Are drones waterproof? If you’re considering buying one, read this first to find out if drones are really water resistant.
At times, it might be tempting to fly your drone during rain. So, you might want to know if it is fine to fly your drone in any weather condition.
Most drone models you will find out there are not made to withstand exposure to water. This post discusses the answer to the question of whether drones are waterproof.
Waterproof technology in drones must be understood in depth to know if you can fly drones in rain or what would happen to your drone if it happens to fall inside water.
In this discussion, you will understand the difference between waterproofing and water resistance and how these technologies help in adapting drones to exposure to water.
If you look forward to using drones safely in water bodies, there are truly waterproof drones in the market. In the end, I have also covered a few drone models you can depend on in terms of their excellent waterproof capabilities.
Are Drones Waterproof?
Specs and Features Table
|DJI Air 2S
|Weight: 595g Dimensions (folded): 180 x 97mm x 77mm Dimensions (unfolded): 183 x 253 x 77mm Camera resolution: 20MP Video Resolution: 5K@30fps Gimbal: 3-axis Battery life: 31 minutes (3500mAh) Collision sensors: forward / backward / upward / downward Max Range: 12km / 7 milesMax Speed: 68.4kph / 42.5mphController: Yes
|1-inch 20 MP sensor for low noise images and videos Range of options for videographers Excellent AI features Small and lightweight
|DJI Mini 2
|Weight: 242gDimensions (folded): 138 x 81 x 58mmDimensions (unfolded): 159 x 203 x 56mmCamera resolution: 12MPVideo Resolution: 4K@30fpsGimbal: 3-axisMax Range: 10km / 6.2 milesMax flight: 30 minsCollision sensors: DownwardMax Speed: 57kph / 35.7mphController: YesBattery size: 2,250mAh
|No need for registration feesA lot of drone for the money4K video and Raw mode cameraNo forward collision sensorsCompact and convenientIntuitive to fly
|DJI Mavic Air 2
|Weight: 570gDimensions (folded): 180×97×84mmDimensions (unfolded): 183×253×77mmController: YesVideo resolution: 4K 60fpsCamera resolution: 48MPBattery life: 34 minutes (3500mAh)Max Range: 18.5km / 11.4 milesMax Speed: 68kph / 42mph
|Easy to flyShoots impressive 4K/60p videoAmazingly stableFoldable, portable designObject avoidance with course correction
|DJI Mavic 2 Pro
|Weight: 907gDimensions (folded): 214 x 91 x 84mmDimensions (unfolded): 322 x 242 x 84Camera resolution: 20MPVideo Resolution: 4K@30fpsGimbal: 3-axisBattery life: 31 minutes (3850mAh)Collision sensors: OmnidirectionalMax Range: 8km / 5 milesMax Speed: 72kph / 44.7mphController: Yes
|1-inch 20 MP sensor for low-noise images10-bit video for post-processing Handy foldable designAdvanced, but easy to fly
|DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
|Weight: 905gController: YesCamera resolution: 12MPBattery size: 3,950 mAhRange: 8kmDimensions (folded): 214 x 91 x 84mm Dimensions (unfolded): 322 x 242 x 84Video Resolution: 4K@30fps Gimbal: 3-axisBattery life: 31 minutes (3850mAh)Max Range: 8km / 5 milesMax flight: 31 minsCollision sensors: omnidirectionalMax Speed: 72kph / 44.7mph
|Easy to fly and intuitive to control24-48mm optical zoom lensMechanical zoom Cheaper than DJI Mavic 2 Pro
|Weight: 249gController: YesCamera resolution: 12MPBattery size: 2,600 mAhRange: 4000 mDimensions (folded): 140 x 82 x 57mmDimensions (unfolded): 160 x 202 x 55mmVideo Resolution: 2.7K@30fpsGimbal: 3-axis Max flight: 30 minsCollision sensors: DownwardMax Speed: 72kph / 44.7mph
|Superb folding designImpressively stable videoSide-steps registration feesGPS Altitude HoldJPEG stills only
|Weight: 795gController: YesCamera resolution: 12MPBattery size: 2000mAhRange: 10 km Weight: 795gDimensions : 178 x 232 x 127mmCamera resolution: 12MPVideo Resolution: 4K@60fpsGimbal: 1-axisBattery life:: 20 minutesMax Range: 10km / 6 milesMax flight: 20 minsCollision sensors: Forward / DownwardMax Speed: 140kph / 87mph
|Easy and fun to flyImmersive DJI GogglesFun beyond any rational measureExceptional collision prevention for First Person View
|DJI Inspire 2
|Weight: 3440g – 4250gDimensions: 530 x 470 x 210mm (travel mode)480 x 470 x 320mm (flying mode)Camera: Zenmuse X5S Camera resolution: 20MPVideo Resolution: 5.2K@30fps / 4K@60fpsGimbal: 3-axisMax Range: 3.5km / 2.2 milesMax flight: 23/27 minsCollision sensors: Upward / Down / ForwardMax Speed: 72 kphController: YesCamera resolution: 20MPBattery size: 6,000 mAh
|Ultimate in photo flexibilityOption for CinemaRAW Stunning range of cameras & lenses Dual batteries costly Incredible build qualityGood battery lifeLots of pro-friendly features
Waterproof technology in drones explained
Most drones that the manufacturers describe as water resistant are only splashproof. Therefore, you can neither fly them during heavy rains nor allow them to plunge into water.
