Can You Fly DJI Air 2S In The Rain?

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Image for flying Air 2S in rain
Me with my drone

Drones are a lot of fun and an awesome business opportunity. We started our family business, then created this blog to offer advice to others that are interested in this technology. 

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The DJI Air 2S is my favorite drone. Very small, extremely rugged, easy to fly, super maneuverable, and it takes awesome video. So even though it’s rugged I treat the drone with kid gloves, I never fly in the rain. But I got to thinking, which is always dangerous candy DGIETS fly anyway, after some research I found the answer was yes if you take precautions.

The DJI Air 2S is neither water-resistant nor waterproof, if water gets inside the drone it can cause serious short-term and long-term damage to the internal electronics. Water creates short circuits in the internal electronic control circuitry causing short-term loss of control and long-term corrosion damage. Batteries can short-circuit and create a fire hazard. However, you can decrease your risk by taking some precautions.

The DJI Air 2S is a great drone for both beginner and experienced users alike however, it does have limitations when it comes to water.

image rainstorm for flying drone

We usually give our own personal experiences. However, there’s no way I’m flying one of our Air 2S drones in the rain so you’ll have to rely on the research.

What Is Water Resistance vs Waterproof

We will assume in this article that you do not want a drone that operates underwater, so we’ll focus on water-resistant drones. See our article on waterproof drones to find the best underwater drones on the market for your needs.

water resistant material

Water resistance means that the drone can withstand some exposure to water, but it is not designed to be submerged. Waterproof drones are built to be used in wet conditions or underwater.

What Are The Different Levels of Water Resistance?

Water resistance is indicated by an ingress protection (IP) rating. The IP rating of a product indicates its level of resistance to ingress by solid objects and water. When deciding whether or not to fly your drone in the rain, it’s important to keep your drone’s IP rating in mind.

How Does IP Rating Work?

An IP rating, or Ingress Protection rating, is technically used to specify the environmental protection of enclosures around electronic equipment. The ratings are determined by specific tests that measure the ability of a device to resist water and dust intrusion.

The first number in an IP code (e.g., IP23) refers to the level of protection against solid objects, such as dust. The second number (e.g., IP23) refers to the level of protection against water. Here are the different levels of protection:

Image of IP rating chart

Why Fly In The Rain?

Besides getting caught in a sudden rainstorm, why would you ever fly your drone in the rain?

Drones like the Air 2S can help first responders during weather emergencies, and they are sometimes used by law enforcement. In these cases, your drone may need to fly in bad weather whether it’s rain or high winds.

drone first response

Flying in rain may allow you to get some unique images or videos that would not be possible in fair weather. for example, if you are taking locations photos in all four seasons, you may want to fly in the rain or snow to show seasonality.

These are two scenarios where flying in the rain would make sense.

How Does Water Get Into The Drone

Generally, water ned to get inside the drone frame to do any damage. There are several ways water can get into a drone. Drones rely on air intakes to cool internal components, this is the most common path for water to get inside. Water can also enter through cracks or openings in the drone’s body.

Water can also condense inside the drone if there is a temperature difference between the drone’s internal components and the outside air. This can happen if the drone is brought into a warm room after being flown in cold weather.

Flying Air 2S in Fog

Fog is less dense than rain so there’s less risk of water damage when flying in fog. But you can expect your drone to get wet if you spend a significant amount of time flying. So it may be OK to fly for a short time in the fog. The major challenge with fog will be maintaining line of sight with the drone. Also, the drone collosion sensors often react to the fog and this can make it hard to manuever the drone.

foggy conditions to fly drone

Flying Air 2S in Snow

Because snow is a solid, it is generally creates fewere prblems than rain. The drone propellers will tend to create an airflow that moves the snow away from the drone. As wih fog, maintaining a visual line of sight to your drone can be a problem.

Most Sensitive Parts of The Drone

Water and electronics do not mix. Water conducts electricity, which leads to short circuits and even fires. Drones contains a number of sensitive control electronics that are vulnerable to water.

Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)

The ESC is one of the most important components of a drone. It regulates motor speed which keep the drone stable. When water gets into the ESC, it can cause a short circuit. This can lead to loss of drone control.

water and electronics

Flight Controller Board

The board contains a GPS module, compass, gyroscope, and other sensors that all work together to accurately determine the drone’s location and orientation. This information is then used by the drone pilot to control the drone and keep it on course. The flight controller board also provides a number of safety features like return-to-home (RTH). Water damage to this board will be catastrophic.

