Maps Made Easy Drones Made Easy

Flying Multi-Battery Missions

Tudor -

Creating Big Maps Using Multiple Batteries

The best part of Map Pilot is its ability to help mappers estimate and optimize the flight path required to map a given area. Even when this area will require more than one battery to complete, Map Pilot will estimate the number of batteries required and keep track of where each battery leaves off.

Changing Batteries

After the aircraft lands, power it down normally, swap the battery and power it back up normally. As soon as the camera preview window has live video in it again and the red triangle has shown back up, the aircraft is ready to manually takeoff and upload the remainder of the flight.

 

Mission Estimates

When planning a mission, the requirement for multiple batteries is denoted in the Flight Plan Statistics pullout (top left) and also on the map shown by the alternating white and grey flight paths. The image below shows a flight plan which will require 4 batteries.

 

Mission Planning only takes the Battery Maximum Flight Duration setting into account. Battery Timer settings from 11 to 18 minutes will be reflected in the estimated flight duration and flight path estimations. Battery Limited operation simply reflects a battery duration of 24 minutes which is longer than any DJI aircraft can currently fly (aside from the Matrice with two batteries). Estimates for Battery Limited operation will be less accurate than the Battery Timer settings.

There are three things that can bring an aircraft home to swap out a battery:

  • Battery Timer Running Out
  • Battery Running Out of Power
  • Return to Home Buttons

Any time the aircraft lands, there will be a message that states the Flight N is complete where N is the count of total flights.

 

Battery Timers

A Battery Timer of 11 to 18 minutes will send the aircraft home when the aircraft has been in the air for the nominated amount of time. This can be useful for cases where you know that conditions will limit your battery duration and you want to have a really accurate count of required batteries.

The pilot will know more about the state of their batteries than Map Pilot will and can use Battery Timers to share this information with the app.

 

Return To Home Buttons

At any time during flight, the user can either push the "Go Home" button in the Flight Control pullout (top right) or the Return to Home button on the remote control. This will drop an Abandonment Point and the aircraft will return home.

Remember to set you Return to Home height appropriately in the DJI Go app.

 

Battery Power Triggered Return To Home

The smart batteries in the Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 drones know how much power it will take them to get home. When the aircraft realizes that it is further away than it has power to get home, it will immediately head for home and draw a Abandonment Point on the Map Pilot map.

We have tested this extensively and have had no problems with it. Remember that the aircraft's distance to home power requirement will likely be wrong in the case of a stiff headwind so keep that in mind. 

 

Abandonment Point 

Abandonment Points are the blue dots that get drawn any time the aircraft leaves its intended flight path to head for home. After going home and getting a new battery, it will proceed back to the blue point and continue on with the mission.

 

 

 

 

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Veha La
    What happen if we need to close everything including the app, drone,... for example in case of raining? How can we resume the flight mission?
  • Avatar
    Tudor

    You can restart the partially finished mission as long as you haven't cleared it.

  • Avatar
    Landon

    This is huge! Wow, testing today.

  • Avatar
    Veha La

    It is not possible to draw a bit more complete study shape. It always give much bigger study area.

    Edited by Veha La
  • Avatar
    Jason

    What do you do when it does not want to resume to the Abandonment Point (blue dot)? 

     

    Edited by Jason
  • Avatar
    Mike Werrell

    I'm still having trouble with my Phantom 3 Pro wanting to come home at 50 or 60% battery remaining, from distances of only a couple hundred meters. I've calibrated my batteries, and the battery timer is set to unlimited. Is there anything else I can check/do to prevent my drone coming home so early? It shouldn't be landing with 45% battery remaining.

