Flight parameters and tips

Parameters

Overlap 75%
Sidelap 75%
Weather Full sun or full cloud cover
Speed Between 9m/s and 12m/s depending on height
Height 
Small trees (0.5m - 1.5m): 80m
Medium trees (1.5m - 3m): 100m
Large trees (3m & above): 120m
Wind  Phantom 4 & similar sized drones: 20km/h




Matrice & similar sized drones: 25 km/h 



Flying Tips

  • Always fly from the highest point.
  • Make sure you have a larger car that can handle the tough terrain of farms and be able to get from block to block easily.
  • Make sure that there is no more than 30m elevation difference per flight.
  • Fly between 9.30 am and 3:30 pm. Smaller trees or vines can be flown from 9:30 am. Bigger trees to be flown closer to solar noon. Start the day and end the day with smaller trees, which reduces the possibility of shadows. Bigger trees will have larger shadows for a longer portion of the day.
  • Don’t fly when there are rolling or scattered clouds. You can fly when there is full cloud cover.
  • Make sure the DJI drone camera is using default settings. 
  • Make sure your MicaSense camera is updated to the latest firmware. Check for the latest update here.
  • In between flights, load your data onto your computer and ensure that there are no defective or missing images. It is best to ensure everything is there before you leave the farm. You don’t want to get home and attempt to upload but have missing images or insufficient coverage.
  • When selecting a boundary to fly, ensure you fly with a buffer so that there is enough coverage. Either pull the blue dots out or fly with a bigger flight path. Often the MicaSense camera misses a photo when it turns.
  • We have had cases of the power plug on the MicaSense camera losing connection. We recommend securing the cable with some putty or hot glue to ensure the vibrations during flight don’t cause the camera to switch off and miss images.
  • To make sure you have enough Micasense MSP coverage from your flights, drop all the images into the Aeroview uploader in the field.
  • If the boundary is a triangle please redraw the boundary as shown below:

Aeroview Mapping Uploader 

We have added a few improvements to our Aeroview Mapping Uploader. Here are 4 the main updates: 

  1. The uploader will automatically retry failed images 5 times. If it still fails after 5 times, the upload will continue uploading the remaining images until everything else is uploaded. Then the upload will need to be refreshed and resumed in order to reupload the failed images.
  2. The uploader ensures that images end up in the correct cloud location. Often uploads were going to multiple locations which slowed down the speed of uploads.
  3. Checks are performed on image metadata and firmware. One of those checks is on MicaSense firmware. We expect all pilots to be running at least v5.0.0. Please make sure your MicaSense firmware is updated. 

The uploader will no longer use a coverage estimation for orchard selection but rather an image count. The orchard will be highlighted in orange if the coverage is uncertain and has less than 5 photos within the boundary. Whether these uncertain blocks are selected for processing or not is up to the pilot. This often happens with small orchards or adjacent orchards. Please take note of the orchards to process page and inform dronepartners@aerobotics.com if you have any questions or issues. 

Organizing your data

  1. Offload data from both the MicaSense and Phantom every 2-3 flights onto a laptop
  2. To ensure your data looks good, have a look at the first and last images.
  3. To ensure you don't have any corrupt files, arrange the images in order of size - any photos with a size of 0kb are corrupted. 
  4. To organize the collected data, create a folder called flight 1. Within that folder, create two folders, one called MSP and one called Visual. Copy the visual images from the DJI Phantom memory card to the Visual folder and copy the Multispectral images from the MicaSense memory card to the MSP folder. Do that for every flight thereafter.

Download the In Field Flight Tips

Drone Tutorial Videos

A series of drone tutorial videos relating to flight setup & parameters and data organization:

  1. Flight Setup & Parameters
  2. Post Flight File Organisation & Data Check

Flight Setup & Parameters

Post Flight File Organisation & Data Check