Can Drone Fly Without GPS? How to Navigate Drone Without GPS Autonomous

Drones have become one of the biggest trends in our time. They have been utilized in several ways such as monitoring, surveillance, delivery services, etc. Today, drones have even started flying without satellites or other devices that might give away their position. There are several ways that they fly without GPS. Most of them rely on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). In this article, you will learn about can drone fly without GPS.

Let’s dive into details!

Is It Possible To Fly Drones Without GPS?

Drones don’t always require GPS signals because they can navigate and land using other navigation technologies. For example, some drones use sonar to detect obstacles such as trees or cars. Other systems rely on inertial navigation sensors, which measure movement based on acceleration and velocity.

They can operate autonomously without GPS. However, to safely navigate, they require the use of GNSS along with the dead reckoning (DR) method. DR is basically the process of estimating location based on information from inertial sensors. As long as the inertial sensor does not drift over time, then the estimated location would be reliable. Here’s more on how drones navigate.

Can Drone Fly Without GPS

What Are GPS-Denied Drones And Why Are They Important?

GPS-denied drones are used for different purposes. You don’t need to have access to satellite technology to use them. These devices work on frequencies that cannot penetrate mountains and tall buildings. You can still use these devices even if you live in places where the satellites cannot reach you. One uses a low-powered radio transmitter while the other uses a phone application. You still get location information using these types of devices.

GPS-Denied Drones Can Be Used For All Kinds Of Missions

The fact that drones have no onboard navigation system means they can perform tasks that require precision. They can fly over dangerous situations without risking the lives of pilots. That’s why they’re commonly used in search and rescue missions, where getting access to certain places may not always be possible. But since their flight patterns are often unpredictable, they have been used to film wildlife, document construction sites, and even protect sensitive locations.

A Drones Navigation System Doesn’t Have To Cost Money

Some drones don’t need any sort of navigation system. Many of these models come with built-in sensors. While these drones are capable of flying in specific directions, they aren’t able to navigate autonomously. If your drone does have some type of a navigational system, they usually come at a cost. But if you’re looking at buying one, know that they tend to be affordable. There are also many drones that use apps to help guide them around, making it easier to find their way back home.

How To Fly A Drone Without GPS?

The first thing we need to know about flying drones is how to navigate them without using the Global Positioning System (GPS). If you don’t have access to the internet then you need to learn about how to find out where you are going even if you don’t have any sort of navigation system with you. You can simply use the device’s built-in compass or other methods of orientation to get yourself oriented in the right direction before you take off.

Why do I Need a Drone without GPS?

Flying drones without GPS is not only good for safety reasons, but for its practicality as well. Having no GPS means that you won’t be able to follow pre-planned routes, and instead, you’ll have to figure everything out as you go along. Not having GPS means you’re forced to pay attention to the ground beneath your feet, learning things that way instead of relying on a map and pre-programmed flight plan.

How do I Fly a Drone without GPS?

There are two basic ways to approach flying a drone without a GPS. One would be to carry a compass and use the information it provides to guide you while flying; the other would be to find your location using some method other than GPS. Let’s look at each of these options in turn.

Importance Of Flying A Drone Without GPS?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which is a network of satellites and ground stations around the world that allow users to determine their location anywhere on earth at any time. Drones can use these signals to know where they’re located at any given moment.

It’s true that drones don’t require a GPS signal to fly, but they do need a connection to the internet so they can communicate with control systems and other nearby devices.

Drone flight path

Some advantages of flying A Drone Without GPS

  • You don’t need to carry a powerful transmitter with you.
  • The drone does not need any special training before flying.
  • You can easily find a place to land the drone.
  • You can create your own flight paths.
  • You can make videos and take pictures of things that you cannot reach by driving or walking.

Tips & Tricks For Flying A Drone Without GPS

Flying drones without any kind of GPS navigation device is not difficult if you know what you’re doing. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have enough battery power. Here are some tips and tricks:

1. How To Fly A Drone Without Gps.

Most drone batteries last anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size of the battery. You should only fly drones at night if possible since they tend to use up much quicker. If you don’t own any GPS devices then you should get yourself a cheap compass that is made out of plastic or wood. All you have to do is orientate it towards the north and leave it somewhere safe.

