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O&M Flight Ops — General
O&M Flight Ops — Drones
O&M Flight Ops — Manned Aircraft
Unless the site is a large utility-scale solar site (>10MW), or there are airspace restrictions preventing a high-altitude flight, we recommend the pilot captures orthomosaic/ base layer imagery. To capture an orthomosaic / base layer imagery, follow these guidelines.
Orthomosaic Imagery Requirements
Drone: Capture with a multi-copter UAS with gimbal mounted camera. A DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a good drone for this purpose but other drones are acceptable as well, see the table below.
High-resolution camera: 4000×3000 pixel (12 MP) resolution minimum as provided by, for example, the Phantom 4 or Mavic 2 cameras.
Relative position accuracy:
Horizontal: 1.5 m Vertical: 0.5 m.
Absolute position accuracy:
Horizontal: 5 m Vertical: N/A.
Ground Sample Distance
5 ± 1 cm/pixel.
400 feet (AGL).
4000×3000 pixels or greater.
Field of View
50 degrees or greater.
Nadir (straight down) with deviation up to 10 degrees acceptable (to avoid glare).
70% front overlap (direction of flight) and 70% side overlap.
For orthomosaic flights, pilots do not have to adjust the sensor to maintain heading throughout the flight. The sensor can turn to face each next waypoint without causing issues during data processing.
Metadata must contain GPS location, relative altitude, gimbal pitch, gimbal yaw, gimbal roll and timestamp.
Imagery must be free from motion blur.
Imagery must contain minimal glare.
Skies are clear and sunny or slightly overcast.
Irradiance greater or equal to 600 Watts per square meter.
*We recommend irradiance meter use to confirm sufficient irradiance.
If requested, pilots will be required to supply Raptor Maps with images proving POA irradiance from a sensor. If pilots cannot prove irradiance was above 600 Watts per square meter throughout the flight, a reflight will be required.
Humidity ideally less than 60%.
Wind below 6.7 m/s (15 MPH).
Sample image captured during mapping flight.