Many clients ask what is the best drone for commercial operations.  The answer to that question is what data are you trying to capture?  The market place is exploding with high quality drones and I don’t believe any drone is the best for all applications.

Many UAS companies are selling completely autonomous systems.  Besides the obvious legal questions around autonomous flight (its not legal or advised), what happens when a human or vehicle inadvertently conflicts with a UAS in autonomous flight?  The short answer is there is an accident.  We highly discourage using drones that do not offer an override for conflict.  Even something as simple as a cement truck parking on the landing zone has been known to cause accidents.

DJI, Parrot, and senseFly are making amazing drones that offer manual and semi autonomous flight.  It is imperative that at any time during a commercial flight the pilot can control the UAS and avoid conflicts with pedestrians, manned aviation and any other objects.

For most commercial operations, the accuracy of the model will be dependent on GPS.  There are many drones available with RTK capabilities.  The lack of knowledge on this subject lends itself to the creation of vaporware.  Be wary of post processing kinematics, and any other unproven or untested forms of real time kinematics.

So the answer to this question is, it depends.  What are your goals for the project and what data are you trying to capture?  How large is the area of interest?  The reality is no single UAS is the best machine for all operations.  The one thing we emphatically recommend our clients though is to avoid completely autonomous systems.  They are in violation of FAA rules and regulations and a hazard on the job site.