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Application | Vertical inspections with automatic Vertical scan tool of UgCS

UgCS: Flight Planning & Control
August 1, 2022

Application | Vertical inspections with automatic Vertical scan tool of UgCS

When to use UgCS automatic Vertical scan tool?

The UgCS tool for vertical surveys helps to automate drone photography of vertical objects such as:

  • Building facades
  • Bridges
  • Chimneys
  • Open-pit walls.

The result of the UAV survey is a set of images captured with specified forward and side overlap, which can be stitched into a vertical orthomosaic and used for:

  • Defect detection such as cracks in walls
  • Thermal inspections.


The automatic Vertical scan tool of UgCS is compatible with all drones, EO, and IR cameras supported by UgCS.

The automatic Vertical scan tool is included in UgCS PRO, UgCS EXPERT and UgCS ENTERPRISE licenses.

UAV vertical survey flight planning workflow with UgCS

The Vertical scan tool of UgCS is easy to use and mission planning can be done right at the survey site:

  • Draw the polyline: a projection of a vertical plane where the drone will fly to the ground. Make sure that this plane is at a safe distance from all possible obstacles (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Draw the polyline with UgCS automatic Vertical scan tool
  • Measure with a laser (or another instrument) the approximate distance from the object to the planned flight surface. Enter the value into UgCS via the "Distance to facade" parameter.
  • Specify a minimum and maximum height above the ground for the drone trajectory.
  • Pick a camera from the predefined list of payloads for the drone. If the camera is not on the list, add a new payload according to the instructions "How to add a new payload in UgCS"
  • Specify desired forward and side overlap for images. The respective default values of 60% and 30% can be increased up to 80%.
  • Choose a pattern type. UgCS offers two options: vertical and horizontal patterns. The vertical pattern will set the forward passes vertically (Figure 2). With the horizontal pattern, the forward passes will be parallel to the ground. Please check the Useful Tips section for pattern recommendations, depending on the surveying object type.
Figure 2. The vertical pattern will set the forward passes vertically

Useful tips for pattern selection

The logic behind pattern selection is quite simple: choose the vertical flight pattern if the object's height is greater than its width. Otherwise, choose the horizontal one.

Following this simple rule minimizes the number of turns along the route and thus saves battery life.

  • Specify desired speed for the drone.

That's it!
UgCS will calculate the drone’s flight trajectory and the appropriate camera triggering actions.

Useful tips

  • It is important to remember that, GPS signals may have poor quality or even completely disappear near the tall vertical building. Pilots should, therefore, always keep the RC in their hands and be prepared to take over control of the drone.
  • It’s good practice to always keep the drone in Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS). UgCS allows for the planning of vertical scans where a drone goes around a corner. However, we do not recommend flights Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS). Instead, it's recommended that pilots move with the drone around the corner.
  • If a drone must fly a horizontal pattern, then the vertical survey route can be developed as a combination of smaller vertical scans, each covering an individual wall.

Useful links