  • Avatar
    lonestar

    Are there written instructions available for Map Pilot/ Maps Mad Easy.
    Thanks

  • Avatar
    Jimcosta2008

    I hope I am posting in the right area, if not, administration please put where it is supposed to be

    1. I stopped in the middle of a 5 battery mission a week ago because my iPad was dangerously low. Because my VO mistakenly took the micro SD card with the pictures I decided to go today and redo the whole mission. When I went to my saved mission, to my surprise, it was saved where I left off a week ago. I didn't have the pictures so I wanted to erase the partial mission and didn't know how. Can you erase the images taken in a partially flown mission, like in my situation, without deleting the mission and re drawing it ? And if I had the micro SD with the pictures could I of continued the partial mission to completion?

    2. I was capturing nicely with MP and all of the sudden a window comes up on my iPad screen I think it said "An aircraft has been detected Inspire 1". I clicked the ok under it and it went away and I noticed that the program was not taking pictures in the amount of time the window was open. Picture attached. What happened? Can I go back to the area that has the missing picture and recapture and add to my processing or what do you suggest?

    Thx in advance

  • Avatar
    Zane

    Jim:
    1. We recommend taking all of the images in one consistent sitting if possible. Breaking it up between different days will give the data different lighting conditions which will cause issues during processing. The files do not all have to be in the same SD card but be careful when switching cards because it will give you duplicate filenames which makes the file management a bit harder.

    2. If that popup came up in the middle of flight it was likely caused by the cable between the iOS device and the remote coming unplugged for a bit. That's bad. Always use genuine Apple cables that are in good shape to keep this from happening. For that area that was missing you could use the manual restart point feature to take the partial pass over again.

    https://support.dronesmadeeasy.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005940746-Manual-Restarting-Point

  • Avatar
    Scott Montgomery

    On a multi-battery mission, my P4 brakes to a complete halt, then resumes return to home several times on its way back. It also happens on the final return to home at mission's end. How can I stop this problem?

  • Avatar
    Zane

    Scott: That is a sign of a hardware issue or dirty obstacle avoidance optics. Try flight after disabling that system in DJI Go or put tape over the sensors.

    All Map Pilot flight is done under waypoint control. The app is not actually flying the aircraft. Once RTH has been initiated the aircraft is should not do anything other than ascend to the RTH height and come back to the currently commanded home point. Any extra start/stop events are being controlled from within the aircraft and point to either hardware failure or obstacle avoidance system interference.

  • Avatar
    Alex Chung

    Does obstacle avoidance work with Map Pilot? From your response it doesn't seem like it does.

  • Avatar
    Zane

    It does work. It also causes lots of problems when it malfunctions due to dirty optics and pointing into the sun.

    When using Map Pilot we expect that users are flying 5X higher than anything in the area so the obstacle avoidance system shouldn't be needed. It is certainly a nice thing to have but if you are collecting your data way up in the air it won't be needed. If you are close to the ground and want to have it on the stopping is just something you will have to deal with.

    Scott: You can see if the obstacle avoidance system was the problem in the log files.

  • Avatar
    Scott Montgomery

    Zane,
    I'll continue to try Map Pilot, because of the terrain awareness feature. I would like to suggest a couple of things: 1.) Current satellite base imagery is available, so there is no need to have imagery from the year 2000 as the basis from which terrain awareness runs. 2.) I use other mapping flight software, and I've never experienced the "halting" problem. I'm sure you can understand the issue - we need to count on continuous flight back to Home because of low battery levels at that time.

  • Avatar
    Zane

    Scott:
    1. We use Apple Maps data for the basemap and SRTM NASA 30 meter data for the terrain. If you can find us a higher resolution royalty free data set that allows offline cacheable derivative data products, we'd love to hear what it is. 30m is enough for all the the steepest terrain features or heavily modified earth. For that, we suggest uploading your own terrain: https://support.dronesmadeeasy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360021867012-Arbitrary-DEM-Preparation-for-use-as-a-Custom-Terrain-Source

    2. It is likely that other softwares are turning the obstacle avoidance off for you. We don't. If you want it off you can turn it off. If you want it on, leave it on. We have seen lots of weird behavior flying towards the sun with it on. You can inspect your log files to see if it is actually the cause or not.

Powered by Zendesk