Flight Planners – An help for inspections
In the article “Inspections with drone – Fields of application“, some of the possible applications of the drone as a tool for facilitating the conduct of inspections have been described. For the execution of some inspections, the usefulness of flight planner apps was also mentioned. So let’s see how flight planners can help the pilot and the offer of this type of App by the iOS and Android marketplaces.
Role of the flight planner in the inspection
The flight planner apps are designed to acquire the aerial data (photos, videos, thermograms, etc.) necessary for the inspection with precise flights and/or flight plans.
For some inspections then, such as surveys on roofs and roofs or for reliefs of landslides and instabilities, the use of a flight planner App is essential, if you want to acquire all the necessary aerial data with a scientific methodology and in less time possible.
Once the area or object of the inspection has been set, the flight planner will manage, under the operator’s control, from take-off, to data acquisition, to battery change if necessary, until the conclusion of the survey.
It is therefore clear that the flight planner can be a phenomenal ally of the pilot, considering and remembering that an inspection to be successful must be planned before it can be carried out in the field. In addition, it is good to remember that different flight planners allow you to simulate the inspection based on the data set and therefore also allow you to evaluate the possible adjustments before performing on the field.
It is an excellent app, with an intuitive interface, created to manage the autonomous flight of the drone during inspections. The App, available only for Android, allows you to simulate the planned flight on the screen. It also allows you to plan circular flight paths, very useful for example for checking/analyzing towers, and is particularly rich in types of missions. The technical data sheet of the App is available at this link.
This App is available as an App for iOS and Android, and is presented as a flight planner app valid for beginners and experts. Easy to use, it features FPV streaming. More than being a specific flight planner for inspections, it is suitable for planning drone flights for the creation of various types of maps. Among its features, DroneDeploy offers the possibility to generate and view a 2D map of the area during the flight. However, it does have a limited set of missions. The technical sheets with more details on the App are available at this link for the iOS version and this other link for the Android version.
It is Pix4D‘s flight planning solution, valid for both DJI drones and Parrot and Yuneec drones. The set of missions available for this App however limited. The App was created with the aim of mainly acquiring images for aerial photogrammetry, but is used in environmental and civil surveys and inspections (excavations, etc.). It is the most suitable solution for pilots who use the drone for professional activities, compared to those who use it as a hobby.
The reason is also that the App has a back-end for data-intelligence related to construction, precision agriculture, etc. Once the data has been captured, it is possible to pass it to other applications such as Pix4Dmodel for the creation of 3D images or to Pix4mapper for aerial photogrammetric images. The detail sheets for the versions of the two S.O. available at the Pix4DCapture iOS link and at the Pix4Dcapture Android link.
Hammer for DJI drones
This is an app little known for DJI drone flight planning, and is available only for iOS. The Hammer for DJI drones App allows you to set the flight mission according to the types of mission-activities to be performed such as: roof surveys, power lines, or area maps, etc. This is the link relating to the technical data sheet of the Hammer app.
Measure ground control
It is a multipurpose application that has several features available. It also supports custom mission checklists, tripod modes and multiple intelligent flight modes including Spotlight, Profile, POI, Orbit and Trace. The App offers universal compatibility with DJI drones. Below are the links for the App tabs for the iOS version and for the Android version.
EZFLY Roof Inspection
Available only for Android, it is an application that allows roofers, i.e. inspectors of roofs and roofs, regulators and contractors to capture images of drones to quickly and accurately measure and inspect roofs, flat roofs, pitched roofs, etc. Once the building is outlined, the altitude is set, the drone does the rest: it takes off, captures excellent photos and lands. App sheet available at the following link.
Available exclusively for S.O. Android, Redwaypoint is an App that, as its name says, allows flight planning through waypoints. Dedicated to DJI drones, the App is available in two free and paid versions, with obvious limitations for free. The App allows you to create missions simply and quickly simply by clicking and dragging a coordinate on the map. Draw drawn lines, circles, rectangles and grids. The App tab is available at this link.
The App for inspections available in the Android and Apple Store marketplaces are manifold, and the Apps presented in the article are only a part of them.
However, not all of them are independent of their own back-end, that is, they need their specific software to be able to process-analyse the images and this can be a limit, where it is necessary to invest a lot of money in post-processing software.
Fortunately still some of them are without a proprietary system at the back and allow you to plan your flight for inspections with maximum freedom.
Note regardine the images and icons of the App: The App icons showed in the article are taken from the Apple Store and Google Play marketplaces. The owner of the icon is the developer of the App itself. The use of the icons related to the Apps is exclusively for the purpose of a better understanding of the contents and for identification by the reader of the App in the relevant marketplace. The featured image was created by 4mydrone.
Last Updated on/Ultimo aggiornamento – 16/07/2020