Mission types - PIX4Dscan

Follow

Mission types

Several mission types can be selected from the PIX4Dscan project creation window, described in the following sections.

Grid mission (generic) Vector.png

The Grid mission is meant to plan and fly polygonal mission shapes with a single grid flight pattern for 2D maps or a double grid flight pattern for 3D models. It is suitable for most environments that require flexible boundaries or complex mapping shapes and ensures that images are taken with the gimbal pitch and the overlap required for optimal processing.

How to position and design the mission 

Once entering the Grid mission Vector.png , the default mission shape is displayed over the basemap at the current location. 

 
Important: To facilitate the design of the mission, the properties panel (on the right side of the screen) is collapsible by tapping on the arrow arrow_down.png beside the mission title.

The following actions can be performed. 

  1. Move the survey area: the survey area can be displaced by tapping on the center cross view_all.png and dragging the shape to a new location.
  2. Move a vertex: tap on a vertex unnamed__1_.png and drag it to a new position to extend or reduce the survey area.
  3. Remove a vertex: two adjacent vertex can be merged by dragging one on top of the other one.
  4. Add a vertex: a vertex can be added by tapping on the “+” icon displayed over a segment.
  5. Rotate the flight lines: tap and rotate within the survey area to modify the direction of the flight lines.
Note: The Reset mission button reset.png allows the mission shape and location to be reset to the default one upon confirmation.
The How to design a grid mission onboarding guide is automatically displayed the first time a grid mission is entered and is always accessible in the general settings of PIX4Dscan (Help > Onboarding guides > Grid mission). 

Pix4Dscan_gridmission.png

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel.

  • Mission information: 
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
    • Area [m2, ft2]: area covered by the mission.
    • GSD [cm/pixel, inch/pixel]: distance between two consecutive pixel centers measured on the ground. The GSD depends on different parameters such as the camera specifications, the flight height, and the camera angle.
  • Mission settings: 
      • Flight pattern:
        • Use Single grid pattern to take images perpendicular to the ground (nadir), with the overlap required for optimal processing. Recommended in the following cases: main interest in 2D map outputs, relatively flat surface (e.g. earthworks, fields), large area.
        • Use Double grid pattern to take images from multiple sides (oblique), with the overlap required for optimal processing. Compared to the single grid, this pattern is recommended for flying closer to objects in order to capture more vertical details. 
    Note: Double Grid is recommended in the following cases: main interest in 3D model outputs, surface with height fluctuations or objects (e.g. buildings, forest), small and medium area (the flight time is doubled compared to single grid pattern). 
    • Flight height [m, ft]: height of the mission in reference to the take-off location. The range is 10 - 150m.
    • Front overlap [%]: percentage of an image covered by the next one at the ground level with respect to the flight direction. The range is 20 - 90%.
    • Side overlap [%]: percentage of an image covered by an adjacent one (in adjacent flight line) at the ground level. The range is 20 - 90%.
    • Camera angle [°]: angle of the camera during the mission execution. The range is 0° - -90° (nadir).
    • Drone speed [m/s, mph]: speed of the drone during the mission execution. The maximum speed depends on the selected front overlap and flight height. The slider allows selecting percentages (10% steps) of the maximum speed. 
Note: The reset.pngRestore button can be used to reset the settings to their default values.

To generate the best 2D and 3D outputs, we highly recommend using the default mission settings values according to the selected flight pattern:

Parameters Single grid Double grid
Front overlap 80% 80%
Side overlap 70% 70%
Gimbal pitch -90° -70°

Camera parameters such as white balance (WB) and exposure compensation values (EV) can be set when the drone video feed is enlarged and when the drone is not flying a mission:

  • White balance: 
    • auto_white_balance.jpg Automatic: automatically optimizes the white balance.
    • weather_sunny.jpg Sunny: optimizes the white balance for sunny weather conditions. 
    • weather_cloudy.jpg Cloudy: optimizes the white balance for cloudy weather conditions.
  • Exposure value: exposure value compensation whose values range from -3 to 3.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

Orbit mission (generic)orbit_mission_type.png

Set the point of interest center

An animated description will guide the user through the setting of the point of interest center. 

  • Place the drone on top of the point of interest.
  • Ensure height is higher than 10 m.
  • Ensure the camera angle is -90°.
  • Point the camera at the center of the point of interest.

    When all the conditions are satisfied, tap Next.

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel.

  • Mission information:
      • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution. 
  • Mission settings:
      • Images per orbit: defines the number of images per orbit. 
    Note: The reset.pngRestore button can be used to reset the settings to their default values.

