How to Fly Your First Flight with Ground Control

Mar 21, 2018 12:00:00 AM  |  0 Comments

Ground Control™ is the all-in-one software solution for safely operating commercial drones and effectively managing a growing fleet.

If you're reading this, chances are you are currently using a variety of software to manage your drone operations - flight control apps, flight logging programs, program management tools, equipment health trackers, etc.

Ground Control allows you to streamline your drone program as it includes both an in-flight app for pilots and a robust program management tool.

If you haven't already, contact Measure for a free 30-day trial of Ground Control.

 

For Pilots - iOS In-Flight App

Getting Ready to Fly

Ground Control offers a selection of tools depending on your current flight needs. Make sure you are closed out of DJI GO before flying with Ground Control, as only one flight app can be open and utilized at one time.

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Once logged in, select the Airspace Map tool to check for any airspace advisories in your flight area. The Rules & Advisories button can be tapped to view local advisories according to your chosen rule set. 

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If LAANC is supported in your area, a Request Flight Authorization button will appear. Authorizations within Ground Control are supported in partnership with AirMap and require the AirMap app to function. Ground Control will auto-switch to AirMap, process the request, and then jump back to the Ground Control app. 

 
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Ground Control provides access to multiple custom flight settings. In the Settings tool, pilots can set general preferences including max altitude and distance, local data mode, RTK, and connection loss behaviors. Camera settings can also be applied including HDMI through the RC, auto upload of low resolution imagery with the flight log, and custom exposure controls. Users can also customize the Remote Controller by assigning actions to the C1 and C2 buttons.  The Settings tool also includes common calibration options for IMU, gimbal, and compass.

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Fly Manually

Manual flight with Ground Control is simple. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your DJI drone's remote control. Once turned on, the app will automatically connect. A simple status bar displays important aircraft states.  

 
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The Fly tool provides image and video capture capability and advanced camera modes, such as Tripod, Spotlight, Point of Interest, and others. These can be set using the modes menu or you can favorite up to two for easy, one-tap access during flight.

 
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Fly Autonomously with Grid Flight

Flight Plan provides autonomous grid-based flight planning. The first step is to choose a New Flight (you can also select previously-saved flights).

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Step 2 is to create a mission name and choose some other attributes such as drone camera and mission code.

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Next, adjust the map to your desired flight area. Setting up your flight area is done by dragging the corner points to your desired location. Additional points can be added by tapping the "plus" icons. The flight settings panel allows the appropriate details to be set including front and sidelap, resolution, flight direction, and speed. The bottom of the screen displays flight information including estimated flight time, area covered, and number images to be captured.

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At this point we're ready to fly. Tapping "Save" will save the flight plan and begin a pre-flight check. Once complete, the flight can begin.
 

During flight, the app will automatically control gimbal pitch and image capture based on the flight settings. Once completed, the drone will automatically return to home.

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Fly Autonomously with Waypoint

You can set multiple waypoints, points of interest, and actions (such as taking thermal images, changing altitudes, speeding up, or turning around), then watch the aircraft and sensors perform the choreographed flight and data capture.

Choose the waypoint flight plan, select the drone and camera, and enter the location of the flight.

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Add your waypoints and adjust the settings at each. You can adjust settings at each point such as altitude, speed, heading, and corner radius. 
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You can also assign an action to take at each point. You can even create custom action sequences. The app catches all data in real-time, including low-res versions of all imagery. 

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Once you've customized all your waypoints, set the controls for the overall flight such as speed, end of flight behavior, and signal loss behavior. Tapping "Save" will save the flight plan and begin a pre-flight check. Once complete, the flight can begin. 

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Project Managers - Web Portal

View Flight Logs on the Web Portal

The flight log offers high level information such as flight time, location, pilot, aircraft type, and more. You are also able to sort and search on specific categories.

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Ground Control also tracks specific equipment data. Drone type, drone and remote controller battery health, and serial number data are included in each flight summary. Users can search and sort on these values to view and track associated flights.

Clicking a flight will present the flight details view. This outlines general flight details, provides a visualization with log playback and metrics, and previews any images that were captured during manual flights. 

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The flight reconstruction offers granular insight into a specific flight. Playback displays real-time flight metrics including altitude, satellite connectivity, drone location, attitude, battery health, and speed. 

The Ground Control app will automatically sync flight logs from the field to your account online. If a pilot does not have connectivity in the field, logs will be queued and synced when the device achieves an internet connection. 

Managing Company-Wide Settings

Ground Control offers company-wide customization and management features. In Settings, you can configure Ground Control with your own company logo and brand colors. Important flight settings such as max altitude, return-to-home altitude, max distance, and max speed can also be configured. When set as company defaults, pilots will have these settings locked-in when they login to the Ground Control app.

For information on more Ground Control features, sign up for a free trial below.

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These main features will get you started on your first flight with Ground Control, but there is a lot more to explore and new features are coming out regularly!

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