Multi-battery / How to operate multi-battery flights

You can fly a multi-battery mission with Pix4Dcapture. Pix4Dcapture for iOS and Pix4Dcapture for Android provide different workflows to perform a multi-battery mission.

If you cannot safely capture your project area with a single drone battery:

Android (Available only for Grid missions)

  • Tap ABORT. Your drone will start to loiter, and Pix4Dcapture will create a new flight plan that covers the remainder of your project area.

multi-battery-screen3.png

multi-battery-screen1.png

  • Tap GO HOME. Your drone will return to land at its home point.

After you have changed your drone's battery:

  • Tap START. Your drone will start capturing the remainder of your project area. Note that your drone will start capturing photos at the beginning of the flight line that it was flying in the previous mission when you tapped Abort.

multi-battery-screen2.png

 

iOS (Available for Grid, Double Grid, and Polygon missions)

  • Tap PAUSE. Your drone will start to loiter.

multi-battery1.png

multi-battery2.png

  • Tap GO HOME. Your drone will return to land at its home point.

After you have changed your drone's battery:

  • Tap RESUME. Your drone will start capturing the remainder of your project area. Note that your drone will continue capturing photos just after the location of the latest picture acquired before you tapped Pause.

multi-battery3.png

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42 comments

  • Hendrik Graulus

    Hi Gaël,

    I flew the same double-grid mission in Fast mode, per your suggestion. The first part of the mission was pretty successful with only a few anomalies e.g. few dropped pictures and sometimes pretty uneven spacing between shots. The drone then continued for the second grid of the mission and as you can see below it stopped taking pictures after the second path in the grid althought the drone kept flying for another 2 or 3 paths before I got the first low-battery warning. See screenshot below. Can you explain the anomalies and also why the drone stopped taking pictures but continued flying? I can send you the complete quality report if needed. Thanks!

  • Hendrik Graulus

    Hi Gael,
    I made another attempt flying the same mission and noticed the following issues:
    1. This time the mission was successful until I reached a low battery notice at 25% . I hit the PAUSE button and the drone loitered. So far so good right, however, the drone/app did not respond to the “Go Home” command. The drone started to land at the point of loiter and I had to take manual control to take it back to the home point. Then I changed the battery but was not able to RESUME the mission. The app seems to be “frozen” and although I replaced the battery, the app kept telling me the battery level was insufficient to resume the mission. The app didn’t respond to anything so I had to kill it.
    2. I then restarted a single grid mission in an attempt to capture the remaining portion of the double grid. In the midst of the mission, the camera stopped taking pictures although the drone continued its flight pattern. This is a problem I reported before but have not heard back from you on!

    I’m diligently following your instructions and recommendations but continue running into issues that prevent me completing my project using your app. Please advise!

    Regards

    Hendrik Graulus

  • Gaël (Pix4D)

    Hi Hendrik,

    Sorry for the delay in my answer.
    From all your reports, it seems that the multi-battery missions using an iOS device and flying a double grid are quite unstable. It has been reported to the developer's team.

    In a general way, each time an unexpected behavior occurs, we recommend interrupting the mission and restarting it from scratch. To do so, close and force quit the app, disconnect the cable from the mobile device, turn off the remote controller and the drone. Then switch on the drone and the controller, reconnect the USB cable and open Pix4Dcapture.
    Are you able to reproduce the behavior you are describing in Fast mode?

    In the meantime, even if it maybe not the most efficient workflow for you, I would advise:
    - Keep using the Fast mode.
    - Avoiding running multi-battery missions with double grid missions.
    - Trying if possible the Android version of Pix4Dcapture.

    Best

  • andrew bowne

    Hello,

    When planning a mission which will require multiple batteries, does the take-off location always need to remain the same?  I have a mission planned where I may want to change my take-off location when changing batteries.  It's a long corridor that may have sections obscured and will require changing locations.  Is this possible?

     

    Thanks!

  • Gaël (Pix4D)

    Hi Andrew,

    In order to guide you the best way, can you tell me if you are using the iOS or Android version of Pix4Dcaputure?
    Also, what is your configuration? (drone, camera, mobile device)

    Best,

  • andrew bowne

    Hello Gael,

    I am using iOS (iPad) and my drone is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro.  The camera is the stock one that comes with the drone.

     

    Thanks,

    Andrew

  • Mark Lovell

    Gaël (Pix4D)

    I'm grateful for this discussion as I was concerned I was doing something wrong as I've also recently encountered problems. My operation is flying a Matrice 600 Pro from DJI which I've used for over a year using Pix4D Capture without any problems. Most of my projects are using Polygons to capture data over the area of interest but almost always require 2 and sometimes 3 sets of batteries to complete the mission. My last two attempts have both had problems with the drone "NOT" returning to where it left off in the flight plan after swapping out batteries. From what I've read above you have indicated that the problem exists when flying a double grid pattern, well I can confirm to you that your diagnosis is not accurate. The problem also exists in the Polygon mission with single flight lines.

    I'm a geologist not a software engineer so I'm not critical of anyone, simply hoping that your people are able to find what has caused this problem to manifest and to develop a solution.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  • Jeff Currie

    Hello All

    I have found a very easy solution to multi battery flights with double grid in android

    I fly a Mavic2 Pro with the smart controller.

    I create a project and then create a double grid for the entire project in mission1

    I then create 2 or more additional missions that overlay mission 1 flight lines, but limit size of pattern to complete each mission with single battery.

    This has the added benefit that I can place a new start and end location for each mission.(saves battery resources)

    It is also possible to use multiple takeoff locations for the different missions

    Once all the missions are completed Pix4D Mapping can not tell the difference when processing the project.

    This works very well for long narrow corridors.

    Ps: I use 5 batteries, so even the smart controller can run out juice, so I keep it plugged in to charger running on an inverter and keep the batteries rotating on the 4 bay charger.

    This gives me almost unlimited flight time for really large projects

    Hope this helps

  • Colin Johnson

    This is so annoying I use android and mavic 2 pro, now I like pix4d capture but I have nothing but problems, for 1 when I setup a mission that needs to use multi batteries I do not want pix4d to guess at my first battery change where I want to go next, because I don’t want my mission to change I have set the mission so all I want is to finish that mission I do not want pix4d changing it and moving it around when my mavic is coming back for a battery change, why would you even allow the software to do this ??? just let it finish the mission I have set for it and don’t change it half way through a mission

    Can you please update pix4d capture to do this?

    Thank you

  • Kapil (Pix4D)
     

    Hello, 

    The behavior you are describing can’t be replicated on our side and has not been reported to us so far. I would suggest you go through all the basic checks and troubleshooting steps as it will solve most of the issues that can be encountered if properly followed.

    If low battery level is reached, your drone will return to the set Homepoint (Low Battery RTH) according to the Aircraft battery settings you specified in DJI GO application. When RTH is triggered, the mission is aborted and the incomplete portion is saved so that it can be flown later (e.g. after changing the battery). Anyway, Pix4Dcapture will inform you with a pop-up that the battery level is low if it’s lower than 20%.

    In case you need it, you will find more information about the Return to Home behavior when low battery level/critical battery level is reached in the “Low Battery RTH” section of DJI manual of your drone.

    Regards,

     
     
    Edited by Kapil (Pix4D)
  • Darko Ilic

    What am I missing here? Why is it not possible to fly 3-4 different missions, separately set up so each will overlap a bit, and then just send all the photos taken from all those missions into Pix4Dmapper?

    For example if it's a double grid, fly a single grid once in east-west and then another time in north-south orientation.

  • Kapil (Pix4D)

    Hello Darko Ilic

    It is definitely possible to fly 3-4 different mission, separately and process it with Pix4Dmapper. The main important thing you need to consider is having overlap between the flights so that you won't have multiple block while processing. For a double grid mission, we can change the orientation as you have explained.

    Regards,

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