    Rather than selecting them from the mission settings, values such as Radius, Height, and Camera angle are based on the video feed on the screen, so from the current drone position, which is manually adjusted with the drone's remote controller. This is to ensure that we are viewing what we are going to scan, so having a correct point of view for the orbit images.

    • Radius: defines the radius length of the orbit. 
    • Height: defines the height of the orbit. 
    • Camera angle: defines the camera angle.
    Parameters Red values interval Orange values interval Green values interval
    Radius 0-5 m 6-7 m From 8 m above
    Height < 10 m 10-14 m From 15 m above
    Camera angle - -90-(-61)° / -29-90° -60-(-30)°
     
    Important: Red values prevent the start of the mission. Orange values do not block the start of the mission but are not recommended values. Green ones fall in the interval of the suggested values.

    Camera parameters such as white balance (WB) and exposure compensation values (EV) can be set when the drone video feed is enlarged and when the drone is not flying a mission:

    • White balance: 
      • auto_white_balance.jpg Automatic: automatically optimizes the white balance.
      • weather_sunny.jpg Sunny: optimizes the white balance for sunny weather conditions. 
      • weather_cloudy.jpg Cloudy: optimizes the white balance for cloudy weather conditions.
    • Exposure value: exposure value compensation whose values range from -3 to 3.

    Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

Cylinder mission (generic) cylinder_mission_type.png

Set the point of interest center

An animated description will guide the user through the setting of the point of interest center. 

  • Place the drone on top of the point of interest.
  • Ensure height is higher than 10 m.
  • Ensure the camera angle is -90°.
  • Point the camera at the center of the point of interest.

    When all the conditions are satisfied, tap Next. 

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel.

  • Mission information:
      • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution. 
  • Mission settings:
      • POI min height: point of interest minimum height (base). The value should be at least 10 m lower than the POI max height. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current height of the drone.
      • POI max height: point of interest maximum height (top). The value should be at least 10 m higher than the POI min height. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current height of the drone.
      • Mission min height: minimum height at which the drone will fly the mission (cylinder base). The value should be at least 10 m lower than the mission max height. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current height of the drone.
      • Mission max height: maximum height at which the drone will fly the mission (cylinder top). The value should be at least 10 m higher than the mission max height. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current height of the drone.
      • Mission radius: 2D distance from the previously set reference center. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current position of the drone.
      • Verticals: number of vertical lines in the cylinder mission.
      • Front overlap: frontal overlap between successive images in the vertical lines. 
Note: The restore button can be used to reset the settings to their default values.
Note: When performing a Cylinder mission, the camera angle is automatically interpolated in the vertical lines in order to look at the POI max height from the mission max height and at the POI min height from the mission min height.

Camera parameters such as white balance (WB) and exposure compensation values (EV) can be set when the drone video feed is enlarged and when the drone is not flying a mission:

    • White balance: 
      • auto_white_balance.jpg Automatic: automatically optimizes the white balance.
      • weather_sunny.jpg Sunny: optimizes the white balance for sunny weather conditions. 
      • weather_cloudy.jpg Cloudy: optimizes the white balance for cloudy weather conditions.
    • Exposure value: exposure value compensation whose values range from -3 to 3.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

Cell Tower asset cell_tower.png

 

Detailed recommendations on how to scan cell towers can be found in How to scan cell towers.

Set the cell tower lowest point (optional) 

This step can be skipped if the lowest point of the cell tower is at the same elevation as the drone take-off position.

An animated description will guide the user to determine the cell tower lowest point reference:

  • Align the drone with the lowest point of the tower.
  • Ensure the camera angle is 0°.
  • Point the camera at the base of the tower.
  • Tap on Next to confirm the current tower lowest point reference.

Set the cell tower center 

An animated description will guide the user to determine the cell tower center reference:

  • Place the drone on top of the tower (several meters above for safety)
  • Ensure height is higher than 10 m.
  • Ensure the camera angle is -90°.
  • Point the camera at the center of the tower.
  • Tap on Next to confirm the current tower center reference.

Set the cell tower highest point

An animated description will guide the user to determine the cell tower highest point reference:

  • Align the drone with the highest point of the tower
  • Ensure height is higher than 10 m.
  • Ensure the camera angle is.
  • Point the camera at the top of the tower.
  • Tap Next to confirm the current tower highest point reference.

Cell tower project panel 

The project panel is divided into 3D Model and Visual inspection categories containing all the missions to efficiently reconstruct and inspect cell tower assets.

It also shows the cell tower reference values recorded at the previous stages and provides the ability to reset them. The references will be used in some of the missions to automatically set specific settings such as the mission maximum height and the camera angle in Helix, Cylinder, and Single vertical missions.

Select one of the missions and tap Next to enter the mission settings. Upon mission completion, the project panel is automatically displayed (except for the Single vertical mission) so that a new mission can be performed.

3D Model missions

For any of the 3D model missions, camera parameters such as white balance (WB) and exposure compensation values (EV) can be set when the drone video feed is enlarged and when the mission has not been started:

  • White balance:
    • auto_white_balance.jpgAutomatic: optimizes the white balance automatically.
    • weather_sunny.jpgSunny: optimizes the white balance for sunny weather conditions. 
    • weather_cloudy.jpgCloudy: optimizes the white balance for cloudy weather conditions.
  • Exposure compensation: adjusts the exposure with a range from -3 to 3.

Helix

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel:

  • Mission information:
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
  • Mission settings:
    • Light conditions: templates loading predefined recommended white balance and exposure compensation values according to the weather conditions (General recommendations for exposure value and white balance).
    • Mission min height: minimum height at which the drone will fly the mission (helix base). Tap Set to current to set the value to the current height of the drone.
    • Mission radius: defines the radius length of the helix. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current position of the drone.
    • Overlap: overlap level between images.
Note: The reset.pngRestore button can be used to reset the settings to their default values.
Note: Changes to the above values will be reflected in the mission time estimate.
Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

Orbit

Define the mission properties

Available on the right panel:

  • Mission information:
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
  • Mission settings:
    • Light conditions: templates loading predefined recommended white balance and exposure compensation values according to the weather conditions (General recommendations for exposure value and white balance).
    • Capture mode:
      • Time interval capture: time optimized continuous flow
      • Stop at capture point: stability and image centering optimized flow.
    • Flight direction: clockwise or counterclockwise
    • Truncate by: truncate the mission by a specific angle.
    • Images: defines the number of images per orbit.
Note: The reset.pngRestore button can be used to reset the settings to their default values.

Rather than selecting them from the mission settings, values such as Radius, Height, and Camera angle are based on the video feed on the screen, so from the current drone position, which is manually adjusted with the drone's remote controller. This is to ensure that we are viewing what we are going to scan, so having a correct point of view for the orbit images.

    • Radius: 2D distance from the previously set reference center.
    • Height: defines the height value of the orbit.
    • Camera angle: defines the camera angle which must have a negative value.
Parameters Red values interval Orange values interval Green values interval
Radius 0-5m 6-7m From 8m above
Height < 0 m 0 - 9 m From 10 m above
Camera angle -90 - (-61°) / -29 - 90° - -60 - (-30°)

Important: Red values prevent the start of the mission. Orange values do not block the start of the mission but are not recommended values. Green ones fall in the interval of the suggested values.

Note: Changes to the above values will be reflected in the mission time estimate.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

Cylinder 

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel:

  • Mission information:
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
  • Mission settings:
    • Light conditions: templates loading predefined recommended white balance and exposure compensation values according to the weather conditions (General recommendations for exposure value and white balance).
    • Flight direction: clockwise or counterclockwise.
    • Truncate by: truncate the mission by a specific angle.
    • Mission min height: defines the minimum height the drone should fly the mission. The value should be at least 10 m lower than the mission max height, calculated as the cell tower highest point + the radius. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current height of the drone.
    • Mission radius: defines the radius length of the cylinder. The minimum and recommended value is 8 m. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current distance of the drone with respect to the cell tower center.
    • Verticals: number of vertical lines in the cylinder.
    • Front overlap: define the image front overlap in the vertical lines.
Note: When performing a Cylinder mission, the camera angle is automatically interpolated in the vertical lines in order to look at the cell tower highest point from the mission max height and at the cell tower lowest point from the mission min height.
Note: Changes to the above values will be reflected in the mission time estimate.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

Single vertical

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel:

  • Mission information:
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
  • Mission settings:
    • Light conditions: templates loading predefined recommended white balance and exposure compensation values according to the weather conditions (General recommendations for exposure value and white balance).
    • Mission min height: defines the minimum height the drone should fly the mission. The value should be at least 10 m lower than the mission max height, calculated as the cell tower highest point + the radius. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current height of the drone.
    • Mission radius: defines the radius length of the single vertical. The minimum and recommended value is 8 m. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current distance of the drone with respect to the cell tower center.
    • Front overlap: define the image front overlap in the vertical lines.
    • Flight direction: up to down or down to up.
Note: When performing a cylinder mission, the camera angle is automatically interpolated in the vertical lines in order to look at the cell tower highest point from the mission max height and at the cell tower lowest point from the mission min height.
Note: Changes to the above values will be reflected in the mission time estimate.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

