How to Plan a Linear Mission Using DJI Pilot 2


DJI Pilot 2 is the flight software used by the DJI Matrice 300 RTK (M300), Matrice 350 RTK (M350), and the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise (M3E). 

If you fly a corridor, such as a highway or a railroad, flying a Linear Mission is much easier than a standard 2D mapping mission. 

You can drop points (as described below) or use a KML file to create the flight boundary.

Planning a Linear Mission

1. Power on the RC and aircraft.

2. From the home screen of DJI Pilot, tap Flight Route.

3. Tap Create a Route.

4. Tap Linear.

5. Drop the points to mark the start and end of the corridor. Add more points if necessary.

6. Name your mission. 

7. Select your camera and lens.

8. Specify your flight settings.

Note: Adjust flight band cutting distance to make the mission segments as even as possible. 

Drone settings

Flight Band Settings Set to Question to Ask Yourself Reason
Single Route User Preference Do you want the mission to be done in one long segment or several segments? Maintain line of sight, increase mission efficiency (route with curves, off for line of sight. Straight mission, on to increase efficiency.)
Equal Left/Right Extensions On Do you want the mission to have the same buffer on both sides of the center line? Distance shooting allows the drone to capture images with consistent overlap. 
Extension Length User Preference How much buffer on either side of the center line do you want? You want at least 3 lines of coverage over the corridor, including the center line. 5 passes over the corridor is even better.
Flight Band Cutting Distance Max Allowable* How big do you want each flight to be? *Unless you're trying to reach the required 10 minute mission time per section, increase the cutting band distance. 
Flight Route Settings Set to Question to Ask Yourself Reason
Include Center Line On Do you want the flight route to be generated along the center line? Using the center line ensures good coverage of the corridor. 
ASL/ALT Relative to Takeoff Point (ASL) What elevation is your target altitude referenced to? Unless you are referencing to altitude above Sea Level (ASL) in the EGM96 geoid model, set this to ALT.
 
Flight Route Altitude 200-400ft (60-120m) How high should I fly compared to the takeoff point? The height is a balance between how quickly you would like to complete your survey (higher makes it faster) and the ground sampling distance that you need. This range satisfies this balance.
Takeoff Speed User Preference How fast should the drone take off? Faster takeoff speeds will slightly reduce the battery voltage but may be necessary on active sites.
Mission Speed Max Speed Allowable* How fast should I fly? *Unless you're trying to reach the required 10 minute mission time, increase the speed to minimize overall flight time. In low light conditions, reduce the speed and the shutter speed to ~1/800. 
Boundary Optimization Disabled Do you want extra images taken on either side of the corridor? If you have made your corridor wide enough, you don't need these extra images. 
Photo Mode Distance Interval Shot What metric is used to capture images? Distance shooting allows the drone to capture images with consistent overlap. 
Upon Completion Return To Home What should I do after completing the mission? Safety and not losing your drone. Once completed, the drone will go back to the home point automatically. 
Advanced Settings Set to Question to Ask Yourself Reason
Side and Frontal Overlap Ratio (%) ~80% How much should each of the images overlap each other? This provides enough overlap if some images are missing or poor quality while still building a contiguous model. The lower the detail on the surface below, the higher your overlap should be. If you have a large area to survey, you can reduce the horizontal overlap (no lower than 60%) to increase the area you can cover per battery. 

9. Save the mission by tapping on the save icon. 

10. From the Camera View, tap on the Slider Bar Menu.

11. Tap on the slider bars icon below the shutter button and enter your camera settings.

IMPORTANT: Adjust your camera settings according to which payload you are using, Mavic 3 Enterprise, the M300 RTK, or the M350 RTK.

M300/350 payload and camera settings

M300/350 Payload & Camera Settings Set to Question to Ask Yourself Reason
Focus Mode First Waypoint Autofocus How do I want my camera to focus on my site? Focus problems may cause motion blur. 
Dewarping Disabled Should the camera apply dewarping? Photogrammetric software like Propeller processing handles dewarping much better than the camera can. 
Image Ratio 3:2 How much of the image should I delete? 3:2 deletes nothing, utilizing the whole sensor. Everything else deletes data. 
Image Format JPG How should the images be saved? Images must be in a JPG format to upload to Propeller.
White Balance Set to conditions What conditions should I accommodate for? Adjust the setting to reflect current weather conditions. Setting the white balance incorrectly will result in poor stitching and/or inaccurate coloring of your model. 
Mechanical Shutter Enabled Do I want my camera to use the mechanical shutter? A mechanical shutter uses the conventional front and rear shutter curtains at the front of the sensor. Not using the mechanical shutter will introduce distortion. 
Mode S (Shutter) How should the exposure be controlled? Shutter mode tells the camera to use a fixed shutter speed to avoid motion blur. The camera can adjust the exposure with aperture and ISO. 
Shutter Speed 1/1000 How fast should the shutter close? 1000 is usually a good starting point for sunny conditions. In low-light conditions, reduce the shutter speed to ~800 and lower the speed. 

M3E camera settings

M3E Camera Settings Set to Question to Ask Yourself Reason
Image Ratio 4:3 How much of the image should I delete? 4:3 deletes nothing, utilizing the whole sensor. Everything else deletes data. 
Image Format JPG How should the images be saved? Images must be in a JPG format to upload to Propeller.
Lock Gimbal While Shooting Enabled Do you want the gimbal to lock in place while it takes a photo? Leave this on its default setting. This will help prevent blurry images. 
Mechanical Shutter Enabled Do I want my camera to use the mechanical shutter? A mechanical shutter uses the conventional front and rear shutter curtains at the front of the sensor. Not using the mechanical shutter will introduce distortion. 
Dewarping Enabled Should the camera apply dewarping? Photogrammetric software like Propeller processing handles dewarping much better than the camera can. 
Mode S (Shutter) How should the exposure be controlled? Shutter mode tells the camera to use a fixed shutter speed to avoid motion blur. The camera can adjust the exposure with aperture and ISO. 
Shutter Speed 1/1000 How fast should the shutter close? 1000 is usually a good starting point for sunny conditions. In low-light conditions, reduce the shutter speed to ~800 and lower the speed. 

12. Double-check your settings in the Preflight Checklist. 

Ensure dewarping is turned on for best results if using the M3E. 

 


I still can't do it!

We wrote these articles to equip you with everything you need to get the job done on your own, but we understand that sometimes this isn't sufficient.

If you're stuck, the Propeller hardware support team may be able to help. You can contact them by emailing hardwaresupport@propelleraero.com.au.

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