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  1. LEERED

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    I am trying to find the best settings for doing aerial mapping. I understood there are better cameras or even the option to replacel GoPro lens with 5.4mm Peau but I am trying to work with what I have...if possible.

    So far, I've been testing with DroneDeploy, even though they say seem to prefer DJI drones.... and maybe that's why my results are not as good as expected.

    Here are my settings for attached pics:
    *****Tower settings******
    elevation 115 ft
    speed 15MPH (5m/s) 15MPH --> 22FPS FT PER SECOND) --> set Tower camera trigger = 44ft to be similar to time lapse 2sec interval
    overlap =75%
    sidelap 75%
    Camera= Hero 4 Black (Wide)


    ****GoPro H4 camera***** set default mode to SINGLE SHOT
    set to Single Photo 12MB W
    protune = on
    iso 400

    results: 36 pics @ 234MB
    DD prj name: SoloGPH4B_15MPH_115ft_T5_110416



    Workflow:

    1.Turn ON Solo drone using Solo App. Turn on camera. Attention: do not change camera settings in Solo!

    2.Close Solo App and connect with Tower App ( otherwise you get error port /address in use)

    3.Editor- Define survey area Attention: extend beyond AOI

    4.Click/select area ( at bottom) and edit altitude

    5.Upload to drone ( AUDIBLE CONFIRMATION)

    6.Upper left --> vehicle data

    7.Turn on GoPro H4 and press RECORD button (automatic with gimbal)

    8.ARM --> AUTO ( bottom of Tower window) Solo will take off and begin mission ( move towards waypoint 1)
    Preview window will show how camera is taking pics at specific intervals ( 2 sec or 44ft )

    9. When finished mission Solo will return ( SOLO LANDS AND TURNS OFF ROTORS)

    10.Download Tower tlog file from android device

    11. Donwload solo.tlog from Solo controller ( not used)

    12. Download pics from GoPro

    13. Use Mission Planner to geotag pics ( Cntrl + F --> Geotag Images with TimeOffset = 0
    use options PreProcess to verify then GEOTAG= final step

    pics copied to GeotaggedPics folder

    14. Open DroneDeploy and upload images

    I have a couple of pics attached (links to google drive- could not attach using forum tools - I get a generic error when trying to ) :
    1- GPS points for photos, after uploading to Drone Deploy pic here
    2 - comparison of the online mosaic imagery and downloaded georeferenced tif). pic here

    Issues:
    1- imagery distortion : maybe I need to capture more points?
    2- blurry or white spots usually at tree top- is this because I am flying too low? Can not fly under 100ft because of existing trees).
    3- will it help usingGoPro 7M Medium FOV ? If so, how do you configure Tower ( what camera do you select)?
    4-Is there a better option than DroneDeploy? Drone deploy gives you a 30 day trial that's why I chose them for testing.

    I suspect /hope these results can be improved and hoping someone can shed some light. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
    #1 LEERED, Nov 5, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  2. Ed Beck

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    Location:
    Puyallup WA
    You don't need to program Tower to release the shutter at any interval. Program Tower for an 80% sidelap and 80% overlap, set the speed, and let Tower tell the GP when to fire.

    I use 20 mph.
    3 - Select the GoPro 3 Medium FOV.
    4 - I've been happy with Drone Deploy.

    For Geotagging use Geosetter.

    For more specifics there are multiple threads in here. Search on mapping and geosetter.
     
  3. LEERED

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    Ed,

    Thanks for correcting me on the Tower camera trigger ( how Tower controls camera trigger) .

    I've been using Mission Planner for geo-tagging the pics and seems to be working OK/seems simple enough. I'll check out Geosetter...

    After my yesterday's post I did another test : just increased the altitude from 115ft to 135ft and the results are way better: the ortho mosaic is with less ( way less) distortion so I am happy with the outcome ( see pic links below).

    135ft 15MPH mosaic
    115ft -135ft 15MPH mosaic comparison

    I was initially trying to fly at lowest altitude but because of trees I can't go lower than 100ft . Even at 115ft the tree tops were not captured right so it looks like you need at least 35ft added to tree height to minimize distortion.

    I'll try the the Med FOV ( camera in Tower set to H3 Medium FOV) .

    BTW: how can one insert pics in the post? When I try to "upload a file" I get a generic error . I am using Google Drive for now.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. LEERED

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    Managed to test with Medium FOV settings. Best results so far... Especially the elevation map!