Image of GPS

Battery

Drone batteries are made of lithium-ion, which highly cumbustable when exposed to water. When the drone battery gets wet, it can cause a fire and in some cases, the battery may even explode.

image electronic short circuit from water damage

How To Waterproof Your Drone

Drone Wet Suit

The most common and effective way to protect your drone from ran is a wet suit or skin. There are a variety of drone suits on the market. The Air 2S is a farily common drone so these are not hard to find. Here are two companies that sell them: Phantom Rain and Sideline Power. Prices vary so shop around.

DJI Air 2S wetsuit to fly in the rain

Sealant For Internal Electronics

There are two main types of sealants: silicone and acrylic. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

We definitely recommend using a brush-on applicator versus a spray-on. We also recommend purchasing some isopropyl alcohol for cleanup or in case you want to remove the sealant.

Silicon sealant is a clear, waterproof sealant that can be applied to electronics as a barrier against water and moisture. It’s also resistant to temperature changes, so it can also protect your electronics from extreme temperatures as well. To apply silicon sealant, first, clean the surface of the electronics with a lint-free cloth. Then, apply a thin layer of silicon sealant to the surface with a silicone brush or applicator. Allow the silicon sealant to dry for 24 hours before using the electronics. If you need to remove the silicon sealant, simply use a razor blade to scrape it off. Be careful not to damage the surface of the electronics while you’re doing this.

Silicon electronics sealant to protect from rain

Acrylic sealants are less flexible than silicon, but they’re much easier to remove and won’t damage most surfaces. They’re also not as resistant to heat, so they’re not ideal for use in high-temperature electronics. However, acrylics are a good choice for electronics that will be handled frequently, as they’re less likely to cause damage if they’re accidentally bumped or rubbed.

Acrylic electronics sealant to project from rain

Ceiling your electronics will require that you access the internal components of your drone. Be warned that this may invalidate your warranty. We recommend you check with your warranty provider before breaking the frame seals on your drone.

What To Do If Your Drone Gets Wet

If you believe water has gotten inside your drone you need to ttake it seriously. There are several things you should do.

image of stuff getting wet

Turn the drone OFF. Remove the battery and the SD card. Removing the SD card will help protect your footage from water damage.

Use compressed air or hair dryer to blow to dry the components. Be careful not to use too much force or too much heat, so you don’t damage the internal electronics.

Blot inside and out with a paper towel to remove as much remaining moisture as you can.

If you feel comfortable opening the frame, then wrap the drone in a thin towel, and place the whole thing in rice. Rice acts as a desiccant to draw water away from the drone.

Afert all this, place the drone in a warm, dry place (not in direct sunlight) and allow it to finish drying for a minimum of 24 hours. Then test the drone operation with a few simple test flights.

If you observe problems then it’s time to contact your drone repair service.

Does DJI’s Warranty Cover Water Damage?

The DJI Drone Warranty covers manufacturing defects and faults for your DJI Air 2S. This includes any problems that occur with the Drone itself, as well as any issues that arise from normal wear and tear. The warranty does not cover damages that occur due to misuse or abuse of the Drone, such as crashing it into objects or submerging it in water.

Items #5 and #6 suggest that damages from flying in rain are not covered under your warranty, because the user manual expressly recommends against flying in rain.

The following situations are not subject to warranty service conditions:

1. Crash or burning caused by non-manufacturing factors.

2. Damage caused by unauthorized modification, disassembling, or shell opening which did not follow the instruction of official manuals.

3. Damage caused by improper installation, or incorrect use or operation stated in the guidance of manuals.

4. Damage caused by unauthorized modification of circuit, mismatch or misuse of battery and charger.

5. Damage caused by any flights which didn’t follow the instructions of the manuals.

6. Damage caused by operation in bad weather (i.e. strong wind, rain, sand/dust storm)

7. Damage caused by operating the unit in an electromagnetic interference environment (i.e. mining area, radio transmitting tower, high-voltage wire, substation).

8. Damage caused by operating the unit in a known environment with interference with other wireless devices (i.e. transmitter, video-link, Wi-Fi signals).

Remember, it is not recommended to fly your DJI Air 2S in the rain. However with a few precautions it is possible to fly your Air 2S in the rain for short periods of time.

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Felton Flood, PhD

Felton Flood, PhD

Dr. Flood has 25+ years experience in telecommunications and is a veteran of several startups in Silicon Valley and Northern Virginia. In 2021 he co-founded Lightwave Aerial, applying machine learning and cloud technologies to innovate UAV services.

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