Webinar-presentation: What's new in UgCS v.3.6

The webinar-recording presents  a demo of planned new features and improvements of the functionality of UgCS which are planned to be released with version 3.6:
 

  • UgCS for DJI app's iOS support
  • the automatic Corridor mapping tool
  • support for Terrain following mode for Ardupilot
  • upgraded functionality of Facade scan
  • improved functionality of the Mission resume.
     

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

  • Q: My drone (hexacopter with DJI A3 flight unit) after switching to "auto mode" turns left and right, than starts the route. Why does it turn?
    A: That is normal behavior. Most likely, the drone faces North first, before starting the route.
     
  • Q: Would it be possible to use the DSM generated from UgCS Mapper to create an optimized flight path for a steep and rugged terrain? This is possible using Agisoft Metashape Pro. A path can be created and exported as a kml. This would be a huge feature for us SAR users! https://www.agisoft.com/index.php?id=70
    A: Currently it is not possible to create a path like that, based on UgCS Mapper data. However, UgCS does support KML and CSV data import. Also, we offer systems for DJI M600 and M210 with terrain following using laser or radar altimeters. Visit industrial.ugcs.com to learn more about this.
     
  • Q: Really interested in iOS support and it’s functionality.
    A: iOS support will be available pretty soon, it's being tested right now.
     
  • Q: Is there a way to take pictures without stopping?
    A: Normally the drone is not stopping while taking images. You should use “Set camera by distance” or “Set camera by time” actions. Furthermore, to make the drone fly more smoothly, you can use Adaptive Bank turn type.
     
  • Q: Is it possible to use Wingtra system with UgCS?
    A: It depends on what autopilot it is using. UgCS is compatible with Pixhawk autopilots among many others. Moreover, custom autopilots can be integrated with UgCS. Wingtra uses a pixracer flight controller.
     
  • Q: Can facade scan be used to image all around an object such as a tower?
    A: If you adjust the settings and put the points quite close to one another - yes, it can be used to scan towers as well.
     
  • Q: How developed is the UgCS mapper, what kind of products we could get from it and what quality?
    A: Mapper generates 2 geotiffs: orthophoto and elevation.
     
  • Q: I created a profile and I cannot delete it now, though I am using the delete function.
    A: Reinstall UgCS. It is possible that the profile you created is used in some other missions. You can check all missions of UgCS choosing "Open mission" from Main menu. Locate the mission containing created profile. When the mission is open, choose option Remove mission from the Main menu. After that, you should be able to remove the profile.
     
  • Q: Which rangefinder laser would you advise to be used for Ardupilot UAVs combined with UgCS regarding the best possible compatibility between the programs?
    A: Hi, one altimeter we’ve had a good experience with is the WASP-200.
     
  • Q: Is it possible to import a mission from pc to the ios for dji ? Or android for dji standalone version?
    A: All past missions are saved on mobile device. But there is no standalone mission planning that can be done on mobile devices using UgCS.
     
  • Q: How about with Pixhawk FC drones?
    A: Pixhawk is supported.
     
  • Q: The telemetry and RC link percentage in UgCS for Desktop was not displaying real values from a DJI M600 Pro? Always from 100% to lost connection, nothing in between was this bug solved?
    A: Now the percentage should be the same in mobile and desktop apps.
     
  • Q: No Azimuth display iOS?
    A: It is displayed within UgCS desktop app.
     
  • Q: Is it working just on a phone?
    A: iOS application works on all devices running iOS – iPhone, iPad.
     
  • Q: Why do you use the waypoint function to start the flight and do not use the take-off function?
    A: For most autopilots, it is sufficient to have just a normal waypoint instead of takeoff action. There is minimal difference between them. Route with simple waypoint as #1 can be uploaded and executed while the drone is already in the air.
     
  • Q: Is the bug regarding Photogrammetry fixed? The route first waypoint should be within 30 m of taking off location. 2) The waypoint is too close.
    A: 30m requirement newer was a bug, this was a safety measure. We still strongly recommend placing the first waypoint as much possible closer to the takeoff location. If the takeoff location ground level differs from it's of the first waypoint, also if there are obstacles between takeoff location and first waypoint, there are risks for safe flight.
     
