Getting started - PIX4Dcapture Pro

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Download the latest version of the PIX4Dcapture Pro app for iOS on the App Store and for Android on the Play Store or directly from our knowledge base for the APK download.

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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 PIX4Dcapture Pro. Once the drone is configured, and all the sensors are successfully calibrated (gimbal, compass, and IMU calibration), the PIX4Dcapture Pro app can be used.
    1. Sign up or Log in with a Pix4D user account (internet connection required).
    2. Go to the area of interest.
    3. Turn on the controller and the drone.
    4. Connect the controller to the device (if no built-in screen) with the corresponding cable.
    5. Launch PIX4Dcapture Pro.
    6. Select the drone model from the Drone selector section. 
    7. Once the status of the drone is Connected, tap Map view, New plan, or Plans.
Note: Download offline maps to either fly without an internet connection or/and to enable the Terrain awareness feature for grid missions.

Step 2. Safety and Security settings check

Before starting a mission, it is strongly recommended to go through the Safety and Security settings. A detailed description of the settings can be found in General Settings - PIX4Dcapture Pro.

Note: For the safety and security settings coming from the vendor applications, their values are retrieved in PIX4Dcapture Pro (signal lost action, RTH height, etc.).

On the top bar, tap 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.

  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.
  4. Ensure the maximum flight altitude and geofencing are set correctly in the vendor app.
Note: If the position of the drone while setting the point of interest center of a Cell tower or Transmission tower asset is detected as higher than the RTH height, you will be asked to set a new RTH value. The same way, if a Grid mission with Terrain awareness is detected as higher than the RTH height, you will be asked to set a new RTH value.

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

Step 3. Create a data acquisition plan, select the mission(s), and fly

  1. To creates a new plan:
    1. Tap add_mission.png from the App´s dashboard or from the Map View
    2. Tap New plan from the plans list
  2. Select a Generic Mission or an Asset Type and tap Next (more info on our Mission Types - PIX4Dcapture Pro article). 

    Screenshot-_Plan_creation_GENERIC.PNG

    Screenshot-_Plan_creation_ASSET.PNG
    Important: The Asset Types and Generic Missions are not compatible. A plan can contain a unique asset type (e.g. Cell tower or Transmission tower) or one or several generic mission(s) (e.g. Grid, Orbit, Cylinder). 

When selecting Cell tower or Transmission tower: 

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 missions, a characteristic point, for example, the center of the point of interest (Cell tower center reference point), needs to be identified while flying the drone with the remote controller. The mission is then created using the measured position of these points.

To inspect a Cell tower or Transmission tower, the steps are the following:

1. Before taking-off:

      • Ensure you have a strong GP signal.
      • Be aware of the tower surroundings and any potential obstacles.
      • Set the take-off position at least 20m away from the upcoming mission flight path in a safe place at the same or lower elevation as the tower base. 

2. Take-off manually.
3. Follow the instructions on the screen to define the point of interest references.
4. Select a 3D Model or Visual Inspection mission and adjust the parameters if needed.
5. Tap Start mission for the mission checklist to be displayed. If all the checks are passing, Tap Fly 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.
6. (Optional) A mission can be interrupted at anytime. For more information: How to interrupt a mission - PIX4Dcapture Pro.
7. Repeat the steps from 4 to 6 for each mission. Multiple missions of the same type can be performed for a Cell tower asset or a Transmission tower asset.

When selecting Grid, Orbit, or Cylinder mission:

The take-off phase is handled by PIX4Dcapture Pro, but the mission can also be started from the air. The base map is used to position the flight plan and set the mission boundaries.

To perform a Grid, Orbit, or Cylinder mission, the steps are the following:

1. Place and design the mission over the basemap (spatial reference).
2. Define the mission properties. For more information: Manual - PIX4Dcapture Pro. 
3. Tap Start mission for the mission checklist to be displayed. If all the checks are passing, Tap Fly 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 at any time.  For more information: How to interrupt a mission - PIX4Dcapture Pro.

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.

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

Step 4. Process the dataset

Upload and analyze your data on the PIX4Dcloud platform or any desktop software by Pix4D.

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