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First Flight Recommendations & Questions

Greetings all. We’ve recently purchased a P4P that we’ll be using to help in the survey department (flying large areas to pickup surface topography). I’m getting ready to fly our first test project and I wanted to get some suggestions on best-practice settings for the flight - things like speed, altitude, etc:

Setup:

  • P4P, iPad mini4, high-speed SD card
  • need to collect ~80’ wide swath following the roadway
  • will collect GCP that will also be surveyed traditionally for control

I’d rather spend more time in the field and come home with best possible imagery - slower collection, more coverage, etc.

Questions:

  • what altitude should I fly at with this setup for the best resolution. I’ve read higher is better but there must be some reduction on the return at some point.
  • picture trigger mode: I assume “safe” is going to produce better images but lengthy the flight time
  • flight speed control - I would assume slower the better, but if I’m using the “Safe capture” where the drone pauses flight, can I increase the speed between those points?
  • angle of the camera setting: why can I only get it to 80degrees? If I have the camera pointed straight down, what should this be set to?

I’m sure this won’t be the last set of questions. Thanks all!

Hello @bdc. Welcome to the world of photogrammetry and mapping!!!

Q1.what altitude should I fly at with this setup for the best resolution? I’ve read higher is better but there must be some reduction on the return at some point.
Most of the project requirements should be based on the GSD(Ground Sampling Distance) rather than the resolution. We usually recommend you to fly at around 40m above the ground with 75% front and 75% side overlap.

Q2. picture trigger mode: I assume “safe” is going to produce better images but lengthy the flight time
Usually, if your camera has the rolling shutter, it is recommended to fly slower to that the effect is not visible on the image. I would not recommend using safe mode as it will take more time to complete the project. The better option is to fly slower.

Q3.flight speed control - I would assume slower the better, but if I’m using the “Safe capture” where the drone pauses flight, can I increase the speed between those points?
If you decide to use the safe mode you can set the maximum speed between the points because it won’t affect the image acquisition.

Q4.angle of the camera setting: why can I only get it to 80degrees? If I have the camera pointed straight down, what should this be set to?
You can define the orientation of the camera from a range between 45° and 80°. 45 degree denotes the camera pointing horizontally and similarly, 80 degrees denotes the 10 degrees from the verticle.

Regards,