Flight Guidelines for Shading Analysis

Image capture for shading analysis requires flights to provide four types of images:

  • Mapping
  • Orbital
  • Outward oblique

Before you begin, confirm with the customer that trees have sufficient foliage for image capture and analysis.

Equipment & settings

Drone: Capture images with a multi-copter UAS with gimbal mounted camera. A DJI Phantom 4 Pro is the preferred drone for this purpose.

High-resolution camera: 5472×3648 pixel (20 MP) resolution minimum as provided by, for example, the Phantom 4 Pro or Zenmuse X4S cameras.

All images should be captured in RGB format.

MAPPING FLIGHT

Resolution & altitude:
2 cm/pixel (.8 in/px)
Approximate altitude: 91.4 m (400 feet) above ground level (AGL)

Gimbal pitch:
Nadir (straight down)
-90 degrees from horizon

Overlap:
75% front overlap, 75% side overlap

Flight area:
The flight path should cover the entire site including neighboring tree line with a grid flight pattern

ORBITAL FLIGHT

Altitude:
Altitude: Approx. altitude should be 250 ft above the tree-line

Gimbal pitch:
Approx. 30 degrees facing toward the tree line and away from the center of the site (NO HORIZON SHOULD BE VISIBLE)
Do not include sky in view or resulting image

Flight area:
Flight should be flown in a circle around entire perimeter of array and 50 ft inward from the bordering obstructions

Overlap:
10% overlap

OUTWARD OBLIQUES

Altitude:
Altitude: Approx. 100 ft above treeline

Gimbal pitch:
Oblique
-15.0 to -45.0 degrees from horizon

Overlap:
70% overlap