How to design a route starting on a plateau above launch point

We are planning a deployment as follows:

– start at 0 AGL
– fly up 150’ AGL (about 50 ft. above plateau
– follow mapped route
– fly back off of plateau clearing the slope
– drop down to land at original home point

so, can this be acomplished just by specifiying thje correct altitude in the route design?

what happens if the battery level drops too low?



If you specify 150’ as your height in DD, it will takeoff at “0” and fly to 150 ft AGL of the takeoff point, fly the mission, then return home. This is automatic in dronedeploy. Assuming you have a DJI drone, the battery warning level is defaulted to 30% (you can change it but I don’t) the app will begin warning you constantly to return home, and will do so automatically if you don’t push the RTH button.

You can change batteries and resume your mission where you left off.

Does that answer your question?

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HI Richard,
I would highly recommend a higher altitude. You will likely get poor to no stitching at 50 foot effective altitude since your drone is setting the camera picture spacing expecting 150 feet. This will help explain it.

I have a similar question.

I’ve been asked to map what is essentially a multiple building/warehouse facility covering about 60 acres. Most of the buildings are 40ft, but the highest structures interspersed are about 160 ft. It’s been recommended by the facilities managers that the roof on one of the higher buildings provides the best line of sight for safety and the local fire department agreed, and I can’t disagree. We did some basic tests and the GPS signal is strong and we weren’t getting any interference from structure. I’ve just not done a project where I’m defining the new plane for the ground.

If I decide to launch and recover from the rooftop, that becomes zero. The flight plan defaulted to 247 feet and the optimizer plugin shows that’s fine. Will I be able to adjust the settings enough to get sufficient front/sidelap if I set the height above my level vs above ground, as I’m the new ground?

The other option is to get more staff and launch from the ground and have multiple observers at rooftop level. All the other safety stuff is accounted for including clearing the area and closing streets etc, so the facility would be mine for about 4 hours. The facility just covers too much area to operate and launch from the ground making it too hard to maintain LoS and it’s a waiver I haven’t applied for yet.


If you plan the flight from the roof top and set the overlaps at 80/80 for a mission altitude of 240’ above the roof top, then the overlaps will be larger for the lower levels. This may be overkill but it will be conservative. It will result in flying at 400’ above ground level over the lower levels which is a conservative approach compared to flying 400’ above the building rooftop.

I pick 80/80 because I have had good missions with these settings. I do seem to get even better results with 90/80 but this will stress the battery even more.


That’s sound advice. I appreciate it.