Falcon 8 UAS GeoEXPERT - Basic Training : Data Preparation/Flight Planning

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Data Preparation

  • Data Preparation
    • For preparation of a flight, check the SD card of the camera to ensure that there is available storage for the image capture.  
      • The SD card is inserted beneath a lid on the right rear of the camera.  This can be removed and connected to a computer via an SD card reader to transfer collected imagery.  

 

Flight Planning

  • Flight Planning (AscTec Navigator)
    • To continue with data preparation and flight planning, the next steps are using the PC software AscTec Navigator.  This software enables planning and performing complex flight patterns for remote surveying applications.
      • To begin with flight planning, open the AscTec Navigator program that was installed earlier.  

 

Flight Planning

  • Flight Planning (AscTec Navigator)
    • To the right are examples of common waypoint / flight plan configurations

 

Creating a New Flight Plan

  • Creating a New Flight Plan
    • To create a new flight plan, select FILE → NEW FLIGHT PLAN.
    • Select CREATE NEW MAP, then navigate to the area of interest and position the map so that the entire area of interest is visible.  
    • Click the SAVE icon: located in the top left of the screen to save this new map.
    • A new window will open with information about the selected area.  Type a name for the map and confirm with selecting OK.

 

Creating a New Flight Plan

  • Creating a New Flight Plan
    • Select the Matrix Tool by clicking on the icon.
    • Add at least three waypoints to create a polygon on the background map.
    • Check that the whole area of interest is within the bounds of the set points.
    • When enough points are set, click on Finish in the right panel.

 

Creating a New Flight Plan

  • Creating a New Flight Plan
    • Waypoints of the polygon can be moved by clicking and dragging, the covered area will adapt.
    • Ensure the correct camera from the drop down in the right panel is selected (e.g. Sony Alpha 7R)
    • Enter the required parameters (height/ground sample distance, overlaps and speed)
    • Choose a flight direction and consequently the first point of the matrix by clicking on the arrows next to Matrix Alignment:
    • Click Generate Matrix

 

Creating a New Flight Plan

  • Creating a New Flight Plan
    • Flight parameters that can be configured for a flight are as follows:    
      • Height / Ground Sample Distance.   Note that height is above ground level height from the position where the motors are started.  Also, changing one of these parameters directly affects and changes the other.  
      • Cross-track overlap percentage
      • Along-track overlap percentage
      • Flight speed (m/s)

 

Creating a New Flight Plan

  • Creating a New Flight Plan
    • Once the matrix is been generated, parameters can be adjusted if required.  If any adjustments have been made, select Generate Matrix again to have the new settings updated.
    • Confirm the matrix by clicking on Apply Matrix.

 

Creating a New Flight Plan

  • Creating a New Flight Plan
    • Once the matrix has been applied, the software will generate all waypoints and show the flight path.
    • When finished, select FILE → SAVE PROJECT, a dialog box will appear in which a name for the flight plan can be entered.  
    • Click SAVE