How To Calibrate A Drone

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How To Calibrate A Drone

If you're a novice pilot, you may have been wondering how to calibrate your drone. Well, it is quite simple.

Drones have a lot of sensors to maintain their stability and flight efficiency in general. And calibration is the process of adjusting these sensors to make sure the drone is operating exactly as it should. You may need to calibrate your drone if it is drifting to one side or is unstable while flying.

So, whether you've just picked up one of the best beginner drones, or you're a relative expert, calibrating drones is essential to good drone control. Here's how it's done.

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How To Calibrate A Drone

When it comes to calibration, there are four types: Compass calibration, Gimbal calibration, IMU calibration and Vision Sensor calibration. This may sound like a lot of work, but it's not. We will show you how to calibrate a drone in less than 5 minutes. Here you go.

Compass Calibration

  • Power up the drone, touch the aircraft status bar in the app and then select calibrate.
  • Press the start option on the popup menu to start the calibration process.
  • While holding the drone level with the ground, rotate it 360 degrees counterclockwise until the status indicator lights turn green.
  • The next step is to hold the drone vertically, nose pointing down to the ground.
  • Again, rotate it 360 degrees counterclockwise. The status indicator lights double flash green once you have successfully completed the calibration.
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Gimbal Calibration

  • First, place your drone on a flat-level surface.
  • Power on your drone and remote, and open the DJI App that corresponds with your drone.
  • Tap the 3-dots icon in the upper right corner to access Settings.
  • Tap the camera icon, and then select AUTO CALIBRATION.
  • Immediately, your drone will begin the calibration process. DO NOT MOVE the drone while the calibration is being performed, as this will cause the calibration to fail. 
  • Once finished, you will see a CALIBRATION SUCCESS message on-screen.
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IMU Calibration

  • First, ensure your drone is cold to the touch. Performing an IMU calibration when the drone is warm or hot will increase the start-up or initialization time on your drone.
  • If all is good, power on your drone and remote, and connect your device.
  • From the camera view screen, tap the 3-dots icon in the upper right corner to access Settings.
  • Tap the small drone icon on the left-hand side of the menu to access MC SETTINGS.
  • Then, scroll to the bottom of the page and select ADVANCED SETTINGS.
  • From this menu, select SENSOR STATE > IMU CALIBRATION.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and manipulate your drone as needed. 
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Vision Sensor Calibration

  • Download and install the DJI Assistant Software necessary for your drone model from the DJI website.
  • Plug in your drone to the computer via USB cable and power on the unit.
  • Once recognized, press CALIBRATIONS on the left side menu.
  • Once the Calibration has started, follow the on-screen instructions to complete this process.
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How Often Should You Calibrate A Drone?

How To Calibrate A Drone
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Calibration is important because it ensures that your drone is operating at its best. As mentioned above, there are four different types of calibration and each of them has a different frequency.

Compass calibration should be done every time you power on your drone. Whereas, gimbal calibration should be done whenever you change filters, after a hard landing or crash, any rough handling of the drone's camera, after an IMU calibration, or once every 6 months.

IMU calibration is only required once every 6 months, after a rough handling, hard landings, or if your DJI Drone is requiring an IMU calibration. On the other hand, you only need to do vision sensor calibration when the app prompts you to do so.