Webinar | UgCS features explained: #2 Automatic Photogrammetry tool

UgCS: Flight Planning & Control
April 14, 2020

Discover a new webinar presenting UgCS Photogrammetry tool.

The webinar-recording presents:

  • How to plan a survey mission with the automatic UgCS Photogrammetry tool
  • Settings required for photogrammetry
  • Recommendations for practical usage
  • Q&A.

Answers provided by UgCS Support team to questions asked during the webinar

  • Q: Is the software as slow to you as well? Or is this because of zoom?
    A: Zoom has some delay and limited FPS.

  • Q: How do I change the camera to be perpendicular to the flight path? For instance, with M210 and thermal camera
    A: Add action Change yaw and set it relative to the north, this will change drone yaw and how the camera is facing the ground.
  • Q: Hello can we change the degree of the Drone Camera as per need?
    A: Add action “Set camera attitude” set pitch. Note, for DJI drones camera Roll and Yaw functions are not working, you can change camera roll and yaw only manually using RC.

  • Q: How can I restrict the route of the drone by the border of the photogrammetry tool area?
    A: Flightpath will be always a little further than the photogrammetry border itself. It’s required for the correct orthophoto compilation.

  • Q: I didn’t understand the reason for the choice of "stop & Turn" instead of "adaptive".
    A: For DJI drones camera actions are not working with "Adaptive bank turn" turn type. "Stop & turn" must be used for camera actions to work.
  • Q: If I'm using DJI Matrice 210 RTK v2, does UgCS recognize the GDS base-station? Can I control it in UgCS (e.g. exact coordinates of the ground station, if I know them)?
    A: GDS station support currently is not implemented in UgCS. You have to adjust GDS base-station settings in its native application.

  • Q: Can I change altitude? I don't need GSD
    A: In photogrammetry altitude is changed based on GSD, you can adjust altitude adjusting GSD.

  • Q: Is there a function to find the best direction angle? (regarding flying time)
    A: You’ll have to find it empirically. Click the settings of the route card, select “Show altitude” Now changing the direction angle, you’ll be able to see the flight distance and approximate flight time.

  • Q: I use a DJI Matrice 210 v2 RTK and I need UgCS to carry out a facade flight at a height of less than 5 meters.
    A: Edit the vehicle profile to set the minimum safe height over terrain

  • Q: 45 Degree angle of the camera is default?
    A: The default camera angle is 0. You have to specify camera Tilt with action "Set camera attitude"

  • Q: AGL is according to what data? latest google maps?
    A: UgCS uses SRTM elevation data. It is possible to import your own elevation data into UgCS.

  • Q: Does the software calculate estimated total flight time?
    A: Estimate time is calculated, but the estimate is for perfect flight conditions. Actual flight time might be different.

  • Q: Ok, The question is why the GSD does not change when I changing the altitude? maybe I missed something.
    A: In photogrammetry, altitude is calculated based on GSD, not vice-versa. There is no option to specify altitude, it is calculated automatically based on GSD.

  • Q: Double grid is not in the same as "side overlap"?
    A: Side overlap percentage is the percentage of the area for neighboring sectors which a photo will cover. Double grid option – doubles the route by sending the drone perpendicular to the initial grid.

  • Q: Do you have a cheat sheet on the best settings?
    A: There is no such thing as the best settings. We suggest to have at least 50 percent forward and side overlap, some areas might require a higher overlap to create orthophoto.

  • Q: When I wat to search places I get a geo error. How do I correct it?
    A: It will be fixed in further versions. Please contact our tech support for the workaround.

  • Q: Can you explain better the reason for the choice of "forward passes" in action execution?
    A: Actions at forward passes will execute camera action during all the flight. If the option “At start” start is chosen, actions will be executed only at the start, if “Every waypoint” is chosen, actions will be executed only at waypoints.

  • Q: In the mapper function, do the images stitch just on pixel alignment? Or using telemetry data?
    A: Images are stitched based on pixel alignment and also telemetry data.

  • Q: Can we adjust this for imperial measurements
    A: Menu – Main menu – Configuration - Measurement

  • Q: Is it possible to display in UgCS at the laptop the images from the camera on live?
    A: It is not possible. Image transfer from the drone during the flight would overload communication channel and images would not appear in realtime.

  • Q: Where do I find the estimate flight time?
    A: Click the settings of the route card, select “Show altitude” In the new window, you’ll be able to see the flight distance and approximate flight time.

  • Q: For cameras that do not have profiles, but also no sensor size information, can I use pixel pith multiplied with the resolution to get the sensor size?
    A: You can try to specify it, but there is no guarantee of the result. You will need to test your settings in real flight to find out the correct solution. For most of the cameras, it is possible to find lens information and sensor size on the manufacturer's sites.

  • Q: Do you support operations for Altus LRX Octocopter? How would I configure UGCS to work with the UAS?
    A: There is no dedicated support for Altus LRX Octocopter in UgCS. On the manufacturer's website, there is no information what autopilot is installed on these drones, we can not confirm if those are compatible with UgCS.

  • Q: My question is, if you have a kml already, let's say a square, and you upload it, how do you set a different or new waypoint in order for it to start or to end? Also, if the kml is a straight line lets say, how do you spit it in different sections? and also set a waypoint in each section in order to have it separated?
    A: When you import KML containing square, you will have an option to create a Photogrammetry route. To this route you can add waypoint using modifier Modifier: Insert new route segment before the current one
    If KML contains lines, during import will be created waypoint route. You can add additional waypoints using the same modifier. Split option for waypoint routes is available from the route menu.

  • Q: With photogrammetry, we often use a tripod to avoid motion blur. Is it possible to stop the drone before every photo during a mission?
    A: Place a checkmark to “Additional waypoint” options and use action execution type “Every waypoint”. You can also specify the wait time before camera trigger at every waypoint.

  • Q: If Altitude is auto-calculated, can you see what the given altitude will be?
    A: Click the settings of the route card, select “Show altitude” In the new window, you’ll be able to see the altitude.

  • Q: On turn type in past for DJI phantom 4 pro it would stop at all points even if the point was just vertical change. Has this changed?
    A: If turn type is chosen “Stop & turn”, the drone will stop at every waypoint.

  • Q: Question on a large photogrammetry mission. Using a DJI products limits me to 99 waypoints. Is there a way to load up an entire mission for example 400 ways points to an android tablet prior to going into the field? This would be especially helpful on remote work without access to the internet.
    A: In order to use just a tablet, you’ll have to split the mission by 99 waypoints. If you’ll take a laptop along, you can upload the waypoints during the flight. To connect the laptop you do not need internet connection, just a device (preferable WiFi router) that can create a virtual WiFi network without an internet connection.

  • Q: How many missions can I upload to my IOS device?
    A: Using an iOS device you can upload only one route to drone. For now there is no option to store multiple routes on UgCS for DJI iOS application. This is in development and will be available in future releases. 
  • Q: How to plan a mission to survey a vertical facade or cliff?
    A: It will be in our further webinar – Façade scan on 16.04.2020
  • Q: Can I set the camera altitude and camera by distance if my camera is Sony alpha 7r and drone DJI M600? The UGCS doesn't recognize my camera when I connect it, I also have no real-time view. I needed to add the camera it's not in defaults
    A: You can add your own camera settings by going to menu-main menu-payloads-create new and entering the camera settings from the camera manual. To enable shutter control, please, follow these instructions.
  • Q: How well will it go back to where it left off if the battery fails in mid-mission?
    A: If the battery is low on power, the failsafe action will take place. If you use route resume functionality, the route will be resumed from the last location on the route recorded in telemetry.

  • Q: There is an option to force altitude?
    A: By changing GSD in the photogrammetry mission. You can use the altitude parameter in different planning tools. There is no option to force change altitude. The photogrammetry route's main parameter is GSD, adjusting GSD you can change flight altitude.

  • Q: When I initiate the mission on the Mavic 2 Zoom profile, it spirals upwards from the takeoff point instead of going straight up, is there a reason for this?
    A: We have not observed such behavior.

  • Q: For DJI drones is it recommended to use "Stop & turn"?
    A: Yes, for photogrammetry missions.

  • Q: If I need to do photogrammetry in a place where there are elevation differences what is the best AMSL or AGL? Or do I need to change the height of the drone in the air manually at each waypoint?
    A: If your goal is the relief elevation map – use AMSL, if you’re looking for the same quality and resolution for every sector of the orthophoto – use AGL.

