire a GPS lock. This is a critical step that must be taken if you are going to fly your drone over water.
[warning] Failure to acquire a GPS lock prior to flight over water may result in erratic flight and/or emergency landing. A minimum of 20 satellites is required when flying over water. [/warning]
How to confirm you have a GPS lock: If your drone can ascend beyond 33 ft (10 m) above ground when outdoors you have a GPS lock.
Last-known GPS location
At any time during a flight (either following a subject or flying manually), you can easily return Skydio 2/2+ to your phone’s last-known GPS location, or a Home Point that you can set on a map - all from within the Skydio app.
Not only is this a handy way to quickly return Skydio 2/2+ to your location, but it can be helpful if you’ve lost line of sight with Skydio 2/2+, or if it has lost you while tracking.
- The GPS accuracy of many phones can vary from model to model, so Skydio may return to a location slightly offset from your own.
- If you initiate a return to your phone and keep moving, Skydio continues to update the GPS location until it reaches your general location.
- Skydio requires a stable GPS connection to fly greater than 10 m/33 ft. above the point of takeoff. This may not be possible when flying in GPS denied environments such as indoors, heavy urban areas, and deep canyons; or when flying near large metal structures such as radio towers and bridges. If you are having any difficulty getting your Skydio to fly above 10m/33ft., you may need to fly a few meters in a lateral motion (forward, backward, left, or right) to acquire a GPS lock. This is true regardless of which method you’re using to fly (app/phone-only, with Beacon, or with Controller).
- The Skydio Beacon accessory extends the operational range of Skydio, greatly enhances the GPS accuracy, and adds GPS tracking abilities to Skydio. This allows Skydio to continue following even when it loses visual sight of you, and smoothly reacquire you visually when it can. See our related articles for more info on Beacon.
- GPS signal is independent of cellular data plans. Although the Skydio app does require location services to be ON while flying, you can still fly Skydio if you have no cellular data active on your device. Basically, you can fly Skydio using the Skydio app on a mobile device that is in "airplane mode", provided that you have location services/permissions ON.
Check out our specs page for even greater details.
Learning to fly with Skydio Beacon
Flying your Skydio 2/2+ near water
If you have questions or need additional support—feel free to reach out to Skydio Support.
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