7.2 Survey Planning

In mission planning user can select the survey pattern option from flight type screen.

The survey pattern feature allow user to specify complex flight patterns using a simple graphical UI. User can specify the polygon as well as the specifications for survey pattern plan and appropriate camera settings for capturing images. The flight will stop at each image location prior to taking the image such that the vehicle is stable while the image is taken. User can drag the polygon waypoints to a new location. The survey pattern is created as polygon waypoints dragged.

User can select flight type as Survey pattern. Selecting a survey pattern from option generates a survey pattern based on the altitude and known camera specification.

7.2.1 Camera Settings:

  • Camera: Camera triggering behavior depends on the camera/camera settings. Users can select an existing camera or a custom camera.

  • Selection of Camera: The user can select the camera from the dropdown menu. Selection of camera will decide the image height and width automatically.

  • Sensor width/height: The size of the image sensor of the camera.

  • Image width/ Height: The selection of a camera decides the width and height of an image automatically. The user has to enter the desired values of image width and height for custom camera only.

  • Focal length: Focal length is determined by a combination of sensor size, effective distance from mirrors within the lens, and glass curvature. The focal length of a lens determines the angle of view—how much of the scene is captured—as well as the magnification—how large individual elements are. A narrower field of view and a higher magnification result from a longer focal length.

  • User can set the front overlapping, side overlapping value to the images also in the respective text boxes. By default, the front overlap value is 0. Image overlapping overlap occurs between each image.

Accordingly, an overlap correction is provided. The photo survey is intended to collect 60% front overlap (between photos taken along the same flight line) and 30% side overlap (between photos taken on adjacent flight lines).

Custom Camera:

Selecting the custom camera option allows the user to specify the settings for a new camera in a similar way to the known camera. Users can set the following values in the respective text boxes.

7.2.2 Other Settings:

  • Users can change the altitude of the survey mission plan.

  • Turnaround distance is an amount of additional distance to add outside the survey area for flight turnaround. Users can set the turnaround distance to the survey pattern by entering the required value in the given text box. By default, the turnaround distance is 0.

  • Starting Point: AeroGCS KEA 2.3 allow the user to adjust the position of starting point in the following ways:

    • Top Left: Set the starting point position at top left.

    • Bottom Left: Set the starting point position at bottom left.

    • Top Right: Set the starting point position at top right.

    • Bottom Right: Set the starting point position at bottom right.

This setting will be useful to set the position of starting position in case of adjusting the position of drone landed previously to save the battery.

Accordingly, the survey statistics will be altered.

7.2.3 Survey Statistics:

  • Survey Area: The estimated area for the survey will be displayed in this option. Area covered by the survey plan in Sq. meters. This area will change with changes in the boundary points. The user can stretch or shrink the points manually and adjust the area as per requirement.

  • Survey Distance: Total distance to be traveled by the drone on the survey plan is nothing but the Survey Distance. The distance traveled by a drone using this survey plan will be calculated and displayed here. This distance will increase upon enabling the cross-grid option. It also depends on the stretching or shrinking of the boundary points as shown in the above two images.

  • Survey Time: The estimated time required to complete the survey will be calculated and displayed here. The survey time will depend on enabling the cross-grid settings.

  • Image Count: The Number of images to be captured by the camera is considered as an "Image Count". The selection of a camera decides the image count. Also, the image count increases with an increase in the area of the survey plan.

  • Ground Resolution (GSD): The distance between two adjacent pixel centers as measured on the ground is known as resolution or average GSD (Ground Sampling Distance). The low GSD values provide better accuracy.

The survey statistics will be affected by the selection of the camera as shown in the images. In the above image, the camera selected was Sony Rx100 II and the camera selected in the image below is Sony A6000.

7.2.4 Cross Grid:

This option available in AeroGCS is used for more coverage of the land. The time required to complete the plan will be obviously higher than the normal survey plan. But it covers almost all the land. On enabling this option, the survey distance, survey time, and image count will be increased as indicated by the image below:

7.2.5 Add Rally Points

This is additional security provided for landing the drone safely and smoothly.

The violet-colored points in the above image show the rally points. These are useful in emergency situations to land safely at the closest rally point instead of moving home at a far end.

7.2.6 Turn Angle

The user may change the angle of the polylines of the plan. All the parameters displayed in survey statistics will vary as the turn angle changes. The value of the turn angle change will be displayed on the right-hand side of the turn angle bar. Accordingly, the user may see the changes in the survey plan as shown in the above image.

7.2.7 Fence:

It is mandatory for all types of flight plans. Select the slide bar to add a fence. The survey plan will draw a fence automatically as shown in the image below.

Watch the video for getting more insights about the survey mission plan.

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