  • Q: Is it possible to continue the discontinued mission which is stopped for battery reasons or etc? We can continue the mission from the last mission finished?
    A: You can return the drone, change the battery and continue the mission exactly where it was stopped.

  • Q: If I upload a DEM on a different coordinate system than the map, for example, my DEM is on ERTS, but UGCS is probably by default on WGS84, which coordinate system will the drone use for AGL flying? PD: the whole flight is inside the DEM area added.
    A: Flight will be calculated based on the location that drone reports as it’s home location, usually location where you initialize the drone. If in UgCS drone will appear on the ground level of imported data and the route will be above imported data, the flight should be performed correctly. But we strongly recommend converting your elevation data to UgCS compatible to perform safe flights.

  • Q: Are we able to tell the drone to send a still shot at request to check the resolution? This way we don't have to wait until the whole flight is done and check.
    A: There is an option to capture a placemark and receive it into UgCS. That will be capture from the camera stream. With that, you can check if the camera is in focus and satisfying exposure. You can enable Placemark from UgCS for the DJI Settings menu. This functionality currently is available only for the Android version. A download of actually captured images is not possible.

  • Q: Does zoom setting on camera setup correctly change the altitude for gsd?
    A: Zoom settings do not change GSD. You have to specify the true focal length in the Payload profile for zoom you are going to use.

  • Q: Instead of the first waypoint can I also put a starting point?
    A: Please, clarify in the email to support@ugcs.com use case of starting point instead of first waypoint.

  • Q: Is this the same software you use for the GPR surveys?
    A: Yes

  • Q: Do you need to add an additional waypoint at the end to point the lens back up before landing?
    A: Yes, it will be required if you want to change camera attitude after the Phtogrammetry route is finished.

  • Q: In the past, if I did not add the route extensions, the pictures taken on the ends were often taken while the drone was turning, (images were not forward and blurred) so even with non-fixed wing drones, I always extend the route lines. Has this been fixed?
    A: We have not observed such behavior. Please, provide details with drones used and sample routes to support@ugcs.com

  • Q: Hi, Are you going to add DJI X7 Camera as payload selection? If yes, kindly when is it expected to be added on your UgCS software?
    A: DJI X7 camera profile will be added in UgCS 3.6 final release. There will be only one profile for a 24mm lens, you can adjust it for the lens you are using. You can also add profile yourself following these instructions: https://wiki.ugcs.com/Payloads

  • Q: Can we fly at site directly without any other flydrone software?
    A: It depends on what drone are you using. Please, contact support@ugcs.com with more details to clarify the question.

  • Q: Can you see the images from the camera while the drone is flying in the UgCS desktop app
    A: No, the images are being recorded on the drone’s SD card. RC communication channel is too slow for image transfer in realtime.

  • Q: One more question, I have a Matrice 210v2 rtk when I choose to use three different camera's, is there a way to define the camera's in UGCS? I use the two lower gimbals and an upper gimbal. I will like to know if it is possible to change the camera's parameters?
    A: You can define the camera used in the camera drop-down menu. Changing camera parameters is possible by going to the menu-main menu- payloads, selecting the camera and clicking edit. Route calculation can be done only based on one camera profile.

  • Q: If a mission is disrupted in the middle, let's says due to low battery, will the drone restart from the beginning or from disruption point?
    A: You can restart from disruption point, from the beginning or specify the waypoint to restart

  • Q: Is it possible to upload the mission in the office and go to fly only with the tablet with the android application
    A: Yes, though if the mission is large, you’ll have to split it and upload it in chunks. You have to plan your route and take-off point very accurately. Without desktop application, you will not have telemetry data records and will not be able to edit route. Instructions how to prepare for flight without UgCS desktop software in the field here

  • Q: Are you planning to create a geofence tool that activates an RTH in case the drones fly out of the border of that geofence?
    A: This is autopilot functionality. Ardupilot and PX4 autopilots have such functionality.

  • Q: Then what is zoom setting in camera parameters used for?
    A: Camera action zoom specifies to what zoom level lens should be adjusted during the flight.

  • Q: Is it possible to create a corridor mission in UGCS by uploading a line string and setting up a width of the corridor to be flown above?
    A: Currently there is no import option for the corridor route. We are working on this functionality. We would appreciate if you could share your use case with us, to better understand customer needs. Please, contact us using support@ugcs.com

  • Q: For emergency manual mode, can you gain control directly from the controller? Or do you have to click "manual mode" on the desktop first?
    A: You can gain control instantly from the RC switching the flight mode button to a different position and back.