    Settings used:

    *****Tower settings******
    elevation 135 ft
    speed 20MPH (8.94 m/s) camera trigger set by Tower = @ each 26ft
    overlap =80%
    side-lap= 80%
    Camera= Hero 3 Black (Medium)


    ****GoPro H4 camera***** set default mode to SINGLE SHOT
    set to Single Photo 7MB MEDIUM FOV
    protune = on
    iso 200
    GoPro Color

    Results: 92 pics 373MB

    Mosaic created with Drone Deploy:
    2D map
    Elevation map

    if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to post.

    Thanks!
     
    Brendon Baddiley likes this.
  5. LEERED

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    Ed,

    Have you had to survey a larger area? :) My initial tests were done with a small area ( 3 acre area) and the settings above work just great. I played more with Tower and it looks like I will have to increase the altitude for larger areas ... For instance, for surveying 20 acre I'll need to increase altitude to 160ft and speed increased to 24MPH in order to be able to stay within battery life ( 11min).
    Questions so far:
    1-What is the MAX altitude at which clear images can still be captured with a H4Black ( Medium FOV)? I can confirm at 100ft and 10MPH the images are clear. Will images captured at 200ft & 24MPH still look good? Is there a big difference between the 2 scenarios above?
    2- is 11min of flight time realistic when flying with Gimbal & GoPro? Or is actually less?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  6. Ed Beck

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    Location:
    Puyallup WA
    The largest I've done is 43 acres.

    1. That depends on what resolution you want. This table is from Determining survey resolution (GSD) from altitude:
    • Site Scan Sony R10C 20mm
    Altitude GSD
    200 feet 1.2 cm/pixel
    400 feet 2.4 cm/pixel​
    • Site Scan GoPro
    Altitude GSD
    100 feet 1.6 cm/pixel
    213 feet 3.4 cm/pixel
    350 feet 5.5 cm/pixel
    Another consideration on the altitude/speed question is that if you get too low you need to slow down. Think of riding on a train, one of the fast ones in Europe. You're going from Florence to Bern, passing through the lakes district of northern Italy. Off in the distance you see the lakes gently rolling by. You look down at the rail and it's a blur.

    2. I plan for 15 minute flights. If the area I’m surveying is too large for a single flight you can use Mission Planner which will pick up the mission from where it left off, or you can manually plan multiple flights with Tower. For me, if the area is too large for a single flight and I’m able to move my takeoff location I prefer to move where I take off and plan the flights so I don’t waste battery time flying to where it left off.
     
  7. LEERED

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    Ed,

    Thanks for taking the time to answer! I really appreciate it.

    Note: I noticed last night I was in a hurry to post the question and didn't' take an extra minute to verify my previous post with the settings I was "happy" with :) I typed 100ft @ 10MPH when in fact the settings I liked ( happy with the results) for small survey area ( 3-4 acre) are 135ft @ 20 MPH (I am correcting myself because I don't want to confuse other potential readers :) )

    1. I won't be using SiteScan but I suspect the info remains true even for Drone Deploy. Coming from a GIS world where you learn to appreciate a 3in /pixel or even a 6in/pixel imagery, I think I can live even with the worst case scenario presented by SiteScan GoPro : 5.5cm (2.5inch) @ 350ft !
    Your explanation on speed makes sense. I was going to increase speed to 24MPH ( default speed) just to cover as much ground as possible with 1 battery charge.

    2. It's good to know 15min is a realistic flight time. Knowing I would need 1 seamless mosaic, my only concern with doing multiple flights would be selecting the pics to upload to DroneDeploy: I assume I would have to delete some pics from flight 2 , where it overlaps with flight 1...or will DroneDeploy "know" how to mosaic even if duplicate pics are included ?

    Conclusion: Can't test now (Last I tried, Tower won't let me plan a survey mission without being connected to the drone), but I suspect if I increase altitude to 350ft, I might be able to cover my entire area using 1 battery. Can't wait to see the results

    3. Do you happen to know if in Tower you can edit the mission extent? I tried pressing on the red markers and dragging to extend survey area but have not been able to change it...If I need to make changes to the area , I have to delete and re-draw.

    4. Is there a way to attach images to the post? In my previous posts I ended up using links to google drive ( just checked them and they are not working).

    Thanks again!
     