2. Best Practice To Fly A Drone Without GPS.

The best way to fly a drone without GPS would be to find a parkland area that does not have any sort of trees or buildings. As long as you are able to see the sky you shouldn’t have any problems flying around until the sun comes up. Once daylight hits however you will not be able to fly anymore unless you have access to a GPS. Another thing you can try if you don’t want to buy GPS components is using a smartphone application called “geofencing”. What this does is basically allows you to set boundaries around certain locations and once you enter those boundaries you start getting alerts on your phone. This way you won’t even have to worry about losing sight of where you are going.

3. How To Get Your Drone Back From Its Flight Path.

If you did lose sight of your drone while it was in flight you can use a technique called “follow me”. Simply put your drone will go back to its initial position while hovering over the same spot. This works great if you were trying to track something down but didn’t realize it wasn’t actually moving. When following your drone with the follow me feature activated you will eventually end up right where you left off.

4. How To Avoid Collisions With Other Drones.

One of the biggest threats to the safety of drones is collisions. These can happen anytime you are flying a drone near anything else that could potentially cause damage. You may think that drones are incredibly stable but that isn’t exactly true. There is quite a bit of weight to each drone and if there is some sort of disturbance or bump in the air there is a high chance that you will hit something. Be especially careful around people, animals, vehicles, and structures since these things can make a lot of noise in the air and might throw you off course.

5. How To Prevent Drones From Going Out Of Control.

When learning how to fly a drone don’t just jump straight into the air. Instead, check out videos online before taking off. Make sure that you know how to properly control the drone and are comfortable with it before jumping out.

6. How To Turn Off The Camera On Your Drone.

Many drones have built-in camera systems that allow you to capture images of whatever you point the drone towards. It is important to disable them before flying though since they are extremely expensive and can easily be damaged by crashing into objects.

7. Tips And Safety Rules For Flying Drones.

Flying drones is not illegal, but it is still considered a hobby that requires proper knowledge and training. Always keep in mind that you are responsible for making sure that everything goes according to plan and obeys the rules regarding flying drones. Always stay away from populated areas and never fly above 400 feet (120 m) for safety reasons. Don’t forget to always wear proper eye protection when flying drones and don’t ever fly over water either.

5 Best Drones Without GPS ( Camera Quality & Range)

Ryze Tello

Ryze Tello

Aircraft Details:

  • Weight: Approximately 80 g (Propellers and Battery Included)
  • Dimensions: 98×92.5×41 mm
  • Propeller: 3 inches
  • Built-in Functions: Range Finder, Barometer, LED, Vision System, 2.4 GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, 720p Live View
  • Port: Micro USB Charging Port

Flight Performance:

  • Max Flight Distance: 100m
  • Max Speed: 8m/s
  • Max Flight Time: 13min
  • Max Flight Height: 30m


  • Detachable Battery: 1.1Ah/3.8V


  • Photo: 5MP (2592×1936)
  • FOV: 82.6°
  • Video: HD720P30
  • Format: JPG(Photo); MP4(Video)
  • EIS: Yes

Syma Z1 Drone

Syma Z1 Drone

Full Specifications:

Item No.: Z1
Battery: 3.7V 500 mAh Li-ion(included)
Charging time: About 130 minutes
Transmitter Battery: 4″AA” batteries(not included)
Controlling distance: About 50 meters
Flying time: About 7 minutes
Box Size: 15.8 X 8.3 X 7 cm
Product Size: 25.6 X 20 X 3.5 cm
Frequency: 2.4G

Eachine E58 Drone

Eachine E58

Full Specifications:

Eachine E58 DroneItem NO.E58
Gyro6 axis
Motor0720 Coreless Motor
Take-off Weightabout 120g
Quadcopter Battery3.7V 500mAh Lipo (Included)
Transmitter Battery3 x 1.5 AA battery (NOT Included)
Charging time60-70mins
Flying time7-9mins
R/C distance80-100m
FPV Rangeabout 30m
Camera2MP 720P wide angle, 0.3MP (Optional)
Quad’s Size27×19.5x5cm (the arms not folded)
12.5×7.5x5cm (the arms folded)
Quad’s Weight96g (with battery)
77.5g (without battery)
Package Size18x16x7.5cm
Package weight360g
Features– With foldable arms, small size, easy to carry.
– With altitude hold mode function provides stable flight.
– With wifi function can be connected APP, APK system to take pictures, video, real-time transmission through the phone camera image.
– There have 2 cameras that can be chosen. With 2.0MP 720P wide angle camera give a wide range high definition pictures and video.
– With Headless Mode, no need to adjust the position of the aircraft before flying.
– With One key to return function makes it easy to find the way home.
– 2.4GHz Technology Adopted for Anti-Interference.
– 4 Channel which can do ascend, descend, forward, backward, left sideward fly, right sideward fly, and rolling 360°.
– 6-axis gyro which can have more stable flying and be easy to control.
– It has a 3-level flight speed to switch that can make it more fun with flying.
– The quadcopter fuselage is made of high-strength and resistant engineering plastics, lightweight and durable resistance.
Storage BoxMaterialABS+PC
WeightApprox. 300g
Usagefor Eachine E58 RC Drone Quadcopter

