Pix4Dscan - Getting started

Download the latest version for iOS.


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. Go to the area where the target structure is located.
      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.
    2. Turn on the controller and the drone.
    3. Connect the controller and the iPad device with the corresponding cable.
    4. Launch Pix4Dscan.
    5. Log in with the Pix4D user account credentials. An internet connection is required for this step.
    6. Select the drone model from the Drone selector dropdown list.
    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: By default, Safety and Security settings are taken from the drone manufacturer's application after launching Pix4Dscan.

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

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

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.
    4. Choose the type of mission to fly. More information in Mission types.
    5. Follow the instructions on the screen to define mission references and mission settings and tap Set. The properties of the point of interest differ according to the type of mission.
    6. Define the properties of the mission. More information in Pix4Dscan - Manual.
    7. 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.
    8. (Optional) A mission can be interrupted anytime. More information in How to interrupt a Pix4Dscan mission.
    9. (For Cell tower missions only) Repeat the steps from 6 to 8 for each sub-mission. Multiple sub-missions of the same type can be performed for a Cell tower mission.
    10. When the mission is over, tap the return-to-home button or fly the drone home for landing. Note that, analogously to the take-off phase, Pix4Dscan is not responsible for the landing phase.
    11. Switch off the drone and the controller.
    12. 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 mapped structure.

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