  • Q: If we use HSI or Infrared camera will the settings be the same as an RGB camera?
    A: You should add a Payload profile with your camera and lens settings. Instructions how to add Payload profile: https://wiki.ugcs.com/Payloads

  • Q: is it possible to plan a mission without an internet connection?
    A: You can save part of the map for offline usage before going to the field, by left-clicking on the expected mission area and selecting “offline map”

  • Q: Are you planning to add in the "photogrammetry tool" the possibility to insert the Altitude as an alternative to the GSD? (if for example there is the need to flight at 100 m constant, instead of a constant GSD)
    A: No, The Photogrammetry route is calculated based on GSD. You can adjust flight altitude changing GSD value. If you want to maintain constant altitude above ground, you should select altitude type AGL.

  • Q: So I can only set waypoints with a pc?
    A: The mission planning is only possible in UgCS desktop version.

  • Q: With the DJI systems, specifically the P4's, how much control over the camera settings to take both jpeg and raw do you have? in past i had to us the go4 app to make it happen. It would be nice to do it in ugcs.
    A: UgCS for DJI has camera adjustment options included in DJI Mobile SDK. If DJI Mobile SDK supports image format change it is supported in UgCS for DJI.

  • Q: Is UGCS compatible with DJI Mavic Air? It is not in the vehicles list.
    A: UgCS has no official support for DJI Mavic Air.

  • Q: Hi I just wondering if there is any reference to recommend altitude (Hight) to have a good resolution? Like Mavic 2 Zoom different than X7 or X5s...etc
    A: It depends on the final image quality you want to get.

  • Q: can we increase the diameter of the stored map?
    A: Parameter 'CacheRadius' in map.xml configuration file allows to control radius of the map caching area.

  • Q: Every time we have to download the Map of the New Location or it is already integrated?
    A: Map is being download over the internet. Use offline map function to save the part of the map for offline usage.

  • Q: Are you planning implementing a geofence option for safety?
    A: No, geofence functionality should be implemented on the autopilot level.

  • Q: How does the camera cope in very steep terrain? Is grid flying needed.
    A: It depends on camera and flight altitude. Also on the result, you want to get. It might be necessary to adjust camera attitude manually to achieve good results.

  • Q: Is there a limit on the spatial resolution of an imported DEM?
    A: No, there is no limit, it all depends on DEM source.

  • Q: What about nfz? How can we fly near to it?
    A: To fly near NFZ you need to receive autopilot unlock from drone vendor. In UgCS you can disable NFZ, but that will affect only mission planning. If there is NFZ lock on autopilot level you will not be able to upload the route.

  • Q: Can I set active waypoints with the drone in flight?
    A: No, there is no such functionality. You can perform flight with UgCS desktop connected and export telemetry data to KML, then create a route from imported KML.

  • Q: The app works in a covered place?
    A: UgCS creates routes with GPS coordinates. It is not possible to execute the route without GPS coverage.

  • Q: I can understand using this for Mission Planning but when I go to the field can I just use my iPad for image collection (it's too cumbersome to bring a laptop)
    A.: Currently iOS application has no standalone functionality. It is in development plans to integrate it into future releases. With the Android application, it is possible to upload the route from UgCS desktop in Simulator mode and then directly from Android application in the field. Instructions for flight without UgCS desktop in the field: https://wiki.ugcs.com/How_to_use_UgCS_for_DJI_on_the_field_without_UgCS_Desktop

  • Q: After battery replacement, can I continue the mission from the point where it ended? Because when the battery change is done and the mission is uploaded to continue, the program has changed the numbering on the points and it starts from the new numbering.
    A: If you use route continuation functionality, waypoint numbering is reset from the last drone location on the route. Please, see the webinar on route continuation functionality: https://www.ugcs.com/news-entry/webinar-presentation-ugcs-features- explained-1-route-continuation

  • Q: Hello, I am a Ugcs user and I want to know how I can optimize my work since we carry out scanning of large areas or corridors of hundreds of kilometers.
    A: There is a planning tool, called “Corridor mapping” introduced in UgCS version 3.6. Please, contact support@ugcs.com if you require additional advice on your specific use cases.


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