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Pix4DCapture Lowest Altitude 10 meters

Hello, 

I have recently started doing data capture for my work using our DJI Phantom 3 Pro. So far everything has been very successful using the Capture app and the Mapper software for reconstruction. 

Our work is agricultural based, and so flying at the lowest altitude is best for our down-stream analysis of the images taken. 

However we feel we may be able to get more detail and therefore extract more information, from the crops, by flying at a 6m altitude. 
Using the double grid feature I know the lowest altitude that I can fly is 10m. 

So my question is does anyone know if there is a way for me to fly at a 6m altitude whilst still using the Pix4DCapture app or would I be best to just use DJI apps where I know I can stay at that altitude?

Thank you, 

Joshua Ball

Hi Joshua,

10 meters is the lowest altitude that Pix4Dcapture supports for all automated missions, including single grid, double grid, circular, and polygon.

You can fly a Freeflight mission lower than 10 meters above ground level with Pix4Dcapture, however, I do not recommend that you fly a Free Flight mission to capture your project area. You can learn more about planning and flying a Free Flight mission at: How to prepare and start a free flight mission

I have taken the opportunity to share your interest in flying an automated mission below 10 meters for consideration as part of the ongoing development of Pix4Dcapture. 

Please keep in mind that your drone will fly at the same height above its home point, so you must take extra caution when flying an automated mission at a low altitude, especially when the terrain elevation varies. Your drone will not automatically follow the terrain and I recommend that you do not rely on your drone’s collision avoidance system to account for changes in terrain elevation.

If you have not already done so, please consider checking if you will be able to identify your project’s smallest features of interest with the ground sampling distance you will achieve when your drone flies at approximately 10 meters above ground level. You can estimate your project’s ground sampling distance with Pix4D’s Basic GSD Calculator and find all of the camera parameters you need for the calculation in the Bundle Block Adjustment Details section of your recent Pix4D Quality Reports. You may find that you are able to gain all the insight you need when flying at 10 meters above ground level, or even higher.

I did not see an update so I thought that I would chime in as well. I was hoping that the flight deck would be lowered to 5m as it is in the DJI GS Pro app. That application is a nightmare to deal with, and Capture has always been our application of choice. However, There is a time and a place where the ability to stay below obstructions and lower the GSD would be enormously helpful. I have had 30-40 missions where 5-6m would have worked perfectly based on the pre-flight check of obstruction elevations, but at 10m the risk of contact with trees or wires was just too high. Ultimately, it forced the final mission altitude to over 20m which more than double the GSD and resulted in the loss of critical detail in the ortho and shadowing of areas requiring mapping. Add a low altitude warning pop-up to the planning if you must, but lowering the flight deck would have benefits nationally here in the US, I assure you. The app is fantastic, and has been my constant go-to even after testing app after app, but this small tweak would relieve and huge hurdle not just for me, but for every other pilot in my industry as the technology gains more wide spread adoption.    

Hi William,

Thank you for having taken the time to share your experience and the pain point that you have been through when using our application. It is very useful for us to understand the needs of our users.

I agree that a warning pop-up can be a solution for users to be aware that they potentially are taking the risk to damage their drone as our application does not any terrain-awareness feature implemented at the moment.

Be reassured that your feedback has been shared with the developer’s team but at the moment I can not say if/when this feature will be implemented in the future.

Best,