What do you need to be able to fly at night? Lights of course!
Our first foray into night flying wasn't terribly successful, have a look at our post here. Fortunately, we've now gone for a bit more of a professional looking setup and all seems well.
In keeping with other aircraft we decided to fit red and green lights to the wings of our plane to designate port and starboard respectively. They're fitted to both the top and bottom of the wings so we can see them even if the plane is banking.
The lights we used were strips of LEDs that are powered by a 12V battery. This is the same voltage as our flight battery but we're using a smaller additional battery to power the lights as we don't want them to reduce flight time.
As a short note, the canopy above the Pixhawk flight controller is also lit up as the Pixhawk has a green light on it when it's all systems go and there's a GPS lock.
We weren't sure how bright the lights would appear at distance so wanted to have a short auto-pilot test flight. Check out the video here:
Despite the fact that the lights look quite small and not terribly bright in the video they're actually very bright and easy to see. To give you a reference the landing was lit by car headlights on full beam.
We're pretty happy with how the lights have turned out and think we'll be able to manage night flying with out too much trouble.