In this day and age of technological advancement, drones have become pervasive and can be found almost anywhere. From delivery service provision to video production, the benefits offered by drones cannot be ignored. However, despite the advantages drones offer, one would wonder why they have not been used in live feed broadcasting of Formula 1 races. If you watch an F1 run, you will notice two or more helicopters that provide officials and spectators with real-time information on the track. Or you may see them as a means of transportation to F1 races. The reasons why choppers are preferred in broadcasting F1 races are presented in this article.
Speed -- While some drones can reach speeds of 150km/h, such rates are nowhere near those of a Formula 1 racecar. Typically, an F1 car can manage 440km/h and on a straightway these speeds can break the 550km/h mark. As such, drones are no match, and although they are a cheaper alternative to helicopters, they are not up to the task just yet.
On the other hand, helicopters are fast enough and can clock forward speeds of up to 400km/h, which is equal to the speed of an F1 car on a straightaway stretch. Therefore, it is fair to say that currently, drone technology needs a bit of time to evolve before they can replace helicopters in F1 racing competitions.
Flying Time -- Almost all Formula 1 races last approximately 2 hours, which is a bit too much for drones. Different factors determine how long a drone can maintain flight and they include battery life, drone weight and add-ons. However, even with the lightest and best battery pack, the latest drones can only manage to fly for a little over half an hour. More powerful drones would be required to cover a race for more than two hours. However, helicopters can keep flying longer than two hours, which makes them the ideal machines for these events.
Video Quality -- Currently, the technology that is used to take aerial shots cannot be shrunk to fit in a drone without compromising on quality. If a drone were to be used, then video files would have to be compressed first. However, compressed video footage is not the best for real-time broadcast feed because officials would need to uncompress it before playback. Compression and uncompression cycles take time, and the process is unreliable. Additionally, at top speeds videos from a drone camera will be less precise. Video shots from a helicopter are sharpers due to stabilisers; hence, the recordings can be sent directly to broadcast feeds as captured without the need for encoding.Share
26 February 2018
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