There are many ways to plan a mission over a particular field. Some methods will work better than others in the final output. In this section we will review various flight planning tips and techniques to use in our PrecisionFlight application. 

Flight Planning Techniques 

Your flight altitude, overlap and selection of Grid style or Orbit style flight will depend on what outputs you are looking for. One main divide that customers have in data collection is interest in 2- Dimensional outputs or 3- Dimensional outputs. 

Flight Planning Tips

Increasing your Overlap

You may need to increase your overlap if you are experiencing missing gaps of imagery in your final survey. This is especially true if you are flying over a very homogeneous area such as mature corn crops. 

Side overlap changes the number of transects needed across the area of interest. Increasing your side overlap will affect the amount of land the drone will cover in one survey. Increasing forward overlap is a good way to increase redundancy in your data without affecting battery life so much. 

The overlap settings are held within the "Advanced Settings" menu of your flight plan. For full details on changing your overlap see our Mission Settings article. 

Transect Direction

Choosing the right transect direction can also help you save on battery life. Always plan the survey with transects running parallel to the longest side of the polygon. By planning this way you using the shortest flight path to cover the area of interest which will allow you to cover more ground on one battery cycle. 

Breaking up Flights for Larger Fields

Within the PrecisionFlight application there are some memory limitations to the survey size that you are able to plan. You are only able to plan out around 300 acres within the application at once. If you have 600 acres to survey you will be forced to do this in two separate flight plans. Here are some guidelines to follow when this is needed- 

  • Overlap the shared edge of the survey by around 50 meters
  • When you are in the field running these flights- Do not clear the Micro SD card between flight plans
  • There is a limitation of around 2500 images per orthomosaic in PrecisionMapper. If you are over 2500 images the process may fail or have errors in the output. 

Over-bounding and Edge Blur

In your output orthomosaic you may see blur or missing parts on the edge of your survey area. This is caused by the lack of overlap in source images around the edges. There are a few techniques you can use to avoid this blur if this is a very important part of your particular survey. 

  • When planning your survey overbound the actual area that you are interested in to ensure coverage on the edges
  • Optionally you can also use the "Extend Flight Area" switch within the advanced settings of your flight plan. This is discussed in more detail within the Mission Settings article of the knowledge base

Double Grid Pattern

First you would plan the flight with surveys running North to South. On your second flight the transects are rotated 90 degrees so that they are running East to West. This is most often used for those who are interested in 3D outputs of the survey data. This forms a checkerboard pattern across your area and catches the features on the ground from more angles.