 

Visual inspection missions

For any of the Visual inspection missions, camera parameters such as white balance (WB) and exposure compensation values (EV) can be set when the drone video feed is enlarged and when the mission has not been started:

  • White balance:
    • auto_white_balance.jpgAutomatic: optimizes the white balance automatically.
    • weather_sunny.jpgSunny: optimizes the white balance for sunny weather conditions. 
    • weather_cloudy.jpgCloudy: optimizes the white balance for cloudy weather conditions.
  • Exposure compensation: adjusts the exposure with a range from -3 to 3.

Underneath orbit

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel:

  • Mission information:
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
  • Mission settings:
    • Flight direction: clockwise or counterclockwise.
    • Truncated by: truncate the submission by a specific angle.
    • Images: defines the number of images per orbit.
Note: The reset.pngRestore button can be used to reset the settings to their default values.    

Rather than selecting them from the mission settings, values such as Radius, Height, and Camera angle are based on the video feed on the screen, so from the current drone position, which is manually adjusted with the drone's remote controller. This is to ensure that we are viewing what we are going to scan, so having a correct point of view for the orbit images.

  • Radius: 2D distance from the previously set reference center.
  • Height: defines the height value of the orbit.
  • Camera angle: defines the camera angle which must have a positive value.
Parameters Red values interval Orange values interval Green values interval
Radius 0-5 m 6-7 m From 8 m above
Height < 0 m 0 - 9 m From 10 m above
Camera angle < 0° - 0 - 90°
Important: Red values prevent the start of the mission. Orange values do not block the start of the mission but are not recommended values. Green ones fall in the interval of the suggested values.
Note: Changes to the above values will be reflected in the mission time estimate.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

Orbit line of sight 

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel:

  • Mission information:
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
  • Mission settings:
    • Flight direction: clockwise or counterclockwise.
    • Truncated by: truncate the submission by a specific angle.
    • Images: defines the number of images per orbit.
Note: The reset.pngRestore button can be used to reset the settings to their default values.    

Rather than selecting them from the mission settings, values such as Radius, Height, and Camera angle are based on the video feed on the screen, so from the current drone position, which is manually adjusted with the drone's remote controller. This is to ensure that we are viewing what we are going to scan, so having a correct point of view for the orbit images.

  • Radius: 2D distance from the previously set reference center.
  • Height: defines the height value of the orbit.
  • Camera angle: defines the camera angle which must have a positive value.
Parameters Red values interval Orange values interval Green values interval
Radius 0-5 m 6-7 m From 8 m above
Height < 0 m 0 - 9 m From 10 m above
Camera angle All other angles -

 

Important: Red values prevent the start of the mission. Orange values do not block the start of the mission but are not recommended values. Green ones fall in the interval of the suggested values.
Note: Changes to the above values will be reflected in the mission time estimate.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

Manual images  

The drone operator pilots the drone manually with the remote controller and triggers images from custom points of views thanks to a dedicated button in the mission interface.

Transmission Tower asset Vector.png

 

Detailed recommendations on how to scan transmission towers can be found in How to scan Transmission towers - PIX4Dscan. 

Set the transmission tower center 

An animated description will guide the user to determine the transmission tower center reference:

  • Place the drone on top of the tower (several meters above for safety)
  • Ensure height is higher than 10 m.
  • Ensure the camera angle is -90°.
  • Point the camera at the center of the tower.
  • Tap on Next to confirm the current tower center reference.

Set the transmission tower highest point

An animated description will guide the user to determine the transmission tower highest point reference:

  • Align the drone with the highest point of the tower
  • Ensure height is higher than 10 m.
  • Ensure the camera angle is.
  • Point the camera at the top of the tower.
  • Tap Next to confirm the current tower highest point reference.

Transmission tower project panel 

The project panel is divided into 3D Model and Visual inspection categories containing all the missions to efficiently reconstruct and inspect transmission tower assets.

It also shows the transmission tower reference values recorded at the previous stages and provides the ability to reset them. The references will be used in some of the missions to automatically set specific settings.

Select one of the missions and tap Next to enter the mission settings. Upon mission completion, the project panel is automatically displayed (except for the Single vertical mission) so that a new mission can be performed.

