Manual - PIX4Dscan

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Manual
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Settings

This guide is intended to explain all the functionalities and settings available in PIX4Dscan. It is recommended to read it carefully to be familiar with the application and to have the best experience using it.

The manual is divided into the following categories:

   

Sign-up

A 15-day trial can be started in several locations of PIX4Dscan:

 

  • In the top bar of the Dashboard
  • In account details of general settings
  • In the login window
  • In the project creation window from the map/flight view

 

In order to start a trial:

  1. Complete the sign-up form.

sign-up.png

  1. Review and accept the Terms Of Service, and Software EULA.
  2. Review and accept the Privacy Policy.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Review the Privacy Settings.
  5. Click Save.

When the sign-up is completed, click the Activate account button in the email sent to the selected email address and start using Pix4D products.

Login/Logout

PIX4Dscan can be discovered in demo mode, without being logged in. Several actions such as connecting to the drone, reviewing the camera feed or map view, and navigating the project list and details can be performed.

The Login button will be displayed after launching the app for the first time or after a previous log-out. It can be found in several locations:
- In the top bar of the Dashboard
- In account details of general settings
- In the project creation window from the map/flight view

In order to log in:
1. Enter the email and password of the Pix4D user account.
2. Click Login.

Important: In order to create new projects and fly missions, it is mandatory to be logged into the app. An internet connection is required to do so.
Logout can be performed from the account details of the general settings upon confirmation.

Dashboard

The Dashboard is displayed after launching the app or after exiting the flight or map view by pressing on the PIX4Dscan icon at the left corner of the top bar.

Dashboard.PNG

From the Dashboard, several actions are possible:

  • Start a trial or Log in from the top bar.
  • Enter the general settings from the top bar by tapping on unnamed.png if you are not logged in, or Group_1953.png if you are logged in (it shows the user's initials). For more information: PIX4Dscan - Settings.
  • Select a supported drone and camera model and review its connectivity status.
  • Press on Map View to access the map, flight views, project creation option, project list, etc. 

We then recommend going through the Safety and Security Settings before flying missions.

Flight view

The Flight view is enlarged by default and it shows the real-time video feedback from the drone. The video feedback is only available if the drone is connected.

Flight_view.PNG

The video feedback is useful to follow and get visual information from the flight. It provides information on the quality of the images and reflects the camera settings that are being applied (exposure value, white balance).

Camera white balance (WB) and exposure value (EV) can be customized in the flight view when a mission hasn't been started yet.

Note: The Flight view is only available if the drone is detected as Connected.

Map view

The Map view shows the view with a basemap. To customize the Map view settings, go to the Interface settings. For more information: General Settings.

Map_view.PNG

The Flight view is enlarged by default. It is possible to minimize or close the video feed by tapping on the Map box or - button at the bottom left.

Note: The basemap is displayed if the internet connection is established. The map can be cached in memory beforehand in case the Internet connection is not available on the field. For more information: Is an Internet connection needed to use PIX4Dscan?.

Possible actions that can be performed in this view are:

  • Interact with the map (move, rotate, zoom, switch styles)
  • Create a new project
  • Enter the project list

In the Map view:

  • homepoint.png Defines the home point location.
  • drone_0.75.png Defines the drone location.
  • GPS_marker0.5.png Defines the device location. The radius of the biggest circle defines the accuracy of the GPS position.
  • poi.png Defines the point of interest location (only displayed when a POI mission is being set up).
  • north-16__1_.jpgPoints to the North. When the map is rotated, tap the icon to align the current orientation of the map with the North. 
  • Scale.jpg A visual scale defines the scale of the map.
  • map_switch_to_satellite.jpg Let the user switch from Streets to Satellite base map.
  • map_switch_to_streets.jpg Let the user switch from Satellite to Streets base map.
  • Pix4Dcatch_reset_the_shape.png Let the user reset a grid mission to its default shape and location (only displayed when a grid mission is being set up).
  • Pix4Dcatch_center_the_map.png Let the user center the map view on the mission location (only displayed when a mission is being set up).
  • telemetry.png To review the drone telemetry (See the dedicated section).

Tap on returntohome.png  to trigger a return to home action (See the dedicated section).

Tap on add_mission.png to open the project creation window (See the dedicated section).

Tap on folder.png  to open the project list view (See the dedicated section).

Tap X to center the Map view on the device position (permission needed). 

Tap focus_on_drone.png to center the Map view on the drone position (only when the drone is connected). 

To go back to the Flight view, tap camera_view.png

Status bar

The PIX4Dscan logo in the left corner of the top bar allows to exit the flight or map views and go back to the dashboard if the drone is landed.

The top bar displays important telemetry items to monitor the status of the drone and remote controller.

The drone and camera connectivity status and the datalink quality indicator between the remote controller and the drone are displayed. Values can be:

  • Connected (green color). Within the Connected status, different datalink quality types can be detected so that signal loss can be prevented when the connection is getting weaker.
  • Not connected (red color). If the connection is lost during the mission, the drone will behave as specified in the Safety and Security settings. The mission gets paused and can be resumed later.

