How would you like to have a real-time aerial view of that gnarly inlet before you have to commit, or of that secluded cove that lies around the next peninsula, or of that anchorage that you hope still has room for you that’s 10 minutes away? Now you can do all that, and much more, with Raymarine’s new app that combines all the navigation attributes of a state-of-the-art MFD with a high-flying unmanned drone.
In what Raymarine calls an industry first, it has created an aerial imaging platform that works with Axiom or Axiom Pro displays. It’s a new LightHouse 3.6 update for Axiom MFD integration with DJI Mavic Pro Drones. The app automates the launch, airborne imaging, in-flight navigation and return-to-boat functions of the drone.
For cruising boat owners, Raymarine has created a Scout Ahead mode, where you can fly the drone to a waypoint or chart location. It uses GPS navigation to fly to a precise location and the drone then can hover over it. While the drone is airborne, you can see it in real time on your nav chart, along with its course, speed, altitude and camera orientation.
Multiple options let you control the drone in flight; there’s an automatic flight mode and virtual on-screen joysticks for manual flight. You also can take control of the drone at any time with the DJI Mavic Pro joystick controller.
The app gives you real-time telemetry and status of the drone in flight, including altitude, distance, speed, battery level, flight time remaining, signal levels and airspace advisories, all displayed on the Axiom screen.
You also can shoot video or still pictures and save imagery to Mavic’s onboard memory card. Fisherman, for example, might want to capture the action or scout for gamefish, weed lines, sandbars or reefs. On screen controls let you fine-tune the drone’s altitude, orbit radius, orbit speed and camera angle. Read more: