Map defining by SHP file and Flight Completion

Hello fellow Drone Deployers! I’ve been using the DD platform for a while now (with a Business account), mostly for mapping agricultural fields and I’m very satisfied with the result. I do have a few problems I’d like to address.
Due to the fact that in my country the AG fields are very scattered and oddly shaped, while mapping about 42 000dk, I’m making hundreds of flights and I’ve come up with two features I’d really REALLY like to be able to have and will help me a LOT:

  1. Although DD’s made available the KML/SHP import app for flight planning, it would be REALLY helpful to be able to use the same feature, when uploading photos for new maps. Picture this - I have a few DJI UAVs with MAPIR NIR piggybacked second cameras. This is key, because this way I can map with a 20MP hi-res RGB sensor as well as with a 12MP NIR sensor and thus create two maps (RGB & NDVI) with one flight.
    In order to process the data from the second camera though (since there’s been only one flight), due to the complexity of the field shapes, I’ve gotten the idea of making second, incomplete flights of each field, right after the first has completed, so I have two imports pending, that have the field shape pre-loaded and I can import the photos to.
    If I could just make a new map import and instead of defining the map borders manually, I could use the same app for importing the SHP file, as I do whilst flight planning, that would honestly be a game changer for me!

  2. There have been numerous occasions, where I’ve gotten incomplete flights, due to the drone RTH at the very end of the flight (99%). At this point I have to swap a new battery and send the drone back 1.5km (after if flied 1.5km to RTH) just to take 3-5 photos (in most cases). I’ve seen this question posted before and I still don’t see anything done on the matter, although it honestly seems like some easy feature fix - Can you DD guys PLEASE add a “Complete Flight” button, next to the “Continue flight” and “Reset” ones that you already have? It honestly seems such a easy fix and you can’t imagine how helpful this would actually be!

  • Picture this scenario - I’m flying over a field with a Phantom 4 with an RGB camera and I have to make a second flight over that same field with a different drone (Inspire with a modded NIR X3 camera, or a M2ED with a thermal camera etc…). If the first flight hasn’t completed (because of just a few photos missing, that by all means aren’t going to affect the end map), I can’t start a second flight on the same field, or I press the “reset flight” button and fly with the second drone, which in turn deletes the log of a previous flight and at the end I end up with only one logged flight and only one pending import…

I thank you in advance and sincerely hope you can look into my request!

Best regards,
George Stoilov

Hi George, welcome!

  1. I actually just thought about this about an hour ago. I’m doing a lot more flying with a Yuneec H520E RTK which is neither controlled by drone deploy or planned so I always have to manually upload and recreate the boundary. Another alternative is if they would allow us to just use the last perimeter that we created. Maps and everything else carry over so I don’t know why that couldn’t. Bringing in a KML or shapefile is another great alternative.
  2. Can you provide a little more information on why your drone is returning home? Is it related to battery level or signal? Or does it just do it out of the blue for absolutely no reason? I’ve never seen this myself so it’s a little tough to relate.
  3. I have had occasions with the P4P where something happened in the middle of the flight so I had to abandon everything and then copy the flight and recreate the perimeter at my best guess at where it left off. I make sure to note all the positions as soon as I see something happening but this is definitely a pain in the butt. If we could promptly initiate return to home perhaps it would carry on as it should. That’s a really hard thing to gauge.

Hi Michael and thank you for the prompt reply!

  1. In regards to the map boundary creation, that’s exactly my point - since the app for importing KML/SHP files is already existing and functional, I really think a lot of people would benefit from the ability to use it in the map photos import section, as well as in the flights planner.

2/3. In regards to the RTH situation, most of the cases it’s due to the drone being far away from the home point, with a ~30% battery and a sudden wind gust triggers the RTH command, since it’s detecting high power consumption at that precise moment.
My idea of a “Complete mission” trigger would be particularly useful in the scenario, then the drone has returned to Home, without completing 100% of the flight plan, but the remaining part of the flight plan is possible to be considered obsolete - like in the event the flight plan has an additional short line of 5-10 photos, which the stitching algorithm most probably doesn’t necessarily need, due to the high overlap percentage anyway.

In this case, I end up wasting another battery and time just to finish the flight plan, so I can send another UAV at the same block…

That’s not supposed to happen. The systems do not have a variable power consumption “Can I make it home?” RTH functionality unless you are below the thresholds you set in DJI Go. I have mine at 30% notification and 15% critical. If it gets to 15% it will force it’s way home but regardless you should have had the opportunity to swap batteries and relaunch. If this is happening consistently on a plan I would shift the variables slightly just to tweak the plan but if it is happening holistically I would start working with support.