    #7 LEERED, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  8. Ed Beck

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    Location:
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    I assume the table for GP resolution is true regardless of the application.

    Sure, I've uploaded photos where I flew two separate flights with 100% overlap at the edges planned. I've also flown two flights over the same location at 90 degrees to each other to see what would happen. There wasn't an appreciable difference. As long as they're geotagged I don't think DroneDeploy cares how many of each you upload.
    [/QUOTE]

    Really? I just did it the other day when I was showing someone how I'd plan a survey. My drone was off. Were you in the Edit mode in Tower? You can change the mode by using the hamburger menu on the upper left. Edit mode allows you to create missions. Switching to "Vehicle Data" is for flight.

    While you're in the menu and connected to Solo look at the "Parameter" menu item, especially "FS_THR_ENABLED" and go read this thread.

    If you set this parameter to "2" and you loose connection to the controller Solo will continue the mission instead of returning to home. Be sure that you upload the changes to Solo. You also should set it back to "0" Always RTH after a survey.

    There are a couple of caveats with this info. First, if you do this and Solo flies away don't bother 3DR with it. They'll tell you that you mucked with the default parameters and it's your own fault.

    Second, when I upload the mission Solo asks if it should create a start and home point. I always say yes to this when I've disabled RTH. I can't swear that it's a good thing to do, but it's always found its way home after completing the flight, and I have lost controller contact.

    Yes, you need to press and hold for a few seconds. The marker you're over will re-position and then you can move it around.

    Use the "Upload a file" button at the bottom or the "image" icon at the top to provide a link.
     
  9. LEERED

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    Ed,

    I can confirm Tower Mission planning is available even without a connection to drone. Now I know why I thought it needs the drone...:) Last night , when I tried it without the drone, The Flight Altitude was RED mainly because previously altitude was set to 135ft ...I connected the drone and of course the Flight Altitude was still RED .... increased it and all looked as expected but didn't test again without the drone connection . Thanks for confirming..now I know I can spend as much time as I need on planning and won't be wasting drone battery. Once the mission looks the way I want, I turn on the drone and upload the mission, while the drone is still looking for GPS signal/satellites.

    I think I can set the TAKEOFF/HOME location in the middle of the large area to survey so I will fly within range ( did install a couple of "Alfa 2.4HGz 7dBi Booster RP-SMA Panel High-Gain Screw-On Swivel Antenna" and that should help as well). I hope I don't have to mess with the parameters ...yet :)

    3. Thanks for the tip! You have no idea how much this will help ...or , maybe you do ! :) Any way to add vertices ( red marks) to an area? :)

    4. I'll try upload again... I remember trying it on my first post ( above) and got a generic error... not sure if it had to do with being a new member or not....

    Thanks again!
     
  10. LEERED

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    Ed,

    From my experience, the range on the Solo is way under the 0.5mi spec. I am losing connection at about 900ft and 200ft altitude, even with the Alfa antennae ( no structures or trees to block signal). What's your range ? Any mods?

    Thanks!
     
  11. Ed Beck

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    Location:
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    I have the same experience. There is a WiFi upgrade that you can install. See this thread

    Something I did was to get better antennas, see this thread for a description of my antennas.

    I want to add though that my primary reason for getting those antennas was because most of the time I operate in areas of high WiFi concentration. My primary motivation was to cut down on the interference.

    When I fly a survey I frequently loose my connection. I use "FS_THR_ENABLED=2" so my Solo continues the flight then comes back. The first couple of times it happens it's a little unnerving, but I'm very used to it now and it doesn't bother me.
     
  12. Doringtoon

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    Hi Leered,

    just stumbled across this series of comms between you and Ed, I have flown my first survey mission having learnt from you guys. Have you continued with this? are you still with stock equipment? Also, the links to your one drive images are faulty - perhaps a time setting expiry issue? Anyway, I am at the beginning of all of this so would like to see how you have progressed?

    cheers.
     
  13. LEERED

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    Doringtoon,

    Glad to hear this thread helped. I am still using stock equipment ( solo + gopro 4 black) . Ed's feedback helped fine tune Tower settings for a 40+acre job ( Thank you again!). Used DroneDeploy to process data and I was pleased with the results. I'd like to think I am ready for the next project :). I'll try to find the pics I couldn't upload at that time and ended up using google drive instead.

    Regards!
     
  14. Ed Beck

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    Location:
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    I'm glad I could help.