Eachine E32HW Drone

Eachine E32HW Drone


  • Brand name: Eachine
  • Item name: Eachine E32HW RC Quadcopter
  • Frequency: 2.4G    
  • Channel: 6CH
  • Gyro: 6 axis
  • Product battery: 3.7V 550mAh (Included)
  • Charging time: 80mins
  • Flying time: 8mins           
  • R/C Distance:50-80m
  • Camera: 720P
  • Product size: 31.5×31.5×6cm
  • Package size: 42.5×24.5×10.5cm
  • Transmitter: Mode 2
  • Color: Black/White


  • With Altitude Hold Mode function provides a stable flight
  • Built-in 720P cameras are tuned amazingly to capture stunning pictures and videos from the sky.
  • A key 360° roll, continuous roll for perfect action and wonderful performance.
  • With Headless Mode, no need to adjust the position of the aircraft before flying.
  • One key return function makes it easy to find the way home.
  • It has a 6-axis gyro which can have more stable flying and be easy to control.
  • 4 Channel which can do ascend, descend, forward, backward, left sideward fly, right sideward fly, and rolling 360°  
  • LED lights make the flight more spectacular, especially in the dark.
  • Function: Forward / backward, turn left / right turn, rise / fall, left / right side fly / Headless Mode / Altitude Hold Mode

Eachine Viswhoop Drone

Eachine Viswhoop Drone

Brand Name: Eachine
Item Name: Viswhoop 2.5 Inch 3-4S Cinewhoop
Wheelbase: 130mm
Size: 170mm*105mm*32mm
Weight: 124g (without battery)
Recommend Battery (Not Included) : 3S 650mah/750mah/850mah
                                                          4S 550mah/650mah/750mah/850mah

Light 2.5 Inch Caddx Vista Cinewhoop
Compatible with both Frsky D8/D16 Radio transmitter and DJI FPV Radio transmitter
New design 1204 High-efficiency brushless motors
Camera Angle adjustable
Smooth and powerful
Compatible both for 3s-4s Lipo/LIHV

Spare parts specifications:

MotorModel: EX1204
KV options: KV5000
Lipo cells: 3-4S
Stator Diamter:15mm
Stator Length:4mm
Shaft Diameter: Φ1.5mm
Motor Dimension(Dia.*Len):Φ15mm*15mm
PropellersBrand Name: Gemfan
Model: Flash 2540
Item Name: 2540 2.5×4 Inch 3-Blade Propeller
Material: PC
Center Mounting Hole: 1.5mm
Hub Thickness: 5mm
Blade Width: 9.9mm
Quantity: 4 Pairs
Weight: 0.98g
Flight controllerMCU:STM32F411CEU6 (100MHZ, 512K FLASH)
Sensor: MPU-6000(SPI connection)
Board size: 28.5 * 28.5MM
Power supply: 2-4S battery input (DC 8V-17V)
Built-in 12A(each) Blheli_S 4in1 ESC Dshot600 ready
Built-in Frsky D8/D16 SPI receiver
Built-in 2.4G Power Amplification
Built-in Betaflight OSD(SPI Control)
Built-in Current meter Max 70A
Built-in 5V 1.5A BEC
Built-in voltage detection
Onboard 4in1 ESCMCU upgraded to EFM8BB21
Power supply: 2-4S LiPo/LiPo HV (7v/17v)
Current: 12A continuous peak 15A (5 seconds)
Support BLHeliSuite programmable
Factory firmware: F_H_40_REV16_7.HEX
Default protocol: DSHOT600
Internal Frsky D8/16 receiver VersionSPI BUS receiver
Frsky D8/D16 compatible
Compatible Non-EU or EU-LBT transmitters both D8 mode and D16 mode
Channels: 8ch/16ch
Dual antenna
Failsafe support
No ground interference ( Transmitter and receiver 1 m from the ground): 400m
DJI FPV CameraSensor: 1/3.2” CMOS
Effective Pixels: 4M
Lens: 2.1mm,f/2.1
Shutter: Rolling shutter
ISO: 100-25600
FOV: 150° (D);122° (H);93° (V)
Caddx VistaBrand Name: Caddx
Item Name: Vista Kit
Operating Frequency: 5.725-5.850GHz
Transmitter Power(EIRP): FCC/SRRC/MIC: <30dBm, CE: <14dBm
Min. Latency (end-to-end): Low Latency Mode(720p 120fps): 21-28ms, High Quality Mode(720p 60fps): 30-40ms
Max. Transmission Distance: FCC/SRRC: 4km, CE: 0.7km
I/O Interface: USB-C,IPEX,3-in-1 Port,microSD card slot
Supported Flight Control System: F3,F4,F7
Operating Temperature Range: 32° to 104° F (0℃ ~40℃)
Input Power: 7.4-26.4V

