Large area map

I have carried out 2 now large area mapping. Some 565 acres at, 118 mtres altitude. 75/75 overlaps, 4 batteries. I had no problems with the gear. I use a phatom 4 pro. It took me around 1.5 hrs. I have printed an AO size map for office. Looks pretty cool. Just love to fly it. Will now go again for progress updates for our project. Solar Farm. I have Carried out 46,500mtres of flying so far on our project.

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Hi @Davidhughes,

Have any pics of the map you printed for your office? Would love to see how it turned out! :slight_smile:


The file size is too big for an upload, but i have uploaded to my onedrive account you can view via the below link!Ar9z7169vBCphjjZokgqaD1FBGGZ



This looks great @Davidhughes! Where did you map?

How much useful data are you getting out of high altitude (poor GSD) RGB photography of solar panels? Are you looking for rocks, dirt, and bird poop on the panels? Typically solar panel inspections require an infrared thermal camera at much lower altitudes to be able to identify issues with the cells inside the panels themselves. This usually requires AI software to process because you can’t create an orthomosaic of something so uniform in appearance when flying very close unless I suppose if you are using RTK/PPK to get more precise geo-location for embed into the image EXIF data. Or is someone else doing the thermal and you are just doing the RGB portion of the project?

I mapped it in nth queensland Australia.
3 maps over 6mths of a solar farm on 2,000 acres

Consultant. In Australia we use manners and introduce ourself. I am mapping the area as before and after, when i want more detail i will use a different program whether it is yours or not. RGB, is working fine. I am having trouble with the latest map being processed, your help on that woud be good or i will just redo it. I think DD works, your help or not. Thermal imaging will be done by me when ready.

Clarification that I don’t think Consultant is associated with DroneDeploy and yes manners are awesome. You don’t need thermal for a visual inspection. Nice work David.

Hi Davis, let me introduce myself. I’m a Commercial Drone Pilot like yourself who has done quite a bit of reading on inspection of solar panels. So I’m still curious when you say “RGB, is working fine” can you elaborate a little on what you mean by working fine? In general RGB imagery can be useful for determining the cause of defects (e.g., shattered panels) and may reveal the cause of a thermal anomaly (e.g., debris or bird droppings). But there can be defects in the panels that are not evident via RGB including Module faults: These include individual hot spots on the cells, diode failures. String and system faults: Wiring issues (reversed polarity, frayed cables), charge controller issues, and inverter and fuse failures. Racking and balance of system: These are major issues with how the modules are mounted.

Generally you use a thermal camera to see where the anomalies are and then the RGB is both an as-built reference image to identify panels and a way to determine if the anomolies caught by the thermal camera are caused by electrical and/or module issues or physical issues (as previously mentioned - such as debris.) If you only looked for physical issues via RGB to begin with you would risk miss catching some issues.