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Mapping missions for orthomosaic / stand count

On this tutorial you will see how to fly for Orthomosaics and Stand Count Flights.

For creating the orthomosaic and the stand count layers, we need to fly the drone in a mapping pattern mission. In a mapping mission, the drone takes images with overlap and our system stitches them all into a single big image.

To operate the mapping missions please use the following apps, depending on your device type:
Android devices and Smart Controller: DJI Pilot PE App
Download and install the APK installation file from the DJI website: 
https://www.dji.com/downloads/djiapp/dji-pilot-pe
Make sure to download the version for Mavic 2 Enterprise Series.

iOS iPads devices: Please use the DJI GS PRO app by DJI.

WARNING
When flying at a high altitude there is more risk of getting close to manned aircraft. Please be aware and take extra caution while flying. Be ready to take manual control if needed and always follow your local drone laws.

When creating big mapping missions:
The maximum number of images limit is 1500 images per flight. 
Please keep that in mind when creating a mission. Upload of more than 1500 images won't be possible.

Tips for getting the best results:

  • Weather and Time of day - choose a time when the sun is just above the plants, to minimize the shadows in the pictures.
    Clouds creating big shadows over parts of the field will reduce the quality and accuracy of the orthomosaic. It's always better to fly on a sunny clear day, but if not possible, flying when the whole area is cloudy is better than when only part of it is.
  • Make sure there are no moving machines in the field during the mission (i.e tractors and moving irrigation towers).
  • Stand Count - at the moment our stand count analysis is for potatoes.
    When flying for stand count, please make sure the plants are in a stage where they are bigger than 10cm/4inches but still not touching each other.

Flight instructions:

DJI Pilot

1. Set a custom camera (first time only - for Mavic 2 Pro)
If you're using a Phantom 4 drone, please skip to the next step.
If you're using the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, you need to enter the camera specification into the app. This needs to be done only once.
On the app main screen, select "Mission Flight", then select "Create a route":

Select "Mapping".:

Tap anywhere on the screen to create a polygon. 
Click the side arrow button on the top right to access the mission settings:


Under camera type, select "Custom Camera".
Under the Custom Camera list, click the ADD CAMERA button:

Use the following settings for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro camera:
Name: Mavic 2 Pro
Photo Size (Width): 5472px
Photo Size (Height): 3648px
Sensor Size (Width): 13.2mm
Sensor Size (Height): 8.8mm
Focal Length: 10.26mm
Min. Interval: 2.0s

Make sure to click done when finished.
On the mission settings, you should now see the Mavic 2 Pro camera is selected:

2. Set your mapping mission (for every mapping mission)
On the app main screen, select "Mission Flight", then select "Create a route"
Select "Mapping". 
Tap anywhere on the screen to create a polygon. Drag the polygon points and match them to the area you want to cover. You can add more points by clicking the + buttons.
Click the side arrow button on the top right to access the mission settings.
Verify the mission settings:
Camera type: If you're using Mavic 2 pro, select custom camera - Mavic 2 Pro.
If you're using any of the Phantom 4 models, select your drone from the list.
Photo Mode: Timed Interval Shot
Altitude: For orthomosaic (general field overview): 330ft/100m. 
For stand count missions: 100ft/30m.

Tip: When flying for stand count, covering the whole field can take a lot of time because of the lower altitude.
Please choose a small area of your field to fly. Based on the result for this area you will get a stand count estimation for your whole field.

Takeoff Speed: Leave value on default.
Speed: Set the slider to the maximum. Note: Max value will change according to flight altitude.
Upon completion: Return To Home
Click the Advanced Settings button and set those settings:
Side Overlap Ratio: 70%
Frontal Overlap Ratio: 70%
Course Angle: Change the value so the flying path will match your polygon, with fewer turns as possible.
See the 2 examples:

Margin: 0

When done, click the save button on the left side of the screen:

The mission will be saved and can be played later.

3. Set Camera settings for the mission (for every mapping mission, before flight)
After you created or opened an existing mission, make sure the app is connected to your drone (Ready to go status).
Click the camera view on the bottom left side of the screen:

On the top right, make sure AFC Mode is selected:

Click the camera settings button and verify these settings:
For Stand Count (30m):
Exposure Mode: S
ISO: 200
Shutter:  1/1600
EV: 0

For Orthomosaic:
Exposure Mode: S
ISO: AUTO (click the AUTO button to the right)
Shutter:  1/1600
EV: 0

When done, click the map box at the bottom left corner to get back to the map view.
Then you can click the play button to start the mission:

Pausing a mission:
At any time during the mission, you can click the PAUSE button located on the left side of the screen. Then, you can switch the flight mode to S and control the drone manually.

Battery replacement during a mission:
The drone will return home when the battery is low.
A small PAUSE mark will appear at the place where the drone stopped.
After a battery replacement and re-connection, you can click the play button and select "resume mission". The drone will fly to the pause mark and continue the mission.

 

DJI Pilot App disappear on Smart Controller
After a restart of the Smart Controller, the DJI Pilot app might disappear from your main app's view. Don't worry, all you need to do is navigate to the APK installation file and install it again. It will refresh the app and all your files and settings will be still there.

 

DJI GS Pro

1. After logging in to the app, click the blue + button to create a new mission.

2. Select the PhotoMap option.

3. Set your polygon.

4. Mission settings - Basic (right side)
Camera Model: select your drone model from the list
Shooting Angle: Course Aligned
Capture mode: Capture at Equal Time Interval
Flight Course mode: Inside Mode
Height: For orthomosaic, general field overview: 330ft/100m.
For stand count missions: 100ft/30m.

5. Mission settings - Advanced
Front Overlap: 70%
Side Overlap: 70%
Course Angle: Change the value so the flying path will match your polygon, with fewer turns as possible.
Margin: 0
End-Mission Action: Return To Home

6. Connect the drone and set the camera settings
Click the camera view on the bottom left side of the screen:

On the top right, make sure AFC Mode is selected:

Click the camera settings button and verify these settings:
Exposure Mode: S
ISO: 200
Shutter: If it's sunny: 1/2500, if it's cloudy: 1/1600
EV: 0

7. Fly the mission by clicking the button at the top right: