PIX4Dscan - Getting started

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Step 1. Equipment setup

 
Important: The very first connection to the drone has to be done with the drone manufacturer application before using PIX4Dscan. Once the drone is configured and all the sensors are successfully calibrated (gimbal, compass, and IMU calibration), the PIX4Dscan app can be used.
    1. Log in with the PIX4D user account credentials. An internet connection is required for this step.
    2. Go to the area where the target structure is located.
    3. Turn on the controller and the drone.
    4. Connect the controller and the iPad device with the corresponding cable.
    5. Launch PIX4Dscan.
      Note: If the plan is to fly without an Internet connection, the following steps need to be performed before going to the field. More information in: Offline basemaps and missions.
    6. Select the drone model from the Drone selector dropdown list.
      drone_selector.png
    7. Once the status of the drone is Connected, tap Start flight.

At this point, the user is correctly identified within the application and the drone is ready to fly.

Step 2. Safety and Security settings check

Before starting the mission, it is strongly recommended to go through the Safety and Security settings. A detailed description of the settings can be found in PIX4Dscan - Settings.

Note: For the safety and security settings coming from the vendor applications, their values are retrieved in PIX4Dscan (signal lost action, RTH height, etc.

On the top bar, tap menu.png to access the Settings.

  1. Ensure the minimum drone battery level to start a mission is correctly set.
  2. Ensure the signal lost action is defined correctly.
  3. Ensure the RTH height is set correctly. Notice that later on while defining the mission settings, if the point of interest maximum height is detected as higher than the RTH height, the user is asked to confirm this value again.
  4. Ensure the maximum flight altitude is set correctly in the vendor app.

After setting the Safety and Security checks, the user is ready to start flying.

Step 3. Select the mission and fly

In PIX4Dscan, flight planning is done on the field in order to ensure that the flight plan is positioned correctly. The take-off and the point of interest definition phase are done by manually piloting the drone.

 
Important: PIX4Dscan does not use a basemap for mission planning. In order to correctly position the mission, characteristic points, for example, the center of the cell tower, need to be identified while flying the drone with the remote controller. The mission is then created using the measured position of these points.

To perform a mission, the steps are the following:

    1. Take-off in manual mode at least 20m away from the upcoming mission flight path in a safe place at the same elevation as the tower base.
    2. Position the drone at a few meters above the ground
      Important: To start a mission, the drone needs to be hovering. PIX4Dscan is not responsible for the take-off phase.
    3. Tap add_mission.png to create a new mission. The mission selection window will open.
    4. Choose the type of mission to fly. More information in Mission types.
         Pix4dscan_types_of_mission.jpg

When selecting cell tower, orbit, or cylinder missions: 

Mission planning is done by flying the drone on the field in order to ensure that the flight plan is positioned correctly. The take-off and the point of interest definition phases are done by manually piloting the drone.
Important: A basemap is not needed for those missions. In order to correctly position the mission, characteristic points, for example, the center of the cell tower, need to be identified while flying the drone with the remote controller. The mission is then created using the measured position of these points.

To perform a cell tower, orbit, or cylinder mission, the steps are the following:

1. Take-off in manual mode at least 20m away from the upcoming mission flight path in a safe place at the same elevation as the tower base.
2. Follow the instructions on the screen to define the point of interest references
3. Define the mission properties. For more information visit, PIX4Dscan - Manual.
4. Tap Start mission. The drone exits the manual mode and performs the mission. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.
5. (Optional) A mission can be interrupted anytime. More information in How to interrupt a PIX4Dscan mission.
6. (For Cell tower missions only) Repeat the steps from 3 to 5 for each submission. Multiple submissions of the same type can be performed for a Cell tower mission.

When selecting grid mission:

The take-off phase is handled by PIX4Dscan but the mission can also be started from the air. The basemap is used to position the flight path and set the mission boundaries.

To perform a grid mission, the steps are the following:

1. Place and design the grid mission over the basemap (spatial reference)
2. Define the mission properties. For more information visit, PIX4Dscan - Manual.
3. Tap Start mission. The drone takes-off automatically climbs up to the mission height and performs the mission. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.
4. (Optional) A mission can be interrupted anytime.  For more information visit, How to interrupt a PIX4Dscan mission.

When a mission is over:

1. Tap the return-to-home button or manually fly the drone home for landing.
2. Switch off the drone and the controller.
3. Remove the SD card.

The acquired images/videos are now stored on the SD card and they can be used for visual inspection and to generate photogrammetric products.

Step 4. Process the dataset

Connect the SD card to a device that can upload the acquired images/videos to a new inspection into the PIX4Dinspect cloud platform.

The dataset can now be inspected and processed, in order to generate the results and inspect the scanned structure.

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