Waterproofing technology in drones involves coating them with a unique class of materials to support them to work underwater or fly during rains or snow without the risk of damaging their parts and machinery. In most cases of waterproofing, silicon is the popular choice.
There are two types of waterproof drones namely water resistant and waterproof drones. Water-resistant drones are not sealed completely.
In place of a silicon coating, they only have rubber in the majority of cases that can ward of the splashing of water and nothing more.
Water-resistant drones can be flown under rain and during snowfall. However, these days, it is possible to buy water-resistant wet suits from some manufacturers.
Waterproof drones come fully sealed with silicon sealing for instance. In this case, both the rotors and the internal electrical components are sealed fully.
This class of drones can be submerged under water up to a particular depth that the manufacturer permits. In addition to the silicon coating, the rotors of these drones feature an anti-corrosion coating.
Simple DIY steps to waterproof your DJI drone
Waterproofing your drone is a simple task you can try yourself. This can be done easily in the case of a toy drone.
In the case of advanced drone models, you need technical knowledge about the different electrical components. Nevertheless, waterproofing your drone is not something that you can’t do.
The principal technique you will need to waterproof your drone is silicone conformal coating. Before getting started with the sealing process, you will have to clean the drone parts with rubbing alcohol and apply an anti-corrosion spray.
If you have to remove the waterproofing coat anytime in the future, rubbing alcohol will be useful once again.
Simple steps to waterproofing your drone
Remove the drone battery first
Open up the drone to be able to view the internal electric parts.
Thoroughly remove the dirt on the circuit board with alcohol. This will make sure that the coating you apply will cover the circuit board well.
Use a small brush to apply silicone conformal coating. Make sure not to apply it on the connectors, sensors and buttons as it might obstruct the flow of current.
For about six to seven hours, leave the set up to dry. With a black light, thoroughly check if there are any areas that you have missed out on while applying and reapply the coating in those areas too.
Once you have covered the segments that can be coated, spray the rust preventer on the areas that you have avoided earlier like the rotors.
Uses of waterproof drone technology
Drones are electronic gadgets. Water or any other destructive kind of liquid can give way to short-circuits and rusting.
Even the water in the atmosphere is good enough to make the drone wet during its flight. While flying your drone early in the morning, there are chances that your drone will land on damp grass.
Often a neglected case, this can in fact lead to the rusting of the drone’s internal components.
A silicon coating can ensure that the water does not access the electric parts and hence any damage due to exposure to water is prevented.
While there are ways to waterproof your drone, it is still better to invest in a waterproof drone.
If you would like to attempt waterproofing your drone yourself, it is necessary to understand that the process will make your drone ineligible to claim any warranty if required in the future.
Most drones that the manufacturers claim as waterproof are only water resistant and hence can withstand only light rains, snow or water splash.
While some manufacturers want to avoid the cost of sealing their drones, some have implemented waterproofing technology to make their drones capable of withstanding snow, rains and splashes.
In some cases of having to float your drone on water, you may also use floating gear to use a drone camera on the surface of the water.
Some drones already come fitted with landing gear and a camera at the bottom to make your job easier.
Advantages of waterproof drones
Waterproof drones bring you a host of advantages and find some of them explained below.
Flying you drone during adverse weather
Waterproof drones let you fly your gadget during light rains. These drones are also made to withstand snow and strong winds and can accomplish some challenging industrial tasks. Waterproof drones are widely used in agriculture.
Researching underwater and inaccessible areas
Waterproof drones can survey underwater regions. When it comes to monitoring inaccessible areas, waterproof drones have come as great options for rescue teams, archeologists and other professionals.