Common Q & A:

What Is GPS, And How Does It Work In Drones?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) provides us with critical location information. GPS receivers pick up signals sent out by satellites orbiting the earth and triangulate their position based on the time delay between transmission and reception. The positioning accuracy of these devices is very high – anywhere from 2-60 meters depending on the device’s specifications. Since we rely so heavily on GPS technology, understanding how it works is imperative.

GPS uses 24 active satellites, plus at least 4 inactive spares.

The most powerful signal comes from “the master clock” located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The second type of signal, called L1, comes from a ground station near Madrid, Spain. These are the only two signals used by civilian users of GPS.

There are actually four different types of signals used in the military version of the system. Signal C is similar to the civilian signal, except it transmits twice per day instead of once. Signals A & B are transmitted at night and are used primarily for navigation, while signal E is used for short-range communications.

Each GPS satellite contains three atomic clocks. Two of these clocks keep track of the satellite’s position, while the third keeps track of the time offset from UTC.

GPS satellites are launched into orbit by rockets flying around 9600 km above Earth. Every few minutes, the satellite’s onboard computer sends its current position along with its velocity. The U.S. Naval Space Command then updates the data stored on the GPS control segments.

Once the GPS receiver receives the updated data, it compares what it knows about the location of the satellite to the real position of the satellite. Based on the differences, it calculates the distance between them. Using these distances, it calculates the difference in speed between the two objects. From that, it determines the exact position of the object.

In order to determine the time offset, the receiver looks at the time code embedded in the signal. When the signal gets back to the GPS receiver, it calculates how long it took for the signal to travel.

Based on this information, the receiver can calculate the precise time the signal was received.

An accurate GPS receiver needs at least five satellites to identify its location accurately.

It should be noted that GPS isn’t the only way to determine where something is. Other technologies use radio waves, infrared beams, sonar, radar, and ultrasound to locate things and even measure distances. However, no matter how accurate they may be, none of these systems have the precision of GPS, especially when working indoors.

Some drones have a built-in GPS receiver to navigate the skies. Others use external equipment to assist them in doing so. Depending on the size of the drone and the mission, there are some limitations on the maximum altitude and flight path.

For example, if the aircraft flies below 10,000 feet, it won’t be able to receive GPS signals from satellites. If it goes higher than 20,000 feet, it could cause interference with commercial airliners.

Can You Fly DJI Without GPS?

DJI is the leading drone manufacturer and recently launched a new version of their Mavic Pro. DJI drones have become popular among commercial users, hobbyists, and even private consumers. One of the greatest things about this model is its ease of use and affordability. However, if you do not need GPS navigation, then you may find yourself flying without it. DJI’s website mentions that this particular model does not require GPS, but it seems to be missing a few features. Let’s take a look at what exactly is required for DJI to work correctly without GPS.

There are two options for using a drone without GPS. First, you can use a smartphone app. This is recommended if you have access to Wi-Fi. Once connected, you can use the DJI Go App to control the drone. To help navigate around obstacles and avoid collisions with buildings, you can enable Obstacle Avoidance mode. Additionally, you can set the camera to automatically capture images whenever you release the controller. Another option is to use your mobile device’s built-in compass. Just know that the accuracy of the compass varies depending on the orientation of the phone. If you have the Mavic Pro, there is also an integrated barometer. So, if you are only interested in aerial photography, then these two tools should suffice.

