If you’ve never used a drone to complete a project, it can be hard to imagine how exactly it might work.
We asked one of our systems engineers, Miguel Leonardo, to provide the basic Microdrones workflow for a mapping project to give people a general idea of how professionals use our drones for mapping applications like aerial surveying, inspection, precision agriculture, construction, etc.
Steps for Using a Microdrones UAV for Mapping
Here is the basic example workflow our engineer Miguel provided:
Bob is tasked to survey a quarry where he works with an area of 100 hectares (240 acres). These are the steps he would take using mdMapper200 or mdMapper1000:
At home or on site: (less than 30 minutes)
- Bob finds his Android tablet and opens mdCockpit.
- Using Google maps, he finds the location he wants to survey.
- He draws his flight plan by selecting his camera and the appropriate overlap and sidelap.
- During flight planning he realizes that, due to the large size of the area to be surveyed, two flights will be required. Thankfully, Microdrones systems feature a mission resume function, so Bob plans a break into his mission during which he will land to replace the battery. The flight will automatically resume at the beginning of the leg where the UAV left off.
- He connects to the md4-200 or md4-1000 via Bluetooth.
- From there, he can change/verify his failsafe options (remote control loss, etc.)
- Bob uploads his flight plan to the drone (FNC).
- He makes sure the camera SD card is present and empty, verifies that the camera has a battery, and makes sure all camera settings are correct and ready.
During Flight: (Flight time depends on a variety of environmental conditions)
- Bob follows the flight in real time on the tablet thanks to live telemetry.
- While he does this, he monitors the battery and interrupts the mission for a battery swap. The resume flight function ensures the drone begins at the beginning of the mission leg where it left off, not back to the beginning of the mission.
After flight: (10 minutes)
- Bob extracts the photos from the camera by putting the camera SD card into the computer and copying the photos onto the computer’s drive.
- He fetches the flight log from UAV via Bluetooth connection.
- He uses mdGeotagger on his desktop to: 1. compare the number of triggers and actual photos, and 2. geotag the photos.
- Then he can use the console, or any photogrammetry software, to finish his work.
Video of Basic Microdrones UAV Surveying/Mapping Workflow
The following video also shows the basic workflow for a mapping project: