Falcon 8 UAS GeoEXPERT - Basic Training : Before You Begin - Batteries

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Batteries

  • Batteries
    • After performing a system inspection, the next step is to ensure all the batteries are charged prior to flying the Falcon 8.  
    • The two main components of the Falcon 8 GeoEXPERT system that rely on battery power and need to be charged are:
      • The Falcon 8 UAV Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) batteries
      • The Mobile Ground Station

 

 

General Guideline for LiPo Batteries

  • General Guidelines for LiPo Batteries
    • Before charging any of the LiPo batteries, please refer to the manual located on Topcon Total Care to review safety guidelines.
    • Here is a short list of some general guidelines:
      • Do not store the batteries fully charged as this can lead to a shorter life time of the battery.  Store the batteries half charged at storage voltage of 11.4 V and only charge them completely shortly before the next flight.
      • Never fully discharge the LiPo batteries as it will cause permanent damage to the batteries
      • Never pull out the charging cables with a LiPo battery connected.  Danger of short circuit!
      • Do not connect a LiPo battery to the charger before checking the charger settings.
      • Strictly follow the safety guidelines given by the battery manufacturer. 
      • Do not charge the batteries while they are unattended.
      • Remove the batteries after charging and disconnect the charging station from the power source.

 

 

 

Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Battery

  • Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Battery
    • The battery pack that is used for the Falcon 8 UAV is a Lithium-Polymer battery.  
    • This battery pack has a built in battery identifier (BID) on the balancing plug.  To check the charging state, press and hold the small button in the lower left corner of the BID for one of the three LEDs to become lit.  

Green LED:   12.0 V      Battery is full and ready for use.

Yellow LED:   >11.5 V    Battery is half empty, please recharge

Red LED:      <11.0 V     Battery is empty, please recharge

Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Battery Charging Components

  • Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Battery Charging Components
    • To charge the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo batteries, the charger and components shown to the right will be used.  
    • This multi-charger can charge up to 4 LiPo-batteries simultaneously.  
    • Input requirements (one of the below):
      • Wall outlet 100-240V AC (50-60 Hz)
      • Car battery 12V DC
      • Power Supply 11-18V (minimum 20A)

 

Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Battery Charging Components

  • Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Battery Charging Components
    1. Charger
    2. AC power cord
    3. Cable and clips for DC power
    4. Balancing cable
    5. Charging cable for video receiver battery (PP1800)
    6. Charging cable for Falcon 8 UAV battery (PP6250)

Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries

  • Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries
    • Connect the charger to a power supply.  
    • Connect the balancing cables to the charger.  Verify the orientation of this connection, ensuring the cables align with the minus symbol as shown in the image to the right.
    • Connect the charging cables to the charger.  Also take note of the polarity (red = positive; black = negative).

 

Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries

  • Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries
    • Set the battery type to LiPo.
    • If it is not already selected, press the BATT TYPE/STOP key and then use the DEC or INC keys to navigate to this selection and then press START/ENTER to set.
    • Set the charging mode to CHG BALANCE Similar to the battery type, if not already set to this mode, press the DEC or INC keys to navigate to this selection.

 

Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries

  • Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries
    • Next, set the charging current and number of cells.  This can be performed by pressing the START/ENTER key and using the DEC or INC buttons to increase or decrease the values.  Press START/ENTER to set the value(s) once selected.

 

Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries

  • Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries
    • Connect the black jack of the battery to the balancer adapter cable.  
    • Connect the green MPX connector of the battery to the power cable of the charger.
      • To avoid a short circuit between the banana plugs always connect the leads to the charger first, and then to the battery.  Reverse the sequence when disconnecting the battery pack.
      • Connectors of the charging cable and battery are mechanically keyed to prevent reverse connection.

 

Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries

  • Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries
    • After the previously mentioned items have been set, press the START/ENTER button down for more than 3 seconds to start the process. 
    • The next display will show the number of cells that have been set up as “R” and the number of cells that the processor detects as “S”.  If both numbers are identical, charging can begin by pressing the START/ENTER button again to confirm.  
      • If these do not match, press the BATT TYPE/STOP button to navigate to the previous screen to carefully check the number of cells.  

 

Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries

  • Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries
  • Once settings have been confirmed and the process has begun, the charging screen will display real-time status during the charge process.  
    • Press the BATT TYPE/STOP key once to stop the charging process.  

 

Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries

  • Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries
    • When the final voltage has been reached, the charging process will be stopped automatically.  This will be indicated by a visual and acoustic signal. 
      • As mentioned previously, the process can be interrupted by pushing the BATT TYPE/STOP key once to stop the charging process.  

 

Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries

  • Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries
  • The Futaba remote control of the Mobile Ground Station (MGS) has a built-in battery, which can be charged using the supplied charger. 
    • The battery is full when the display of the Futaba shows 8.0 V.
    • It is recommend to re-charge the battery when the battery level is at 7.4 V.

 

Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries

  • Charging the Falcon 8 UAV LiPo Batteries
    • The charging socket of the Futaba remote control is located at the lower left corner of the MGS.
      • To charge the R/C, use the supplied charger.
      • Plug the charger and into a power outlet.
      • Connect the charger with the charging socket on the remote control.  During the charging process a red LED on the charger is lit.
      • When charging has completed, the LED on the charger turns to green