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Pix4D and Pixhawk compatibility on fixed wings

 I was looking to build my own fixed wing drone for aerial mapping and precision agriculture. 

I wonder if Pix4D is compatible with Pixhawk hardware without limitations for this kind of work.

If so, is it possible to integrate the Sequoia camera in this system?

Hi Daniel,

Pix4Dmapper can process images taken with any cameras, DSLR, large format or lightweight compact camera, perspective or fisheye lens, and using any applications. The only requirement is to have .jpeg or .tiff images.
More information here on the inputs: https://support.pix4d.com/hc/en-us/articles/202558539

If you want to geotag the images using Pixhawk then Pix4Dmapper will be able to process the images without limitations.
Regarding your last question, we are not sure to understand how you would like to integrate Sequoia. Could you please explicit a bit?

Regards,

I think “…without limitation” is a little misleading.

From what I’ve seen, Pix4d syncs with the pix hawk flight log’s CAM messages, and does not allow for multiple flight logs.

Doing it this way, you would need to make sure that your first image is indeed the first image triggered by the flight log.
You also need to make sure that you’re using a setup where the triggering is actually handled by the FC. Many people are using an intervalometer, so the CAM messages are ignored.

Not saying it doesn’t work, but there’s more to it than a simple “yes”.

No matter what, you can get it to work in pix4d…but importing the flight log in to p4d might not be the way to do it for your setup.

It’s a rookie question.
I was actually wondering if instead of using mission planer, I could use Pix4Dmapper Pro to do the flight plan, upload it to Pixhawk so that it can automate the role process of autonomous flight path also controling a Sequoia camera, just as it would do if using a DJI multirrotor.
Or Pix4D will only process the images afterwards and all the flight plan must be done with Mission Planer?

Is there a fixed wing UAV that works just like the DJI multirrotors with Pix4Dmapper?

Hi Daniel, I’ve built a small fleet of Pixhawk/APM powered UAV. APM boards you can get cheap, the user community is tremendous, and the system is incredibly open and flexible. Perfect for DIY.

As Derrick indicated there are a couple ways of using Pixhawk/APM in combination with Pix4D and a sensor but I’m not sure I’d bother. Let Pixhawk do the driving. Sequoia has its own high-quality GPS on-board, geotagging its own images at precisely the right time. After the flight point Pix4D at geotagged images and you’re done.

And its not hard to send a trigger impulse out of Pixhawk/APM if you want to. I don’t see any limitations if you’re worried there’s something you’re missing. You’d just use Mission Planner. No doubt you’ve been over to DIYdrones?

Steve

Hi,

Thank you for your replies that will surely help other users.

@ All

There are two ways to process images in Pix4Dmapper when flying a Solo.

1. Extraction of the log file and import into Pix4Dmapper
Once the flight mission log file is taken from the SD card or extracted using Mission Planner, import it into Pix4Dmapper to define the geolocation of the images (accepted formats are.log/.tlog/.csv/.txt). For more information: https://support.pix4d.com/hc/en-us/articles/205320215

In the first step of processing, Pix4Dmapper tries to align the camera and GPS times but it may fail. After running step 1. Initial Processing, the user should check the image geotags in the Quality Report and verify that they do not accumulate near the takeoff and landing points. Delays could also be visible along the flight tracks. In this case, using Mission Planner to geotag the images is recommended.

2. Image geotagging using Mission Planner
No need to connect Pixhawk to apply this procedure. It only requires the log file in the .csv format that is generated after extracting the log file using Mission Planner.  For more information, see Tuffwing website: http://www.tuffwing.com/support/geotag_gopro_images_with_pixhawk_log.html

Note that when flying Solo with Sequoia, the two should connect with a cable that connects the camera to the gimbal of the drone. This cable is not commercialized yet. Here is Parrot’s SQ forum-community page: https://community.parrot.com/t5/Sequoia/bd-p/Sequoia

@ Daniel

Pix4Dmapper is a processing software to convert your images into into 3D models, maps and more. To assist our users for the flight plan we have a mobile application that support DJI drones, Parrot Bebop 2 and on Android only, 3DR Solo. This will probably be very interesting to you. You can find more on how to get started here: https://support.pix4d.com/hc/en-us/articles/202557269
Image coordinates are saved in the .p4d file that is generated at the end of the mission, so that you can process in Pix4Dmapper with image geolocation. Note that however, Pix4Dcapture does not write in the image EXIF.

If you want to know more about our general recommendations for the image acquisition plan, please see:
https://support.pix4d.com/hc/en-us/articles/202557459

Regards,

Hello Pix4d Support, pixhawk which runs the APM firmware now has two different messages related to the camera logging. There is a TRIG message that is logged when the computer is sending the signal to trigger the camera. A hotshoe on the flash of the camera has a pc connection cable that is plugged into the pixhawk, the pixhawk listens for the flash and then logs a CAM message which is a confirmation that an image was captured.  Currently when importing a 3DR log… which should be renamed to APM log since 3DR products are based on the APM flight stack and 3DR no longer supports open source or drone code… the imported data does not match the logged data. Lat Long and Elevation are incorrect and it has been this way for a while now. Also usually the first and last image do not get any geolocation data imported even though the number of CAM messages match 100% every time with the number of images captured. Its a real shame because this method is currently the only way to input YAW PITCH and ROLL and have Pix4D convert them to OMEGA PHI and KAPP values. (Photoscan currently will let you import YAW PITCH and ROLL in a log file and convert to OMEGA PHI KAPPA, please make is so we can do this as well!!)

I was recently at the ASPRS conference in Palm Springs, California and spoke to Antoine Martin and Andrew McIntyre about these as well as a few other issues.

It would be great if this could be resolved. Most professionals that I know rely on pixhawk and other hardware running APM since it works so much better than DJI for photogrammetry applications and recently the US department of interior banned DJI products from performing government contracts .

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I really think Pix4D is a great product and would gladly help the team improve it in anyway I can help.

Hi Nicholas,

Thank you very much for your feedback and all the details you could provide.
Also thank you for the nice comment.

We have reported your suggestion that will be considered by our Product Team for future development of the software. We will be happy to get in touch with you in the future if needed.

Regards,

Just a quick note Nicholas-

 

3DR does still support DroneCode, which is primarily pushing the PX4 flight stack.  The Ardupilot (APM) project separated from DroneCode due to the changes to the licensing agreement. 

 

 

Hi all

Nice discussion, I’m not that of a guru on how the firm and the planner etc works, I do fly lots of fixed wing UAV with Pixhawk controllers and now waiting for new  build which should come with new pixhawk. Anyway, what is annoying with Mission planner also is that you can not geotagg TIFFS, it just gives you double work that you have to geotag JPEGS then use the resulting location file in Pix4D to process TIFFs. I’m also a huge support of the idea that Pix4d should have its own geotagging tool that recognizes Pixhawk logs so that we can reduce the amount of work that we have to do. With regards to how GPS log is logged  with pixhawk, as Nicholas pointed out I use Segull triggers, which makes me feel comfortable using cameras that have no horse shoe, oops flash shoe I mean! :slight_smile: My favorite camera so far has been Sony A5100 with Voitglander II lens, perfect combination. Voitglander III has too long barrel hence too much vignetting. Apparently the new one with E-mount has no vignetting, I would love to try it.

Thanks all for your valuable contributions, Nicholas, it seems I have 5000 things to learn from you!

Thanks

Clarence