I wanted to raise an issue that I had flying a very large site to see if any solution might exist. This is perhaps more about improving the product than complaining about something.
I flew a mission over a very large (1000+ acres) area. The number of batteries and required flight time did not (could not?) take into account the amount of flying required during battery swaps since so much distance needed to be covered to return the drone to home and then to fly back to where it was to continue the mission. On my flight, the estimate was off by a number of batteries and a number of hours. I noticed that the timer on screen included the time to/from the home point as part of the flight time and the total time was well in excess of the originally estimated time.
This leads me to two possible suggestions:
First, I understand that a number of factors such as wind will affect the battery usage. In a large enough parcel, the location of the home position will also play a huge role. Would it make sense to allow a user to identify a possible home location when planning a flight and then using that location to estimate the total battery/time requirement taking into the return flights (including decent and ascent) with each battery change? When on site and when a real home point is determined, the estimate could then also be automatically updated.
Second, would it be possible to include a timer that only relates to the time flying the mission path and taking the pictures AND a second timer that would reflect essentially overhead time (to/from mission start and home point at the start, finish, and at battery swaps? That way, we could actually do a real time assessment as we’re flying to figure out when (if?) we’ll get done as anticipated.
I welcome any thoughts on this additional calculation. It sure would have been helpful for planning last week!
Thanks very much!