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Instant Inspections - User Instructions

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Using Raptor Flight for Instant Inspection Data Collection

Using Raptor Flight for Instant Inspection Data Collection

Using Raptor Flight for Instant Inspection Data Collection

Using Raptor Flight for Instant Inspection Data Collection

Using Raptor Flight for Instant Inspection Data Collection

Using Raptor Flight for Instant Inspection Data Collection

Raptor Flight is Raptor Maps’ software tool for drone service providers and operators to plan and generate flight plans. It allows drone pilots to set different flight parameters and draw a flight plan on map / satellite image of the site. Data collected using the Raptor Flight plans is best adherent to the data collection standards required for the highest quality and accuracy of inspection analysis. 

Checklist For Pilots for using KMZ generated by Raptor Flight: 

  • Upload the KMZ, into the transmitter, and then make sure the flight plan covers the desired area in full.

  • The camera CVI setting should have both visible and IR checked.

  • The RGB camera should be set to 4k Wide

  • Ensure that the flight path is not obstructed and the air space is clear. 

  • In the event that a Take Off Point has been specified and terrain follow is enabled the pilot should make sure the flight path from the take off point to the rest of the mission is also clear. 

    • Note: as of February 2024, the pilot should check each waypoint individually to make sure that the altitude values are consistent and accurate. 

  • If flying rooftop/carport, the pilot should verify the altitude offset is correct, by measuring the building or carport height

  • Image session should contain at least 6 IR+RGB image pairs, and hence minimum 6 waypoints

  • If the site has different types of mounting: rooftops, carport, ground-mounts: each type should be flown and processed as a separate session

  • If the site is spread across multiple buildings, each rooftop should be flown and processed as a separate session and uploaded to the same inspection using the “Upload More” feature of the UI.

Walkthrough Video

Read on for written instructions.

Generating an Instant Inspection Flight Plan with Raptor Flight

Uploading an Instant Inspection Flight Plan into DJI Pilot 2

Raptor Flight settings

For Instant Inspection, several of the flight parameters are already pre-defined as soon as “Instant” Flight mode ("IIMode") is selected in the app. 

Following settings are necessary for Instant Inspection and should not be changed:

  1. Inspection Type: Instant / IIMode

  2. Camera Type: RGB (prefilled for Instant, Instant mode will capture both IR and RGB images)

  3. Altitude: 41.5 m (prefilled for Instant)

  4. FOV Horiz: 71.6 (prefilled for Instant)

  5. FOV Vert: 56.7 (prefilled for Instant)

  6. Front overlap: 0.7 (prefilled for Instant)

  7. Side overlap: 0.7 (prefilled for Instant)

  8. Camera interval: 2 s (prefilled for Instant)

Following settings should be updated based on the site location, solar array orientation, possible glare on panels etc:

  1. Altitude offset: If flying a rooftop or carport array and taking off from the ground, measure the height of the building / carport, check the altitude offset box, and enter the height. 

  2. Camera Angle: -90 is the default value, however, if there is significant glare on the panels due to direction of incident sunlight, this may be adjusted by up to + / - 20 degrees

  3. Flight Angle: This should match the orientation of the solar arrays to enable crab-walk so that drone moves along the solar rows (and not across). Adjust the angle using the satellite image of the site with visible solar array or site drawing if available. Note that (e.g. multiple carports), various arrays may be oriented differently. In such cases, set the flight angle that aligns with most of the arrays.

  4. Terrain Following: Should be enabled for ground mounts, disabled for rooftops, carports, or other flat structures with solar arrays.

Optional steps:

Create Take-off point: Clicking on this will create a takeoff point on the map which should be dragged to a suitable location (e.g. section of the parking lot with access and visibility). Once set, this will be incorporated in the flight plan.

- A note on setting the Flight Boundary -

Flight plans should be made larger along the edges to make sure we have full coverage for all panels. Drawing the flight plan too tight around the site border will cause poor quality results.

An example where the Flight Boundary is too restrictive:

Instead, this Flight Boundary ensures full coverage:

Total flight time calculated is longer than the estimated time for Instant Inspections. This is because the “hover and capture” mode used for Instant Inspections, which pauses the drone in-flight for capturing each image.

© 2023 Raptor Maps, Inc.

444 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

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© 2023 Raptor Maps, Inc.

444 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

Stay Up to Date

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed about innovations in solar asset optimization, deploying robotics for solar, our research and testing with OEMs, the latest in our product development, and more.

© 2023 Raptor Maps, Inc.

444 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

Stay Up to Date

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed about innovations in solar asset optimization, deploying robotics for solar, our research and testing with OEMs, the latest in our product development, and more.

© 2023 Raptor Maps, Inc.

444 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

Stay Up to Date

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed about innovations in solar asset optimization, deploying robotics for solar, our research and testing with OEMs, the latest in our product development, and more.

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