Question: I was flying my drone the other day when it started flying erratically. What could have caused that?
Experiencing a sudden loss of control while flying your drone is not uncommon. Sometimes while navigating your drone, you might have seen it drift in the opposite direction and fly erratically. If your drone refuses to respond to your inputs, there might have been signal interference between your transmitter and the receiver. If a system check shows that the flight controller is fine, signal interference is at play. It is important to know the causes of signal interference and degradation so that you can operate your drone safely. Most transmitters operate on the 2.4GHz band of the radio spectrum. Wi-Fi routers and cellular network towers also use the 2.4GHz frequency and can interfere with your signal. Microwave antennas and high-voltage lines create strong interference that can affect the radio transmissions that control your drone. The following will cause degradation of the transmitter signal:
Free-space loss. Your signal travels through the atmosphere. The farther your signal travels, the more it loses strength. That is why it is so important to keep your drone within recommended operational range.
Absorption loss. If your signal passes through an object that is not transparent to radio signals, you will experience absorption loss and possibly lose control of your drone as long as this object is in the way.
Diffraction. Signal loss happens from diffraction when an object (building, tree, wall) appears between the transmitter and receiver. Rounded objects tend to cause more diffraction loss than those with sharp edges.
Multipath interference. Reflected radio signals can split and reach the receiver from a number of different paths. Sometimes these paths interfere with each other and interfere with the main signal.
Terrain. Topography has a significant effect on signal transmission. Hills can obstruct the path and considerably weaken the signal, often making reception impossible.
Buildings and vegetation. Radio signals can be significantly affected by buildings because they can reflect or absorb radio waves. Trees and foliage, especially when wet, can also weaken radio signals.
by Gus Calderon