  • Q: How can I add orders (on/off) to the waypoints to control (activate/deactivate) a water pump. Yes, I know the function is solved to a servo action in the auxiliary channel, the question is, if I can control from to waypoint call action?
    A: To do this, you should use the set servo action to activate an auxiliary channel.
     
  • Q: When is it planned to integrate a UTM service inside of UgCS?
    A: UgCS has already been integrated with AirMap, although this has not yet been released to public.
     
  • Q: Is it possible to store more than one flight route on the tablet? So that I don't need to take my laptop or desktop computer to the field for flights?
    A: Yes, the routes are saved on the mobile device. However, it is still advised to take the UgCS laptop with you just in case you need to adjust the mission slightly.
     
  • Q: When I use the photogrammetry tool and the drone loses connection with the control, the equipment sometimes stops taking pictures, how can I solve that problem?
    A: After the route is uploaded to drone UgCS is not sending any additional commands to the drone. The drone executes the uploaded route. If the connection between drone and UgCS is lost, failsafe action might be activated. There are different type of failsafe actions, one of the options is "hoover", when drone remains at its current location and does not continue route execution. Please, check this on your drone autopilot configuration.
     
  • Q: Explain the added take-off function? Why would it make sense to add an additional take off height if I am using a DSM?
    A: If take-off point altitude is different than in elevation data, it is critical for safety to specify the difference from elevation data. The route is calculated based on take-off point altitude. If take-off point altitude is lower than altitude in elevation data, the drone will perform flight at a lower altitude and there are collision risks.
     
  • Q: Is there any possibility to create a geofence in UgCS to avoid the drone leaving from area?
    A: You can create NFZ around the flight area, but that would affect only flight planning. Geofence must be defined on the autopilot's level if autopilot supports it. DJI drones support only maximum flight distance from the takeoff point. Some other autopilots support Geofence, but that should be defined on autopilot level using autopilot native software.
     
  • Q: Do you guys have plans to implement an "UNDO" option to get back to the same route one had before making a change????
    A: Yes, it is in the UgCS development roadmap, but unfortunately we can't give a precise release date.
     
  • Q: In what way is the UgCS software connected to the drone? is this via the tablet?
    A: With DJI drones - yes. You run UgCS for DJI app on an Android mobile device connected to the drone remote controller and have the tablet in the same network as UgCS desktop.
     
  • Q: Regarding integrating the 3D model layer from Google earth on UgCS? Is it in your roadmap?
    A: Currently you can import single buildings as KMZ files. Currently, there are no plans to integrate a more complicated 3D model import.
     
  • Q: I need a gently stop in the air and landing
    A: You can solve this by adding a few additional waypoints at the end with lower speed settings to gradually decrease the speed.
     
  • Q: Will the option for terrain following be add to just way point like it is in photogrammetry tool. This would be handy for the road.
    A: Terrain following for Ardupilot using Rangefinder will be available as an option for all types of routes.
     
  • Q: We calibrate our drone by doing figure 8's at the beginning and end of each flight. Then we replace the batteries and repeat the process. Can we complete the first 10 waypoints (2 figure 8's) then resume a mission then fly the last 10 waypoints (2 figure 8's) after interrupting the mission to land for a battery change. For example, fly waypoints 1-10, fly waypoints 11-30, interrupt mission to return home, fly waypoints 50-60, land. Change batteries. Fly waypoints 1-10, fly waypoints 31-49, fly waypoints 50-60, land.
    A: You’ll need to have that figure of eight as a separate route. Then you can do it. We wanted to clarify some things on this question in an email but received a reply from your mail-server that the mailbox is full. Please, contact support@ugcs.com to discuss the solution.
     
  • Q: What is the minimum radius and waypoint distance on the DJI app? How you change it???
    A: Minimum waypoint distance for DJI is 0.5 meters, this option can not be changed.
     
  • Q: Is it possible to create a flight plan in "Area Scan" excluding terrain following?
    A: Yes, you need to select AMSL altitude instead of AGL in Area Scan.
     
  • Q: How does UgCS handle rangefinder's output?
    A: It is available as AGL data in the telemetry card of the drone, there is a delay for the autopilot to keep smooth flight. Depending on drone speed, it will adapt to altitude changes after some small delay.
     