If you would like to fly outside of your home or office, however, then getting a dedicated GPS receiver becomes necessary. A GPS receiver sends location coordinates to a drone via satellite signals. This way, you can fly anywhere that you want while keeping track of where you are and adjusting accordingly. In order to get started, you will first need to purchase a standalone unit. Then, pair it with your drone before taking off. Finally, make sure you keep it charged. While many people use a portable solar charger, some prefer a battery pack. It is preferable to keep the charging cable attached to both units to ensure they stay charged at the same time.

If you do not want to use a separate GPS receiver, then DJI also offers a feature called “Fly More Together.” If you select this option, then you can share your current location with others. Additionally, you can also send them directions to your exact position. This can help someone who is following behind you to avoid crashing into anything.

Even though DJI does not mention that it requires a GPS receiver, it is still possible to operate DJI without one. There are several ways to do this. First, you could connect your mobile device to the remote controller. Next, download the DJI GO App if you cannot connect to the internet (Wi-Fi). Lastly, you can simply follow DJI’s instructions on how to create a custom flight plan.

Can I Use IOC Without GPS?

IOC, (intelligent orientation control), is an automatic irrigation system that uses GPS technology to automatically adjust how much water goes where in order to maximize efficiency and save water.

IOC works by connecting to a GPRS signal, which then sends information to the controller. The controller turns this data into instructions that tell the valves what to do. You could use any kind of device to connect to the internet via wifi or cable.

So if you don’t have GPS, you can still use IOC.

Can DJI Mini 2 Fly Without GPS?

DJI Mavic Air drone comes without any built-in GPS module. But, don’t get worried! You don’t actually need that to fly the DJI Mavic Air. In fact, DJI does have a way where even if you do not have a GPS system, you can still control the drone using only Wi-Fi signals. There is no way to set the location manually. To make sure that you could always navigate your mini quadcopter without a GPS signal, here we discuss how DJI Mavic air works.

In order to take off, you basically have two options – either use a flying mode switch or just let go of the controller. Letting go of the controller is easier than using a flying mode switch, but both methods work equally well. If you want to take off using the flying mode switch, hold down the button at the front of the controller. If you would rather just let go of the remote controller than lift the drone up until it goes out of reach of the controller.

Is It Possible To Fly Mavic Mini Without GPS?

Yes, flying Mavic mini without GPS is possible. I have just bought a second-hand drone and I’m currently learning how to use it. As soon as I learn its features and controls better, ill start flying my drone around me.

Do Drones Have GPS?

Yes, they do have GPS inside them. They just don’t use them often. You can get a drone with a GPS device if you want. But it’s not really necessary for drones

Don’t worry about it

You could always go out and buy one of those cheap drones that doesn’t need a GPS device or anything and fly around with it and record what you see

What Is GPS-Denied Navigation?

GPS-denied navigation is basically the opposite of using GPS (Global Positioning System) to determine how to get somewhere. You aren’t looking at where your destination is on a map; instead, you’re looking at your current location, then trying to find directions that take you away from the place you are right now.

There are several reasons why someone would use this type of navigation to go places. First, they may not have access to GPS or their device doesn’t work properly. Second, this could be done for safety purposes—they don’t want anyone knowing exactly where they are going, especially if they are traveling alone or even if they’re just visiting someone who lives remotely. Third, people might prefer this approach to driving because it gives them a lot more control over the journey—whether they’re following a strict route or taking their time to explore.

What Are the Benefits of Using GPS-Denied Navigation App?

There are many benefits of using a GPS-denied navigation app over simply using the GPS function in your phone. One of the biggest benefits of not having the GPS signal is that it prevents your smartphone’s battery from draining out much sooner than usual. This is great news if you travel frequently or if you plan on leaving your phone plugged in overnight. Another benefit is that you don’t have to worry about your phone getting stolen while you are using it.

How Can I Use GPS-Denied Navigation Apps?

If you own a smartphone or tablet, there are plenty of Android and iOS apps that allow you to turn off your GPS signal. To do this, you’ll need to either disable the GPS settings on your phone or remove the application completely. Once you download a GPS-denied app, be sure to set it up correctly and test it before you leave home. Make sure you know how to reenable the GPS setting should you forget what you did! If you are able to connect to Wi-Fi networks along the way, consider disabling your cellular data connection.


Drones can fly without GPS to save money and avoid interference with other devices.

An autonomous drone relies on inertial sensor data for navigation.

Without GPS, an autonomous drone will still follow its planned route if there is a collision avoidance system installed.

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