Map Pilot for DJI - Business, by Maps Made Easy
Maps Made Easy's Map Pilot for DJI - Business app is an excellent easy to use mission planner for SLANTRANGE systems. It provides paid support for custom connectionless cameras and can be configured for the 2p, 3p, and 3PX systems. Download the app from the Apple app store.
The app version at the time of this tutorial is 2.4.8 and the price is $39.99. Map Pilot does not support the added features available through the DJI Skyport.
Setup Custom Camera Parameters
The first step before planning a mission is to setup the app to use a customer camera and enter in the parameters. This is an important step so that the correct flight plan can be calculated for SLANTRANGE sensors. If the camera parameters are not input correctly you will end up with gaps in your map.
- On the main screen, select the Settings icon.
- On the settings page, in the FLIGHT CAMERA section, select Model.
- Change the selection to Custom Camera found on the bottom and go back to the settings page.
- On the settings page the FLIGHT CAMERA should have changed to Custom Camera and the camera parameters list will be expanded. Enter in the following values for each parameter.
- X Resolution (pixels) - 1280
- Y Resolution (pixels) - 1080
- Pixel Pitch (um) - 4.8
- Focal Length (mm) - 12
- Max Image Rate (seconds per frame) - 1
- Please review the other settings and change them to your preferences. To find out more about them please visit the Drones Made Easy support page.
Now that the app is configured for the SLANTRANGE sensors whenever a mission is created the flight plan will have the correct leg spacing and speed.
Mission Planning Tutorial
In the following tutorial, we will guide you through planning a basic mapping mission for data collection.
Note - There are more advanced flight planning features available such as terrain following and linear flight planning. Please visit the Drones Made Easy support page for more information.
Start planning a mission by selecting Create New Mission from the main screen.
On the map page scroll to the area for survey using your finger to pan and pinch in and out to zoom. Expand the flight planning control menus by tapping them with your finger.
Add polygon corners by tapping and holding down. An orange dot will appear indicating a corner. To move a corner, tap the dot, hold, and drag. Once all the corners have been added and the polygon border complete, adjust the flight parameters.
On the left, use the slider to adjust the altitude to achieve the desired pixel resolution. A quick metric to use for SLANTRANGE systems is 0.4cm/pixel for every 10 meters of altitude. For example 90m altitude = 0.4cm/pixel * 9 = 3.6cm/pixel.
Note - The type of SLANTVIEW data you want to generate will determine the resolution needed. If you don't know what altitude and resolution to set your flight plan to, please read the Mission Planning section of the guide.
Once the altitude is set, adjust the sidelap and frontlap by selecting the Overlap icon from the top configuration section.
Set the Along Track overlap to 50% which will set the aircraft speed to account for the camera trigger rate and motion blur. Set the Across Track overlap to 20%-30% depending upon wind conditions or data collection type.
Note - The overlap recommendations are for traditional stitching techniques and can be ignored if processing with SLANTVIEW.
Hide the overlap menu by selecting the Overlap icon again.
Next change the Connection setting to Connectionlessby tapping the icon.
Hide the top configuration menu by swiping up. At this point the flight lines should be visible and reviewed. Lastly, rotate the flight plan using two fingers and rotating to account for wind direction, plant row direction, and mission time.
Next review the flight metrics in the upper left display and save the mission using the save icon for offline use or to repeat.
After mission planning is complete, start data capture on the SLANTRANGE sensor by pressing the AIS button for 1 second and then release. The cameras will start to initialize and once the green LED starts to blink, prepare for flight.
Open the Flight Control menu on the top right and press the Upload button.
Once it's done uploading, verify the blue flight line is correct. If everything looks OK, press the Start button to begin the flight.
The aircraft will take off, ascend to the mission altitude and proceed to the first waypoint. Please keep the aircraft in visual line of sight and a hand on the controller in case of emergencies. Once the mission is complete, the aircraft will return home and land.
Once landed, stop data collection by pressing the AIS button for 1 second. Wait for all the LEDs to turn solid. At this point the mission is complete and the log files have been generated. It is now safe to power down the sensor.