Flight Readiness ‘101’
No matter if you have been flying for a while or just got your brand new UAV, you need to balance the amount of time spent in the field collecting data with the level of data resolution required for the job.
Don’t Rush: Accurate data collection is the reason we are flying and this can be over looked in the need to get the job done. The weather will bring what it will bring, and the best thing to do is be aware how it can affect image acquisition. Do not FORCE the flight as this is where mistakes are made the most, or data quality is compromised.
? Check List
Having a refined check list is a good habit for safety reasons and to ensure compliance with Transport Canada regulations obtained in your SFO. It also establishes a pre-flight routine with the operator and observer for every project so no missed steps occur, overlooked flight parameters or worse. Keeping you on track and having a consistent “method to the madness” will help in developing an efficient process that covers all flight aspects that is applicable to most jobs and is helpful when crew members are not always the same.
? Power Consumption
Understanding battery power limitations is very important when planning your flights.
- Is the battery fully charged
- What is the job size/expected flight time
- Do you have enough batteries, or do you have a way to charge batteries in the field
- When do I need to come home (lowest % benchmark)
- How long will it take to get home from its current position (if available)
- The health of the battery (are there charging issues/should we be using the battery)
- How will the environment potentially effect consumption (i.e. wind, temperature)
? Quality Check
Pix4D software comes with ability to quickly check and preview images to look at preview image quality, mosaic potential, etc. When time allows, using the option can potentially avoid the need to revisit the project site because of poor data quality during flight.
Build your own flight planning checklist, but above everything, safety must be your number one priority when conducting flights.