MAVinci Desktop: Advanced Flight Planning

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Creating a Multi-Flight Plan

  • When calculating a given flight plan, if MAVinci Desktop determines the AOI is too large, it will prompt the user to split the flight plan automatically into multiple smaller AOI’s.
  • This can occur for various reasons, including:
    • VLOS to the UAV is estimated to be too large.
    • The estimated flight time exceeds the battery life of the UAV.
    • The number of images to be collected exceed the camera storage capacity.
    • Note these tolerances are determined by the plane/camera parameters under the camera settings panel in MAVinci Desktop.
  • The multi-flight plan settings (i.e. GSD, shortest time, for terrain, etc.) can be changed as normal but will apply changes globally for all flight plans:
    • The metrics of all flight plans will update.
    • The number of total flight plans may change.
  • Individual flight plan settings cannot be changed.
  • The home position for each flight plan can be modified as necessary on the Map View.
  • Each individual flight plan will need to be transmitted and collected by the UAV in order to cover the entire AOI.

Creating a Corridor Flight Plan

  • In some areas (i.e. a road being built, along railroad tracks, etc.) the user may need to create a flight plan for the UAS to follow a more narrow or winding path.
  • Select Flight Plan – New Flight Plan – Corridor Mapping.
  • On the Map View, left click to create the centerline of the AOI to be collected with the UAS.
  • Once finished, select Edit – Recalculate Flight Plan to create the flight plan.
  • Adjust the flight plan settings as necessary (i.e. home position, GSD level, for terrain, etc.).
    • Note adjusting for wind direction or shortest time will have no effect on a corridor flight plan.
  • Under the AOI section of the flight plan, adjust the following corridor mapping settings:
    • Width of the corridor flight plan.
    • Minimum number of flight lines in the corridor.
  • The size of the flight plan in the Map View and the metrics of the flight plan will adjust automatically for the corridor mapping and flight plan settings entered.

Creating a Spiral Flight Plan

  • In some areas (i.e. circular fields for agriculture) the user may need to create a flight plan for the UAS to follow a circular path around an object or area.
  • Select Flight Plan – New Flight Plan – Spiral Mapping.
  • On the Map View, left click to create the origin point of the AOI to be collected with the UAS.
  • Once finished, select Edit – Recalculate Flight Plan to create the flight plan.
  • Adjust the flight plan settings as necessary (i.e. home position, GSD level, for terrain, shortest time, etc.).
  • Under the AOI section of the flight plan, adjust the following corridor mapping settings:
    • Radius of the spiral flight plan.
    • Minimum number of flight lines in the spiral flight plan.
  • The size and orientation of the flight plan in the Map View and the metrics of the flight plan will adjust automatically for the spiral mapping and flight plan settings entered.

Creating a City Mapping Flight Plan

  • Conventional aerial mapping often lacks information on vertical surfaces of buildings or other objects as the camera points straight down.
  • Using the city mapping package, which includes an 8mm fisheye lens for the Fuji X-M1 camera, nearly full 3-D data can be obtained.
  • Select Flight Plan – New Flight Plan – City Mapping.
  • On the Map View, left click to create the corners of the AOI to be collected with the UAS.
  • Once finished, select Edit – Recalculate Flight Plan to create the flight plan. With city mapping, the flight lines are perpendicular to one another to maximize image overlap when using the 8mm fisheye lens.
  • Adjust the flight plan settings as necessary (i.e. home position, GSD level, for terrain, shortest time, wind direction, etc.).
  • The orientation and metrics of the flight plan in the Map View will adjust automatically for the flight plan settings entered.
  • Note: For user’s in the US, city mapping over a populated area is not legal to perform due to FAA regulations on sUAS operations. However, in other countries, this may be possible.

Simulating a Flight Plan

  • After creating any type of flight plan, the user can visualize how the SIRIUS UAS will operate in the field by simulating the flight.
  • However, be aware that the flight simulation does not give realistic flight characteristics:
    • It will not account for any obstacles in the flight area, wind speed or direction, etc.
    • The simulation speed at which it collects is also not realistic compared to how it is in reality in the field.
  • To simulate a flight plan:
    • Open MAVinci Desktop.
    • Create/open a session.
    • Create a flight plan for the project area (i.e. basic polygon, terrain, corridor, etc.) and adjust any flight plan settings accordingly (i.e. GSD, shortest time)
    • On the Map View, select the vertical arrow icon and set the start position for the UAV in the AOI.
    • On the Map View, select the home icon and set the home position for the UAV in the AOI.
    • Select Edit – Recalculate Flight Plan.
  • To simulate a flight plan (continued):
    • Select the Unconnected option in the session panel.
    • From the list of available devices, select Local Simulation.
    • Select Connect UAV to this session.
    • Return to the Map View.
    • Select the flight plan from the detail panel and select Flight Plan – Transmit Flight Plan to plane.
    • Address any warning messages that appear accordingly.
    • Confirm the flight plan has been transmitted.
    • Click Flight on the Map View to begin the flight simulation.
    • The UAV will fly the transmitted flight plan similar to how it will operate in the field.
    • The UAV will not land in the simulation unless spot landing is specified. For other landing modes, it’ll circle around the home position.
    • Once the simulation is completed, disconnect the UAV from the local simulator.

Replaying Flight Logs

  • After flying a given mission with the SIRIUS UAS, the user can replay the MAVinci Desktop log files, allowing them to visualize all that occurred during a particular flight.
  • All UAS status information will be displayed in the Map View as it occurred during flight operations.
  • The position and flight mode of the UAV at any given time during flight operations will be displayed.
  • To replay a flight log:
    • Open MAVinci Desktop. Open a session.
    • Select the Unconnected option in the session.
    • From the list of available devices, select Log file tab.
    • Select the log file to be replayed from the list.
    • Select Open Log file in this session.
    • Configure the replay control settings as necessary (i.e. replay speed).
    • Return to the Map View and monitor the UAS status as it occurred during flight.

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