The flight mode shows in which mode the drone is flying. The possible statuses are:

  • TAKING-OFF: the drone is taking off from the ground.
  • MANUAL FLIGHT: the drone is piloted manually with the remote controller sticks.
  • GOING TO MISSION: the drone is heading to the mission.
  • IN MISSION: the drone is performing the mission.
  • GOING TO LAND: the drone is heading to the home point.
  • LANDING: the drone is descending to the home point.
  • LANDED: the drone is landed on the ground.

The following telemetry items are displayed in the top bar:

drone_battery.png Status of the drone's battery level:

  • Status is Ok (green) when the value is ≥30%.
  • Status is Warning (orange) when the value is between 29% and the minimum drone battery level set in the safety and security settings.
  • Status is Critical (red) when the value is smaller than the minimum drone battery level set in the safety and security settings.

controller_battery.png Status of the remote controller's battery level:

  • Status is Ok (green) when the value is ≥30%.
  • Status is Warning (orange) when the value is between 29% and 20%.
  • Status is critical (red) when the value is <20%.

memory_card-outline.png Status of the drone storage capacity (SD card or internal memory):

  • Status is Ok (green) if the value is >3GB.
  • Status is Warning (orange) if the value is between 3 and 1GB.
  • Status is Critical (red) if value is <1GB.

satellite.png Number of satellites available for positioning:

  • Status is Ok (green) if the value is ≥10.
  • Status is Warning (orange) if the value is between 10 and 6.
  • Status is Critical (red) if the value is <6.
Important: If one of the above critical conditions occurs before starting or resuming the mission, a pre-flight check will prevent the mission from being started or resumed and the user will be informed by a notification.
Note: other telemetry items described in Telemetry (Manual - PIX4Dscan) and displayed in the map/flight views on tablets are also displayed in the top bar on mobile devices.

General Settings

Tap on unnamed.png if you are not logged in, or Group_1953.png if you are logged in (it shows the user's initials), to access the General settings. 

Settings can be changed any time when the drone is not performing a mission. A detailed description of the available settings is described in General Settings - PIX4Dscan.

Telemetry

The telemetry bar monitors some important characteristics of the flight.

drone_speed.png Ground speed of the drone.
distance_from_homepoint.png Ground distance between the home point and the drone.
altitude.png Height relative to the take-off point.
Drone_to_point_of_interest_distance.png Drone to point of interest distance. Only available when the POI center has been defined.
Camera_azimuth_indicator.png Camera azimuth indicator. Only available for cell tower missions.
camera_angle.png Gimbal pitch. It shows the orientation of the camera.
  • If gimbal pitch = 0°, it means that the camera is looking forward.
  • If gimbal pitch = -90°, it means that the camera is looking nadir.
Note: Those telemetry items are displayed in the map/flight views on tablets and in the top bar on mobile devices.

Return To Home

Tap go_home.png to make your drone return to the home point.

The PIX4Dscan return to home button can only be pressed when the drone is in the air and not performing a mission (mission has to be paused beforehand). After the Return to home button is pressed

 
Return To Home settings can be edited as explained in PIX4Dscan - General Settings

Project creation

Tap on  add_mission.png to open the project creation window. 

From this window, a new project can be created by selecting different missions. A project can contain a unique asset mission (e.g. cell tower, or transmission tower) or multiple generic missions (e.g. orbit, cylinder, grid).

 
Information: Cell Tower asset and Transmission Tower asset are only available under the Inspect - Telecom version. Contact sales for more information.

A new project with Cell Tower asset or Transmission Tower asset.Project_creation_Asset.PNG

A new project with Generic missions: Orbit, Cylinder, and Grid.Project_creation_Generic.PNG

Tap Cancel to leave the project selection window or Next to enter the project panel.

Project panel

The project panel displays the selected mission types and some high-level information (number of missions, mission completion status, media generated). A new mission can be created by selecting a mission type and tapping on Next. The Cell Tower asset, and the Transmission Tower asset panel also include the options to reset the tower references (tower lowest and highest points, and tower center).

Project panel of a Cell tower asset. Project_panel_Asset.PNG

Project panel of Generic missions (Orbit, Cylinder, and Grid)Project_panel_Generic.PNG

Mission types

Several mission types can be selected from the project creation window. They are described in the following article Mission types - PIX4Dscan. 

 

Pause, resume or cancel the mission

When in mission mode, the mission can be paused, resumed, or canceled from the application.

  • Tap pause.png to pause the mission. After the mission is paused, the drone hovers, and the manual mode is entered.
  • Tap play.png to resume the mission. The drone will perform the pre-flight checks and fly to the first waypoint that was not reached before clicking Pause
     
    Important:
    Cylinder mission: When resuming the mission, the drone will first vertically ascend to the safety altitude that is higher than the structure height, and, only after that, it will move to the first waypoint that was not captured. The structure height is defined during mission planning.
    Orbits and Single vertical: A warning popup is displayed at the mission resume. The drone will first ascend/descend directly to a height equal to the last reached waypoint, then fly towards it. To avoid collision risks, be sure there are no obstacles on the flight route.
  • Tapexit_mission.png to cancel the mission. A popup will ask for confirmation to cancel the mission. A canceled mission cannot be resumed.

Other ways of interrupting a mission are described in How to interrupt a PIX4Dscan mission.

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