Obstacle Avoidance Issue

On mission today I noticed that, at waypoint turns, drone would sometimes spasm as if reacting to obstacle avoidance input. This was confirmed both visually and by vibration of controller. Flyig at 15 mph and 175 feet AGL. Obstacle avoidance was on but no obstacles in path. Confirmed no birds in vicinity and well above trees, etc. Mission completed without any problems but it was somewhat unnerving. Anyone else seen this issue?

First noted on 1/21/12018

Mavic Pro Drone

Ipad 4 Mini running iOS 11.2.2, DroneDeploy 2.64.0, and DJI Go 4.1.22

Flying into the sun has been know to effect the OA system at times. Could that have been a possibility?


Thanks for the response. It well may have been sun. The long axis of the grid was ENE/WSW. As the drone reached the end of a ENE leg it turned through a south heading (directly into the sun) and this is where I noticed the violent maneuver (exactly like an obstacle avoidance stop at speed). Although the sun was pretty high (around 11:00 AM) I suppose it still could have affected the drone. Also, as I remember the maneuver happened consistently on the same “through the south” turn so it sounds like a plausible explanation. Thinking back, I have had this happen several times during regular (non-mapping) flights and assumed it was birds (I was not looking at the drone at the time). One particular flight that I remember was early morning and it happened several times so that also would confirm that the sun was the cause. Sounds like obstacle avoidance will be off in the future.

Thanks for the input.


Steve, it does sound like it.

If there is a reasonable chance that you could have missed judged something and need OA then by all means leave it on. But if the site is clean, I would advise turning OA off.


@StevenB Thanks for reaching out. We have not had any reports of drones running on the DroneDeploy app behaving erratically due to obstacle avoidance being on during a mission. I would say flying into the sun may affect the behavior of your drone. To be safe, each time you plan a flight, I would make sure you are flying above a safe distance above the highest point in your mission.

I would also turn obstacle avoidance off if there are no known obstacles in your flight area.


I fly with obstacle avoidance on because most of my work is in mountainous terrain, and I’d rather scrub the mission than lose the drone in a tree because I miscalculated elevation profiles or tree heights. I’ve had this “phantom brick wall” behavior happen multiple times, but never had any problems because of it. At first I thought it was birds (and some incidents may have been), but I’ve seen it happen in clear air with no birds in the area. I noticed that it seems to happen in the same area of the flight pattern, so sun angle may be the culprit… had never considered that before. I had always chalked it up to some sort of sensor reflection in the area.