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Topographic Land Survey Mission Planning - Gimbal Angle Setting?

I need an app to do some mapping where typically I identify the boundary of the area then specify 3-5 missions, preferably they all run consecutively remembering where it left off when I change batteries.  On each mission I just tell it

 

(a) what pattern to fly the area crops-duster, orbit, etc

(b) what the gimbal angle is

© either a GSD (if pointed straight own) and it calculates the AGL based on the drone’s camera specs, or I specify the AGL

(d) the frontlap and sidelap percentages

(e) the speed I want to fly (it then calculates how often the shutter goes off based on speed and frontlap/sidelap)

(f) various camera settings (a given)

 

DroneDeploy does all this EXCEPT I can’t point the camera at any angle other than down when running anything except an orbit pattern!

 

I use mostly Android, so I prefer that, but if I have to go buy an iPad I will.  Again, I’m need an app that calculates the flight pattern based on all those parameters.  I don’t want to have to draw my own flight paths, just drop points to define the area to be flown.

 

How does Pix4D Capture fair in this area of functionality for this type of application? Is the app reliable without any significant bugs that can ruin your day?  I also used DJI Ultimate Flight a year ago but have not messed with it since and see it’s not updated very often and the community and support is pretty thin compared to DD and the other major apps.

 

What’s the best solution on the Android side and on the iOS side that does all this, is reliable and has decent support? 

 

Hi Jeff,

Sorry for the late reply. To answer your questions:

(a) what pattern to fly the area crops-duster, orbit, etc

On Android and iOS, you can fly polygon, simple grid, double grid, circular and free flight missions (learn more).

(b) what the gimbal angle is

Adjustable for both Android and iOS. You can define the vertical angle between 0° and 90° but the flexibility also depends on the type of mission. For more information, I suggest to check the articles describing the settings.

© either a GSD (if pointed straight own) and it calculates the AGL based on the drone’s camera specs, or I specify the AGL

The GSD is closely related to the flight altitude (AGL) that you can define when planning the mission. On iOS you can see the equivalent GSD value as you change the altitude. For Android, you can find indicative GSD values if you have a DJI drone here. Note that the drone records altitude above sea level (egm96) and this is the altitude value written in the image EXIF. The altitude scale is 10-meter interval for Android, and 1-meter interval for iOS.

(d) the frontlap and sidelap percentages

It is possible to define the general overlap (front) on Android. The side overlap is then automatically set (learn more). On iOS however, there are two separate settings.

(e) the speed I want to fly (it then calculates how often the shutter goes off based on speed and frontlap/sidelap)

There are different picture trigger modes.

  • Android: The action to shoot a picture is based on a time lapse. The app requires to be connected to the drone time to time to get a feedback about its position. The time lapse is adjusted based on the selected speed.
  • iOS Safe: The drone stops to take every picture which significantly increases the flight time. The way-points where to shoot are uploaded to the drone before starting the mission. This means the drone can fly the mission without requiring a connection with the app.
  • iOS Fast: The app sends a signal when to shoot. This mode does not make the drone stop but the connection with the drone should be maintained without interruption. It is solely based on the position of the aircraft.

(f) various camera settings (a given)

This article details the camera settings that are effective when flying with Pix4Dcapture.

(*) resume mission

On Android, there is a resume option that is similar to multi-battery (learn more). On iOS, there will soon be this feature, probably by the end of January. On neither operating system can you run the missions automatically one after the other. You have to press the Start button each time a mission is finished. In the coming multi-battery flight feature, you can design a large mission and you will just need to tap Continue after changing the battery. However, if you want to have different flight settings, you have to plan and fly separate missions and you cannot take advantage of the resume option.

Some new functionalities may only be available on one operating system for a while, for development reasons, but also to measure the users’ response and need. In any case, we provide full support for both Android and iOS and you will find helpful articles in our dedicated support site section. We also provide direct support via our ticketing system to any users holding valid S&U, for any of our products.

For optimal experience with Pix4Dcapture, we recommend to proceed with basic checks. This article helps users to troubleshoot app issues in most cases. If you have any doubts on the workflow with the app, you can refer to our getting started (Android, iOS).

Hope this helps!