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Mapping for SAR and setting POIs

Our SAR organization has been using the trial version of PIX4Dreact and the scenario is as follows.
The search area is known and is marked out for the software to fly the mission while searchers are watching the screen. Points of Interest need to be marked or investigated since the simulation is finding a missing person. Some issues were encountered during this process and I’d like to know if these are feature gaps or user issues.

  • There was an inability during the flight to set markers and get GPS coordinates at those markers
  • RPICs found it difficult to break from the mission to investigate some point of interest and then return to the mission. Since this is made for SAR type missions it seems this would be a useful feature but perhaps we did something wrong.

Any help is appreciated. During these missions, we would normally want to send ground search teams to GPS coordinates so having the ability to set markers and have those on screen live is crucial. Being able to break from the mission to investigate is as well.

Dear mturnbow,

  • There was an inability during the flight to set markers and get GPS coordinates at those markers

What do you mean with during the flight? Pix4Dreact process the imagery after the flight, and the flight planning is not handled by our software. You should be able to get the GPS coordinates when you left click anywhere on the processed maps in Pix4Dreact.

  • RPICs found it difficult to break from the mission to investigate some point of interest and then return to the mission. Since this is made for SAR type missions it seems this would be a useful feature but perhaps we did something wrong.

Can you elaborate what you mean with RPICs is this a 3rd party software for flight planning?

  • What do you mean with during the flight? Pix4Dreact process the imagery after the flight, and the flight planning is not handled by our software. You should be able to get the GPS coordinates when you left click anywhere on the processed maps in Pix4Dreact.

I understand that Pix4d React is a “mapping” software, however since this version states it’s aimed at Search and Rescue or Response organizations, shouldn’t it have the ability in flight to create markers? If it’s not designed that way, ok, consider this an enhancement request.

  • Can you elaborate what you mean with RPICs is this a 3rd party software for flight planning?

RPIC is the Remote Pilot in Command. What I mean is that in Search and Rescue, it’s a very fluid process and environment. We are not necessarily going to fly a creeping line and build a map then go look at the images when we happen to see something of interest in the flight at that time. We would want to stop the mission, investigate and if it’s something of interest like evidence we would want to have ground teams investigate at that time.

I get it that this is a mapping flight planner software. But if it’s stated purpose is for SAR then it should be more flexible to accommodate that purpose.

  1. Sometimes we may only want to fly a planned mission and stitch all the pictures into an overlay
  2. Sometimes we may want to break from the mission to investigate evidence and then return to the mission from where it broke off
  3. Sometimes we may want to set markers in mission so we can check those coordinates later

Hi,

Thanks for the interesting feedback. I understand the importance of real-time actions during Search and Rescue. Thanks for bringing it up. I think the functionality of stopping the drone and get the coordinate of an AOI is functionality that your flight planning app might have if you use it in manual mode. Which drone are you using? And which app are you using to fly? Did you consult with your drone manufacturer about this?

Now, as my colleague mentioned, PIX4Dreact processes the images after the flight. Our users are using PIX4Dreact for SAR activities; they collect the data and process the photos in minutes, so they plan their operation in the field. One scenario our users shared with us is that there are some areas not easily accessible for people, so they map the area in minutes (10 minutes or less depending of your dataset), and then plan how their teams can enter those areas and also go directly to some spots (coordinates) as in some cases those spots on the map already show you something.

Best,