  • Q: I'm wondering if the range finder can be also used with a DJI M600 equipped with a laser altimeter for GPR investigation?
    A: We have a solution for DJI M600 https://industrial.ugcs.com/true-terrain-following.
     
  • Q: So lets assume I’m taking off 2m above ground, then adding this 2m in the take-off function will lead to a 2m higher flight height for the entire flight?
    A: If you perform take-off from an object 2m above the ground and specify take-off point altitude 2m, the route will be recalculated and 2m will be reduced from takeoff altitude, the route will be performed on altitude specified in waypoints. If you perform take-off from an object and do not specify take-off point altitude, then the route will fly higher.
     
  • Q: Is it possible to integrate the google earth 3D model layer inside UgCS in order to plan a facade flight based on an environment with a real building? It would be possible in the future to integrate 3D models or objects not only in KMZ.?
    A: For now, we support KMZ import only.
     
  • Q: Hi, any way to do a calibration at the facade inspection? At ********* Singapore, our team developed an AI software to generate the flight path based on building 3d Model and when they go flying at the site the team makes a manual flight to calibrate GPS. Once the flight path is generated we send to UgCS software and then we fly like 4 to 5 meters from the facade with small risk. But this software at the moment only our Singapore team uses.
    A: None
     
  • Q: For users who are collecting magnetics and not imagery is there an option to select "no camera" or custom side pass width for corridor mapping?
    A: Currently you do need to have a camera profile selected. But you can still adjust everything by changing the GSD parameter even when there is no camera connected.
     
  • Q: What is the minimum altitude above ground that can be used with the rangefinder?
    A: When using a laser rangefinder, you can fly about 1 m above ground without issues. So it depends on how close the drone can be. The maximum altitude depends on the rangefinder device you will use.
     
  • Q: Hi, any possibility to use UGCS without an internet connection? Some remote mapping or inspections, like at dams here in Brazil, we don't have internet access. Therefore, it might be an issue.
    A: Sure, we used it ourselves in the middle of nowhere in Greenland with no internet connectivity. Just download the map for offline usage (right-click and select that option) and use it anywhere. There are instruction on UgCS Wiki site how to prepare for offline flights: https://wiki.ugcs.com/Faq#Flying_offline
     
  • Q: How does UGCS handle the Rangefinder's output? Is there a filtration happening? What if there is a sudden spike in Rangefinder data? Are the pitch and roll effects mitigated in order to calculate the real AGL and not the tilted ones?
    A: Filtering implemented in Ardupilot autopilot, we just load route in a proper format and show telemetry
     
  • Q: If you need high accuracy (under 1 cm) results, the drone must stop at the photo place, make the photo and then go to the next point. Making photos with a vehicle velocity of some meters per second is not the best. Is that possible in UgCS?
    A: It is possible to make the drone stop at a waypoint using a Wait action and take a picture. But it might be problematic to place waypoints at a specific distance for every picture location. And many autopilots have restrictions on how many waypoints can be used. You can generate an individual point for each image with the "Additional waypoints" option in the photogrammetry tool.
     
  • Q: Can I see somewhere the expected overall flight time?
    A: Sure, for any route click on the gear icon and select Show elevation. The estimated flight duration will be shown in the window at the bottom of the screen. Note, these are only estimates, real flight time can be different, it depends on battery health, weather conditions and other obstacles that can be calculated by simple simulation.
     
  • Q: Having problems with the facade scanning tool when I created the route in office. I went outside to test but the program told me my drone has a GPS vehicle error. Also, it told me my route was not uploaded when I already did.
    A: Please, send more specific details on this issue to support@ugcs.com. What drone are you using, which version of UgCS software you use. We will investigate.
     
  • Q: Is it possible to import some points to the mission for better orientation? I need to import some points to map, for example, border points of construction sites, tower crane locations and so on.
    A: You can import the KML layer with some vector data.
     
  • Q: Is it possible to use the integrated laser Altimeter in the new version of UgCS using "range finder" for photogrammetry purposes on DJI A3?
    A: It is the autopilot's feature. DJI A3 does not have such capability. That's why we propose true Terrain Following module for DJI https://industrial.ugcs.com/true-terrain-following

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