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Drone: 7 useful tips for the owner of a quadcopter

Using a UAV drone to map a field, city block, or future construction site will require certain skills and knowledge. Even if some theoretical points are obvious, the practice can be a real test for a beginner.

In some countries, to use a drone, it must be registered, and its pilot must have a special certificate.

1. Carefully check the equipment before leaving for the field

Experience shows that an SD card can simply fail or get lost. Therefore, take spare parts before leaving for the place of shooting. It is good to have a few spare (charged) batteries, propellers, but to avoid the need for other elements, pay more attention to training. The collision of the propeller with the ground during takeoff/landing or something else in flight is quite possible. All propellers (installed and spare) must be well balanced, otherwise, you risk getting the Jello effect when shooting.

Drone: 7 useful tips for the owner of a quadcopter - Drone

2. Know the location of the upcoming shooting well

The flight of a large drone is also a danger to humans – not for nothing are they compared to flying lawnmowers. If the engine is damaged, the propeller can fly off in someone’s face. Therefore, the flight path must be known in advance, the drone operator must have a clear contingency plan. The most common situations of this kind are a battery discharge, loss of the remote control, or a UAV collision with something.

To make a good video “camera flight through the picture”, you need to know exactly the position of all trees and other high-altitude objects. Otherwise, your shooting will be interrupted by an accident and repairs. Not only that, you need to train well, learn how the drone behaves in this configuration. If you weigh another battery, it will increase the flight time, but will not compensate for poor piloting skills and change the lightweight.

3. Safety first!

  • Flight altitude from 50 to 150 m (below – dangerous for spectators, above – the danger of flying planes). If necessary – get permission to fly at a specific altitude from local authorities;
  • Perform all operations in daylight;
  • The drone must be within line of sight of the operator;
  • Avoid flying over crowds;
  • Always return the drone to the landing-place when the battery is charged for at least another minute. In the cold, batteries can hold a worse charge.

4. Choose the right type of UAV for a particular job

Drone: 7 useful tips for the owner of a quadcopter - Drone

A simple drone will be enough to make a review video or several panoramic photos. If you need to shoot studio quality, you will need a camera with a folding suspension, so the requirements for load capacity. In fact, the type of drone depends on which camera you want to use. DJ quadcopters differ favorably in that they are modular. You can choose the equipment before each departure, changing the number of installed batteries, cameras, accessories. Of course, you or the pilot must have experience operating your drone with different levels of load.

A special camera and software are required to obtain a map with the NDVI plant index. To determine the height of the plants or create a 3D model of the quarter, you will need to use a special flight mode with a camera that shoots at an angle (3D Mode), when the drone takes pictures of each element from two sides. Take into account the area of ​​the site, the expected flight distance and compare them with the capabilities of the available batteries.

A good suspension will be needed for the camera to give a quality image. 3-axis suspension provides stability in three directions (jerking, pitch, roll), 2x axial only in two: pitch and roll. 3-axis suspension for a quadcopter video camera is heavier, 2-axis is lighter. When buying a suspension, make sure it has the appropriate mounts for your type of quadcopter and for fixing the camera.

5. Increase the overlap of the images when mapping the area

During the flight, there are Sidelap – overlapping images between rows of flight and Frontlap ​​- overlapping the previous and next frames. The higher the resolution of each frame and the overlap of the image, the better the processing when creating a map, but the stronger the memory of the SD card. To obtain a map of the NDVI field index, it is necessary to overlap the images by about 70%.

6. Choose the right lighting for shooting

A cloudy day is good because there is even diffused lighting. Or choose a time from 10-00 to 14-00, when the sun is high above the horizon. However, there may be difficulties in analyzing the sequence of such images (crop ripening is taken with different light levels each time), so the Sequoia + camera allows you to make images with calibrated brightness values ​​under variable ground lighting.

7. Practice!

Drone: 7 useful tips for the owner of a quadcopter - Drone

The quadcopter has at least two flight modes – for beginners, where all commands from the console are perceived as weak and normal. Everyone has their own characteristics. For example, in beginner mode, even if you see an obstacle, you may not have time to fly around it. In normal mode, one touch of the control lever can throw a drone into the bushes, which were not so close.

If there is an automatic mode, it can also be an unpleasant surprise. The quadcopter will constantly interfere in the control process, which will make the trajectory not entirely predictable. Therefore, experienced operators, taking video photography use only manual control.

Spectacular reception, when the camera first approaches the face, and then flies up, looking around the city, requires some experience. Even professionals need to make a few takes. And again, you need to know the location of power lines, trees, and other high-altitude objects.

The crew of the quadcopter is ready to fly!

If your idea is difficult to implement, you can buy a DJI Inspire 1 Pro with two transmitters. Due to which one operator controls the flight, and the other – the camera itself. In this case, the filming work must be performed by a well-coordinated crew consisting of a drone pilot and a video camera operator.

If the drone operator uses first-person viewing mode, another employee is always needed to observe the flight from the side, especially during takeoff and landing.