Drone Telemetry Problems (Why and How to Solve Them)


No matter what drone you have, telemetry is an important aspect of your drone flight. Telemetry basically means the statistics and the flight details of the drone itself. However, there will be instances where there are problems with your drone’s telemetry for one reason or another such as when the figures don’t seem to be accurate or when the data just isn’t showing up. So, how do you solve these problems with your drone’s telemetry?

Drone telemetry problems can be solved by restarting the drone, or by uninstalling and reinstalling your drone app. Sometimes, the telemetry problems can be related to hardware malfunctions such as with the GPS or other instruments or sensors. These will need to be fixed by a technician.

While telemetry really always something that affects the drone in the middle of its flight, it still is an important part of flying safely and responsibly. This is because the data and statistics you get from your flights can be important in improving the way you fly and handle your drone. That said, when your drone does indeed have telemetry problems, the best thing you can do is to make sure that you fix them.

How is telemetry used in drones?

Telemetry refers to the process of collecting data remotely. It involves using different types of instruments that are capable of measuring data, which will be transmitted to receiving equipment that is used to monitor that data. Telemetry has been used for decades already and unsurprisingly has found its way to drones.

In flights that involve manned aircraft, telemetry is used when the data collected by the aircraft (either commercial or military) is measured by the communications tower that receives such data. The one receiving the data can now make assumptions and observations based on the data received by the aircraft. And this can be used for many short and long-term applications such as for knowing where the aircraft is based on its positioning or improving flight efficiency in the future.

Of course, telemetry is also in use when it comes to objects that are remotely controlled such as our drones. In the past, telemetry was not commonly used with remote-controlled helicopters or airplanes due to the lack of equipment capable of receiving the data collected by the object in flight. 

However, because drones are now connected to smartphones, telemetry has become much more accessible and has an important role to play when it comes to hobbyists out there.

Through telemetry, we are able to know where our drone is relative to our position as the drone’s GPS is capable of telling us how far it is from our distance and where on the map it is. 

You can even get flight details such as speed, elevation, and other important data that you can use to keep track of your overall flight performance and how long your drone has been flying. The data you collect can be stored in your own flight logs, or even in the company’s server.

Telemetry is useful for drone flyers and prospective drone flyers, as it is the best way for you to collect the data you need in relation to your drone. Think of it as the instrument cluster of your drone but you are collecting the data remotely through your drone and such data is reflected on your drone’s app.

Why is there a telemetry problem with my drone?

When it comes to telemetry, some drones may fail to accurately show the data it is supposed to be receiving. For example, the drone’s app may be showing that the drone is several meters away from you and is in the middle of flight even though the drone is still on the ground waiting to take off.

There are some instances where the telemetry problem in the drone can be seen in how the drone seems to be moving erratically on the app even though it is moving steadily while you are flying it. Basically speaking, a lot of the telemetry problems with drones are due to their positioning or their location system, because that is the most common data collected by most drones. That said, what could be the cause of this telemetry problem?

When it comes to telemetry problems with drones, the most cause of telemetry problems can be tied to its GPS unit and how the drone’s positioning via its GPS receiver is not truly reflecting its actual positioning. When this happens, there are several issues that can be addressed as these issues might be the ones causing the problem. 

The first source of the problem could be software issues on both your drone and your companion app. This is quite common among drones, as simple software issues can lead to telemetry problems, especially with the GPS unit. Again, the software problems are related to either the drone’s firmware or the app on your phone, or both.

A more serious cause of this type of problem may be a faulty GPS receiver. It might have damaged it during a crash or if the drone got wet in the middle of a flight. Whatever the cause of the damage may be, you should never rule a damaged or faulty GPS receiver out of the equation when it comes to your drone’s telemetry problems.

How to solve drone telemetry problems

If your drone is indeed having telemetry problems, there are some methods that you can try to fix the drone by yourself. These tips should be used whenever you have a reason to believe that the problems are merely software-related.

1. Update the firmware on your drone, and update the app 

An outdated firmware version can be the cause of telemetry and GPS problems. An update usually implements fixes that will immediately erase your drone’s telemetry problems.

2. Try resetting the drone, and remove and reinstall the drone’s companion app 

This is like step one but just taken to the next level. This should give the entire system a quick reset that may help bring things back to normal. Be sure to download any images, etc from your drone that you want to save before resetting it. 

However, if none of those quick fixes work, then there could be a problem with your drone’s GPS receiver. It’s not impossible that it could be faulty or damaged. Try bringing it to a nearby service center to have it checked for issues. They may be able to solve the problem by fixing the GPS receiver.

Elizabeth Ciobanu

Editor-in-Chief. Elizabeth is a full-time (homeschooling!) mom of four, and serial entrepreneur in a variety of enterprises, one of which is producing content for Droneblog. If free time existed, she would love to spend more time on hobbies such as flying a drone.

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