I know that it is not recommended but just by curiosity did anyone tried to use the app in a no fly zone area?
Yes, I have used it almost exclusively in a no fly zone. You have to do free flight missions. They take some flying skill but still work. I have found it best to do this with a partner. One watching the flight trajectory and giving some corrective movements to ensure proper overlap, and the person flying using the map view in the app and only watching the screen to watch and trace good overlapping lines during flight.
Hi Whitnie! Thanks for the reply I was beginning to think that no one tried that. I guess for the grid mission it doesn’t work since you have to give waypoints to the drone?
Our application does not integrate the flight limit zones imposed by DJI. That is why it is possible to place the mission grid over a restricted area. The way that our application works is the following: the waypoints are uploaded to the drone, then app commands the drone to take off. The app does not command how to reach each waypoints, the drone does it autonomously.
The only thing that the application does during the mission is that it commands the drone to take images every 10 meters to ensure a good image overlap at 50 meters altitude.
If the drone enters or takes off in a no fly zone, then it should have the behavior that was implemented by DJI and the drone will probably land or refuse to take off.
We admit that we didn’t tried to fly in restricted areas and we would not recommend to use our app in such areas. However it is a good suggestion to handle the restricted areas from DJI. We will pass your suggestion to the product management team so that they can study for future versions.
I’m not sure that forbid UAV mission in no fly zone is a good idea for Pix4d Capture App. The no fly zone imposed by DJI is, in my mind, to avoid a leisure use of Phantom in restricted area. Common users don’t necessary know aeronautical rules and this function is a good security for them and for others users of airspace.
But when we use UAV for professional use, we have to know these rules and we have to know where we’re flying. And for some missions, we have to fly in no fly zones. With special authorizations, it’s possible. But if our app doesn’t work in these conditions, it will be very difficult to make a good job.
So, I think it should be better, in no fly zone, to have a warning message for example from the app, but we must have the choice to continue the mission.
Thanks for your attention.
Hi Fx Dubois,
Thanks for your comments, we will pass them as well for evaluation to the product development team.
Hi I posted a Support request with Pix4D support and also with DJI in order to Fix this issue. We will lose a lot of quality in the sensing result when we start flying manually in a No Fly Zone. This is not an option.
At this point I have authorization until September 20, 2016 to fly in a military No-Fly Zone in order to capture data with Sequoia and to process in Pix4D.
I have received authorization from the Dutch Military Aviation Authority to fly with my Phantom 3 Professional (having a Dutch airworthiness certificate) in this No-Fly Zone.
DJI has provided me with the Unlock license for this zone until September 20, 2016.
Flying with the DJI Go App in this No Fly zone is working, however when I close DJI Go App and start Pix4D capture, the app will NOT download the waypoints to the Phantom 3P. This is probably because the unlock license is not activated any more (probably because the aircraft is stopped or the DJI Go app is stopped) and therefore Pix4Dcapture gets the No Fly zone blocking info from the Phantom and therefore cannot continue with the fly sequence.
Pix4D should work with DJI to fix this issue because in countries like the Netherlands we have a lot of controlled airspace on top of agriculture locations.
Probably DJI has the key for the solution and that is that once that the No-Fly zone is unlocked in the Phantom by the DJI Go App, they should keep the unlock status on in the aircraft until battery is switched off. In this case we can stop the DJI Go APP and start Pix4Dcapture to fly waypoints. DJI should make sure that the Pix4Dcapture app is then allowed to load in the waypoints and start the flying sequence.
It is usually required to have the automatic flying mode activated in order to use the app but in restricted areas, only the manual flying mode is allowed.
Therefore, you could try to take off the drone and start the mission in the manual flying mode. For this you need to discard this autopilot requirement by enabling the Advanced user mode in Pix4Dcapture. In the Home screen, go to Settings > section Advanced, and check the box Enable advanced mode.
Note that the Advanced user mode is in our pipeline for iOS but it will not come soon.
Also note that with Phantom 4, Pix4Dcapture does not require to have one or the other flying mode activated. The mission should start anyway so just make sure to be in the manual mode.
We have not tried to fly in restricted areas on our side and we would not recommend to use our app in such areas. However, it is a good suggestion to handle the restricted areas from DJI. We will pass again this suggestion to the product team that will consider it for future versions.