Applications in sports
Waterproof drones are highly desired for some entertainments like fishing, surfing, filming and kayaking. Waterproof drones used for fishing come with payload releasing mechanisms.
Can a waterproof drone take underwater pictures and videos?
If you wish to take some pictures or videos underwater, you need to invest in a waterproof drone with a camera.
There are exclusively made waterproof drones that can replace underwater photography platforms. Underwater drones can be used for underwater photos and videos.
Experts say it is easier to control a drone underwater than while flying in the air. Underwater drones support interesting and useful exploration missions as their movements can be easily controlled.
When it comes to inspecting both ancient and modern shipwrecks and filming marine life, underwater drones are very useful.
By investing in the right drone model, you can hope to take underwater shots comfortably well.
What to do if your drone gets wet or drowned?
While discussing waterproofing technology for drones, it is also relevant to know what to do if your drone happens to crash and sink into the water. Here I have covered how to retrieve your drone from water and how to fix the issue.
If the drone has fallen into shallow water bodies, you can retrieve it with a fishing hook. The other alternatives you can use for this purpose are nets, fishing gears, and fishing rods. It is also possible to swim to the bottom to retrieve the equipment first.
Devices like Getterback are depth activated and can be of immense help in retrieving a drone if it falls inside water.
You need to attach this to your drone and if the drone happens to crash and go below a depth of 6 feet, this device will automatically release a float.
This float is usually colored brightly so that you will find it easy to pull your drone out of the water.
Once you have retrieved your drone from the water, switch it off immediately and remove the battery.
As in the case of cellphones, your drone is likely to get more damaged if the batteries are left in it after retrieving it from water. If the drone has fallen into the salty water, it is good to rinse it with fresh water.
After disconnecting the device, wipe the drone well to remove the water from its internal and external parts. Blow drying is also a good idea. After wiping it well, leave it in a warm area to dry well for around 48 hours.
Test your drone to know if all the components are working well. It is also advisable to take your drone to a technician to check it and also avoid any further damage.
If you have not invested in a waterproof drone, it is recommended to waterproof your drone if you are often flying your drone near water bodies.
In this way, you have better chances of preventing any serious damage if it happens to crash and sink.
Some waterproof drone models to buy
Truly waterproof drones are great options to fly during rains and explore or capture videos and pictures underwater. If you are heading for an underwater mission, here are some waterproof drone models to consider.
This is a lightweight and compactly designed drone model. This model is very easy to pack and carry with you on the move. This drone comes with a small carry case.
You can use this drone in any wet condition. Since the drone’s parts are made of corrosion-resistant materials, you can also use it safely under salty water.
This drone is designed to take off and land on water. Its 4k camera can take high-resolution pictures and videos.
The PowerEgg X drone sports an impressive design and stylish look. This is an easy-to-carry model offered with a carry case.
There is also an extra battery in the package. This is a completely waterproof drone and can land or take off comfortably both on land and in water.
The highlights of this model are its long battery life, auto takeoff, and excellent underwater capabilities.
Swellpro Splash 3
Swellpro Splash 3 is made from reinforced ABS material that is 3mm in thickness. The users find the drone’s floating feature very useful and the drone can be used in rains, snow and in different water bodies.
Its excellent corrosion-resistant feature prevents any damage when exposed to salt water.
Youcan Robot BW Space Pro Underwater Drone
This drone model is made with highly reliable waterproof technology and is advertised as an underwater drone model. This drone model is offered in a few variations with different onboard cameras.
The variations you will find include an FHD camera, 4k camera, and 4k camera with a 6x zoom. You can connect this drone with your phone or tablet to control it.
Goolsky H31 Waterproof Drone
One another top-rated waterproof drone model, this drone sports a lightweight design that is easy to carry.
Suitable to use in any kind of wet situation, the internal parts of this drone are not fully corrosion resistant and hence it is not advisable to use in salt water. The desirable features of this drone are one key return function, headless mode, and gyro stabilizer.
Jon is a passionate photographer and videographer who has been flying DJI drones for over 5 years. He loves the freedom and creativity that comes with capturing aerial footage and the unique perspective it provides. Jon is always on the lookout for new locations to explore and capture with his DJI drones. His favorite DJI drone is the Mavic 2 Pro, which he uses to capture stunning 4K footage with its Hasselblad camera. Jon is always eager to share his knowledge and experience with other drone enthusiasts and is a member of several online drone communities. When he’s not flying his DJI drone, Jon enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with his family.