This guide explains how to get started with the Pix4D mobile application to fly the Parrot Disco-Pro AG fixed wing.
| Information: Pix4Dcapture does not support the Parrot Disco drone which does not have the Sequoia camera integrated: More information.
Step 1. Preparation before going to the field
Step 2. Mission planning in advance or in the field
Step 3. Drone flight and image acquisition
|Step 1. Preparation before going to the field
1. Download and install the latest iOS app via the App Store. For more information: Technical Release Notes.
| Important: Minimum iOS version 9.0 or later is required on the mobile device.
2. Activate the Internet access of the device.
3. Open the Pix4Dcapture app.
4. (optional) In the Welcome screen, tap Sign up for free to create a Pix4D account. For more information: (iOS) How to sign up for a Pix4D User Account in Pix4Dcapture.
5. Tap Log in to access the app with a Pix4D account. Enter the Email and Password and tap Log in.
6. Check for updates.
6.1. Turn on the drone and Skycontroller 2.
6.2. Connect the device to Skycontroller 2 using a USB cable.
6.3. Open the FreeFlight Pro app.
6.4. Once successfully connected, the lights of both the drone and Skycontroller 2 are green. It should be automatic as they are already paired. Tap the DISCO's name to display the drone information. Tap Check for updates.
| Warning: The latest firmware should always be installed to fly.
|Step 2. Mission planning in advance or in the field
Internet connection is required to load the base map. The flight plan should be prepared in advance if mobile data is not available.
The flight is automatically saved and the base map cached on the device when the mission is being planned:
The background will remain on the device for 2-3 days depending on the usage of the temporary memory. The cached data and the planned mission are not erased even if the app is closed, forced to quit, or even if the device is rebooted
| Tip: It is recommended to plan the mission in advance before going to the field to be efficient. The flight settings can still be adjusted later.
1. (optional) Activate the geolocation services of the device.
2. Open the Pix4Dcapture app.
3. Select the drone to fly.
3.1. In the Home screen, tap Settings.
3.2. In the section Drone and tap Drone.
3.3. Tap Parrot and select Disco-Pro AG.
| Note: Other options can be changed in the Settings menu, e.g. units.
4. In the Home screen, select Grid.
5. In the Map view, tap to focus on device's location (blue dot) or move the base map to the desired location.
6. Tap to bring the default mission to the area.
7. Set the altitude by scrolling the scale. The flight can be set between 50 m and 150 m above ground level.
8. Tap and in the flight Settings menu, tweak the following:
- Front overlap: Default value is 80%.
- Side overlap: Default value is 70%.
- It is not recommended to set a lower overlap, especially for agriculture purposes. For more information: Step 1. Before Starting a Project > 1. Designing the Image Acquisition Plan > a. Selecting the Image Acquisition Plan Type.
|Information: The minimum drone speed is 13 m/s. It however fluctuates during the mission and depends on the wind.|
9. In the Map view, select the satellite base map to better apprehend the potential obstacles in the area.
10. Define the flight plan.
10.1. Check the wind direction and the surroundings to determine the location and orientation of the takeoff point. The pilot should always launch the fixed wing against the wind.
10.2. Place the START point (50 m) so that it faces the takeoff point.
10.3. Design the grid:
- Move it to the desired location.
- Change its orientation.
- Drag bullets to adjust the size and shape.
- If the flight plan turns yellow, tap to get more information.
10.4. Place and orientate the landing area in a safe zone so that the drone lands against the wind. The cone represents the degree of uncertainty where the drone is supposed to fly between the descent point (50 m) and the LANDING point (on the ground).
|Note: In the start and descent points, the drone is in loitering mode. It flies making clockwise circles (fixed radius) at 50-m altitude with a safe speed.|
|Information: In the Home screen, tap Tutorial/Help and then Disco Instructions to access schematic explanations anytime.|
|Step 3. Drone flight and image acquisition
1. Mount the Parrot Disco-Pro AG.
1.1. Insert and connect the battery.
2.2. Insert and connect the Sequoia camera with its sunshine sensor.
3.3. Add the wings.
3.4. Place the drone on a flat surface.
2. Turn on the Sequoia camera, the drone, and Skycontroller 2.
3. Connect the device to Skycontroller 2 using a USB cable.
4. Wait for the lights of both the drone and Skycontroller 2 to be green. It should be automatic as they are already paired.
5. Open the Pix4Dcapture app.
6. In the Home screen, select Grid.
7. In the Map view, tap once ready. The propeller will not activate at this point.
8. Once the drone connection check is successful, tap Next.
9. The takeoff checklist pops up. Tap to get more information on how to solve a check that failed. Once all checks are green, tap Start. The propeller will still not activate at this point.
|Important: Once the countdown is triggered, the propeller will turn on after 10 seconds.|
10. Once ready to launch the drone against the wind, tap Start countdown. Wait and when the propeller reaches its full power (5 more seconds), launch the fixed wing.
11. During the flight:
- Tap to display the telemetry information (altitude of the drone, battery percentage of the drone and remote controller, etc.).
- Keep eye contact with the drone.
- Keep the hands on the remote controller or the device.
- Switch to the Camera view to get the video feed of the front camera (not Sequoia) while the drone is flying.
- Keep track of the drone's current position moving on the Map view (fixed wing icon).
In case of danger, there are three ways to interrupt the mission anytime even during landing.
Then two options can be tapped in the Map view after interrupting the mission:
When the mission is interrupted, meaning the drone did not land yet, it is possible to:
The modifications are automatically uploaded to the drone that will land in the new cone or will start the new flight plan. The last option can be used to fly several missions in a row without making the drone come back in between.
12. At the end of the mission:
12.1. The drone comes back and prepares to land. It first goes to the descent point (50 m).
12.2. The drone proceeds to automatic landing within the cone to reach the LANDING point (on the ground).
The mission cannot be synchronized for this drone. It is needed to copy the images from the Sequoia camera to the computer using a USB cable. The images are saved in the internal memory of the camera and are geotagged by the drone's GPS.
Article feedback (for troubleshooting, post here instead)
I currently have to make a plot of 190 hectares,
How could I make multiple missions with my parrot pro AG?
As the Parrot Disco-Pro Ag is supported only with the iOS version of Pix4Dcapture, only separate missions can be done. There is no easy way to fly multiple missions but I would recommend to do it the following way:
- Fly a mission
- Duplicate the project
- Move the grid to the area that has not been acquired but being sure that a sufficient overlap is existing with the previous one.