Create Mission and Routes

The first thing you will need to understand in PrecisionFlight Pro is the difference between a Mission and a Route. 


  • A Mission can consists of one or multiple routes. To create a new route select the icon in the upper left corner of the software and select "Create New Mission". You will then be able to name your mission. 


  • A Route is a single flight with the drone. It consists of one take off and one landing point. Within a Mission you can create a Route by selecting the + icon in the upper left corner of the screen. 



  • In this case we will create a route from scratch. But you can import a route into PrecisionFlight pro using a KML format.

  • Choose a drone associated with the route that you are creating. 

  • In this next step you will see a list of parameters/settings for the route that you are creating. The options selected in the screenshot below are ideal for a flight done over little natural elevation change and with ground features not exceeding 50 meters in height. For full details on the settings seen on this screen see the PrecisionFlight Pro manual attached. 



  • At this point you have created a Route within a Mission. You are now ready to program the specific flight path within your Route. 





Planning a Mission


PrecisionFlight Professional has many mission types to choose from when planning a survey. The most common survey will be a Grid type mission where the drone flies a lawn mower style pattern while taking pictures of your area of interest. The software will allow for many custom controls throughout this mission. Here we will discuss the workflow for planning this type of mission. 


1. After creating your Mission and Route you will need to first write a Takeoff point for the Route. Before writing this point you should have an idea of where you will be setting up in the field. The written takeoff point must within 30 meters of the actual takeoff area of the drone. If you are outside of this range you will receive an error while trying to take off with the drone. 


To create a takeoff point select the Takeoff icon from the bar on the left side of the screen. Then double click on the map in the location you wish to set your takeoff point. 


Once you create a takeoff point you will see a handful of parameters that you can set for this segment of the flight. The two parameters that you should pay special attention to is Altitude and Flight Speed. For details on other parameters here see the PrecisionFlight Pro users manual. 

  • Your Altitude is the end point of this particular transect. In this case the drone will takeoff to 50 meters and move to the next segment of flight
  • The Flight speed will be the speed of ascent through the takeoff segment



2. After establishing a takeoff point you are ready to create a the main grid part of the mission. This will be the lawn mower path of transects covering a specific overlap for coverage with your source images. 


To do this you will choose the "Photogrammetry" option from the menu bar on the left and double click on the base map to establish the corners of your flight plan.  



To complete the box double click on the first corner dropped. If you have choose a sensor for the Photogrammetry segment already the transects of the mission will be calculated according to your drone and sensor choice. 


3. If you do not have a sensor added to the drone profile that you are working with you may receive an error seen below after completing the box. It is necessary to select a sensor in order for the software to calculate the distance needed between each transect in this flight pattern. 



  • To add a sensor to the drone profile first go to the Main Menu using the button in the upper left corner of the software. 



  • Enter the "Profiles" section of the main menu and select the drone that you choose for the particular Route you are working on. 


  • Select "Edit" and in the Payloads section "Add" the sensor that you are working with on the drone. 



  •  Once you have Saved this added sensor it will appear in the "Camera" dropdown for the Photogrammetry section of the mission. Choose this camera and the transects should successfully be calculated. 


4. Before moving on to the next phase of your mission double check all the settings within the Photogrammetry portion. Below are the primary parameters that you should know and understand. For a full explanation of every parameter in the Photogrammetry type mission see the PrecisionFlight Pro user manual. 


        

  • Flight Speed- Speed of drone throughout the flight. Could be affected by "Forward Overlap" parameter. If you set forward overlap to high the drone may need to slow down to give the sensor more time to trigger and meet this overlap requirement. 


  • Turn Type- There are two types of turn types available in this field-
    • Stop and Turn- Drone will stop, reach target altitude, and turn. This turn type will add time to the mission but be more controlled through the turns.
    • Adaptive Bank- Drone will turn while in motion. This turn type will be quicker but is not always accepted with every camera choice. In some cases camera cannot time captures correctly while going through this adaptive bank turn. 


  • Camera- The camera that you plan to use on the drone. The software will reference the field of view on the camera choice here to program triggering of the camera and distance between transects. 


  • Ground Resolution, GSD, cm- This calculated based on the camera choice in the mission. It will establish the flight altitude of the mission. 


  • Forward Overlap, %- Tells the camera how quickly to take photos. 


  • Side Overlap, %- Will define the distance between each transect in the mission.














5. The final step of planning your mission is to set a landing point. 


This will be very similar to how you added the takeoff point for the mission but this time select the Landing icon from the menu on the left and double click on the map for your expected landing area. 








Common Errors and Troubleshooting


  • Vehicle Profile parameters- The most common errors that you will run into when planning are caused by actions that you are asking for in the route that exceed the parameters of the vehicles "Profile". 
    • Example 1- A flight was planned with the Matrice 100 profile to take off with the drone to 50 meters at a Climb Rate of 8 meters per second. But my Matrice 100 Flight Profile distinguishes a maximum climb rate of 5 meters per second. Because of this I get the error seen below. 
    • Example 2- A large flight was planned across my area of interested and a error was received saying that certain way points of my mission are to far from the beginning of the route. This has to do with a Fence Radius parameter within the profile of my drone. By default the Matrice 100 drone profile used for this flight has a 100 meter Fence Radius value set. This means that I am unable to plan any waypoints that are more than 100 meters from the start of my route without changing this profile parameter. 
    • Solution- In either of these scenarios you will be able to get rid of the errors by editing the flight profile of the drone you are working with to meet the criteria of what you are asking for in the route. 

      1. Access the Main Menu of PrecisionFlight pro using the hamburger menu button in the upper left corner of the software

      2. Go into the "Profiles" section of the Main Menu and select the drone that you are working with in this Route. In this case we are working with a Matrice 100

      3. In the Matrice 100 profile select "Edit" and you will be able to change the profile parameters. To solve the two issues mentioned above you would need to edit the Fence Radius value and the Maximum Climb Rate value of the profile.



  • Register PrecisionFlight Pro with the provided license code. This can be done through the Main Menu in the License section. If you do not register the software with this license code the functionality will be limited
    • You cannot connect a drone
    • You will be unable to import routes to the software
    • There will be a limitation in flight planning of 100 meters in all directions of your home position. Below is an example of the error code seen for a unregistered version of PrecisionFlight Pro with flight plans extending over 100 meters from the home position.