I must say that based on a recent job I did (ref. Renting Equipment) covering some 2000ha (4800acres) with around 300m of relief changes in 4 days (using a 2016 Mavic Pro), that your plan of covering this amount of terrain with even greater relief sounds like its going to be a lot of fun and hard work.
I used GoogleEarth to help plan all of the 40 individual flights and had the minimum overlap — in our case this was about 67m at the flight altitude of 120m/400’ (at the minimum 60% sidelap). At 300m and 60% that would be around 173m.
As a starting point I applied a topographic contour layer to the entire project area. This enabled me to check the relief changes. The ‘Show Elevation Profile’ tool is very handy to use in this instance, as one can ‘segment’ an area to consider the other challenges of flying large areas: A. battery maintenance and B. ensuring that the line of sight between operator and UAV is maintained (a legal requirement here in Australia) — and to help the UAV stay in contact with the RC.
We use a simple map key convention for all of our flights so that file management of individual missions is easily dealt with when processing.
Going west to east its like this for individual flight plans — changing the first number as you go south with each set of missions e.g.
1-1 1-2 1-3 1-4
2-1 2-2 2-3 2-4 2-5
and so on
I’d strongly recommend that following each mission that you download the data for that mission before you take off for the next cataloguing this mission according to the map key you develop when planning the all of the flights. Otherwise you will find that its very difficult and time consuming to locate the start and finish of each mission when scrolling through 1000’s of images (I learnt that the hard way at the end of day 1!!).
The only other concern I have (apart from the light conditions) will be viewing all of these flights — especially if you want to view them all at once. We’ve found that to be a major concern especially when a lot of our farm planning clients don’t have great computers and so we’re still working on the best solution there.
GoogleEarth, for example, will only display overlays of a max 10,000 pixels wide before it cracks the sads. Otherwise if you’re viewing in QGIS or other GIS/CAD/Graphics apps then you need to go and make a cup of tea every time you scroll across the page — and that’s with our computers which are pretty high spec.
I wish you every success with this project, and like Michael would suggest looking a renting a fixed wing but understand too that with time and planning you could also do this with a P4P - just a LOT of time and a LOT of planning (and processing).
All the best,
Darren J. Doherty
Drone Deploy Flylanthropy Partner