3D Model missions

For any of the 3D model missions, camera parameters such as white balance (WB) and exposure compensation values (EV) can be set when the drone video feed is enlarged and when the mission has not been started:

  • White balance:
    • auto_white_balance.jpgAutomatic: optimizes the white balance automatically.
    • weather_sunny.jpgSunny: optimizes the white balance for sunny weather conditions. 
    • weather_cloudy.jpgCloudy: optimizes the white balance for cloudy weather conditions.
  • Exposure compensation: adjusts the exposure with a range from -3 to 3.

Orbit

Define the mission properties

Available on the right panel:

  • Mission information:
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
  • Mission settings:
    • Capture mode:
      • Time interval capture: time optimized continuous flow
      • Stop at capture point: stability and image centering optimized flow.
    • Flight direction: clockwise or counterclockwise
    • Truncate by: truncate the mission by a specific angle.
    • Images: defines the number of images per orbit.
Note: The reset.pngRestore button can be used to reset the settings to their default values.

Rather than selecting them from the mission settings, values such as Radius, Height, and Camera angle are based on the video feed on the screen, so from the current drone position, which is manually adjusted with the drone's remote controller. This is to ensure that we are viewing what we are going to scan, so having a correct point of view for the orbit images.

    • Radius: 2D distance from the previously set reference center.
    • Height: defines the height value of the orbit.
    • Camera angle: defines the camera angle which must have a negative value.
Parameters Red values interval Orange values interval Green values interval
Radius 0-5m 6-7m From 8m above
Height < 0 m 0 - 9 m From 10 m above
Camera angle -90 - (-61°) / -29 - 90° - -60 - (-30°)

Important: Red values prevent the start of the mission. Orange values do not block the start of the mission but are not recommended values. Green ones fall in the interval of the suggested values.

Note: Changes to the above values will be reflected in the mission time estimate.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

 

Single vertical

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel:

  • Mission information:
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
  • Mission settings:
    • Mission min height: defines the minimum height the drone should fly the mission. The value should be at least 10 m lower than the mission max height, calculated as the transmission tower highest point + the radius. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current height of the drone.
    • Mission radius: defines the radius length of the single vertical. The minimum and recommended value is 8 m. Tap Set to current to set the value to the current distance of the drone with respect to the transmission tower center.
    • Front overlap: define the image front overlap in the vertical lines.
    • Flight direction: up to down or down to up.
Note: When performing a single vertical mission, the camera angle is automatically interpolated in the vertical lines in order to look at the transmission tower highest point from the mission max height and at the transmisison tower lowest point from the mission min height.
Note: Changes to the above values will be reflected in the mission time estimate.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

 

Visual inspection missions

For any of the Visual inspection missions, camera parameters such as white balance (WB) and exposure compensation values (EV) can be set when the drone video feed is enlarged and when the mission has not been started:

  • White balance:
    • auto_white_balance.jpgAutomatic: optimizes the white balance automatically.
    • weather_sunny.jpgSunny: optimizes the white balance for sunny weather conditions. 
    • weather_cloudy.jpgCloudy: optimizes the white balance for cloudy weather conditions.
  • Exposure compensation: adjusts the exposure with a range from -3 to 3.

Underneath orbit

Define the mission properties

The following mission information and settings are available on the right panel:

  • Mission information:
    • Time: estimated duration of the mission execution.
  • Mission settings:
    • Flight direction: clockwise or counterclockwise.
    • Truncated by: truncate the submission by a specific angle.
    • Images: defines the number of images per orbit.
Note: The reset.pngRestore button can be used to reset the settings to their default values.    

Rather than selecting them from the mission settings, values such as Radius, Height, and Camera angle are based on the video feed on the screen, so from the current drone position, which is manually adjusted with the drone's remote controller. This is to ensure that we are viewing what we are going to scan, so having a correct point of view for the orbit images.

  • Radius: 2D distance from the previously set reference center.
  • Height: defines the height value of the orbit.
  • Camera angle: defines the camera angle which must have a positive value.
Parameters Red values interval Orange values interval Green values interval
Radius 0-5 m 6-7 m From 8 m above
Height < 0 m 0 - 9 m From 10 m above
Camera angle < 0° - 0 - 90°
Important: Red values prevent the start of the mission. Orange values do not block the start of the mission but are not recommended values. Green ones fall in the interval of the suggested values.
Note: Changes to the above values will be reflected in the mission time estimate.

Tap Start mission. The drone enters the In mission mode and the mission starts. An estimate of the time remaining until completion is displayed throughout the whole mission.

 

Manual images  

The drone operator pilots the drone manually with the remote controller and triggers images from custom points of views thanks to a dedicated button in the mission interface.

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 1 found this helpful

Article feedback (for troubleshooting, post here instead)

0 comments

Article is closed for comments.