Drone Deploy Setup

This section will go over the things that you should keep in mind and how to set up your flight automation before you get out to the site, using DroneDeploy as your automation tool. (Note: You can use the free version of DroneDeploy for flight automation.)

Check the version of your DroneDeploy app before you go out and fly so that you can be up-to-date before you arrive on site. Some mobile carriers will limit or throttle your download speed of large apps, and you can save yourself the time of downloading on site by simply checking beforehand by checking in a place where you have access to fast wifi.

Weather and Time of Day

The best time of day to conduct flights for orthomosaic maps is during the middle of the day (depending on time of year and your location) so as to reduce the amount of shading from structures or trees. Cloudy days are also great to fly in because shading is significantly reduced. 

If you have checked the weather and see that there is light wind, it is usually okay to still conduct your flight. Check the wind rating of your drone on the manufacturer’s website. But we have been able to fly missions with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro in approximately 15 mph winds without issue. But please exercise caution. If you do not feel comfortable with the weather conditions, call it off and fly a different day. 

Before You Fly

As we mentioned in the previous lesson, you will first need to do a manual flight to gather your close-up site images AND to fly to the top of the tallest obstruction. Be sure that your flight altitude in DroneDeploy is set at a minimum of 15FT above the tallest obstruction. 

Drone Deploy Setup Steps

1-Go to www.dronedeploy.com

2-Login

3-Click My Dashboard

4-Click New Project

5-Enter Flight address (location)

6-Zoom in to site

7-Click “Create Project Here”

8-Move the white dots to the perimeter of the property

9-Select flight altitude (does not have to be the actual flight altitude. You will determine this when you arrive on site)

10-Turn on “Obstacle Avoidance” (if your drone has that feature)

11-Click “Advanced”

  • Set “Side Lap” to a minimum of 75%
  • Adjust flight direction to suit your needs. This will also dictate how long it takes to fly your project and also the level the number of photos taken. 
  • Adjust Starting Waypoint - WARNING: Make sure you have accounted for the height of obstacles ANYWHERE along your flight path, including the flight path from take-off to starting point, which will be outside of the flight path for the orthomosaic map itself. 

12-Title your flight plan

13-Click Save

14-Confirm the flight plan has loaded to the mobile app from the desktop application.

15-Start your drone and confirm the drone connects to the app.

16-Tap the blue circle with the white check line in it to start the flight.