As far as I can tell, a copter or plane using UCGS will fly directly into a hill if return home or joystick control is used. I had expected it would follow terrain as it does when creating an initial waypoint or survey. This is a serious risk, especially for flights in complex terrain that UGCS is supposed to be the best in! Basically, in terms of automated failsafes it is the same risk as the DJI return home button on the flight controller. Am I wrong?
But the problem is terrain level accuracy. It's 10-50 meters!
In manual mode pilot is fully responsible for flight safety. UgCS will correct only planning mistakes and prevent collisions in automatic mode. And yes, only if you have precise enough terrain data..
Ok, this situation? First waypoint and home position are on top of Everest (I like this place to test routes in UgCS :), drone will fly down the slope, at some time (when drone is below start point) we will press "return home".
In such case emulator will fly to the home position to the point at altitude specified in route properties in "Emergency return altitude" field. This altitude in most of drones (including UgCS emulator) will be relative home position.
Modern DJI drones have more safe behavior - they will climb to "Emergency return altitude" (above altitude of home position) and then fly to home.
I don't remember what will do ArduCopter or PX4 but I hope that they implement quite safe strategy.
In reality most dangerous situation is BLOS flights when there are obstacle between home and part of route, and obstacle is more high than "Emergency return altitude".
Most horrible here that RTH can be triggered automatically and if really safe emergency return altitude isn't set you will have crash.
We are considering to add check for each point of route posibility to return home on given "Emergency return altitude", but this will not be implemented in two nearest versions (UgCS 2.11 finished and we have only couple of bugs to fix befory publishing, UgCS 2.12 is almost finished too). May be in 2.13.
Yes! That last reply was exactly the situation I was trying to bring up (just didn't do a good job). That was why my copter emulator was flying into the hillside. Am I able to set the 'safe emergency return altitude' separately from the parameter you highlighted of 'safe height over terrain'? This is critical as imagine that to make it over the obstacle in a direct line I would need to fly 200m AGL, but if I set the parameter 'safe height over terrain' to 200m AGL, then I wouldn't be able to fly my mission at only 100m AGL (which is the max that my LiDAR sensor range is). This sounds like it has the same limitation as does the built in Return Home. The only solution I can see is to turn off all automated return home parameters in the software, then set seperately the RTH altitude of the Matrice 600 Pro to 200 m using the DJIGO App (triggered if battery gets too low), and then set the 'safe height over terrain' in the UGCS to 70m (or 50m, something lower than my survey altitude AGL of 100m). Sorry if this got complex, hopefully you can follow! If not, I will try again! Thank you!
Yes, you can set "Emergency return altitude"
and next here
In previous version UI will be little bit different, but this option was here.
Taking in account cost of you equipment I would like to recomment to test this all in safe conditions over flat terrain... And it's good idea to repeat such test after each software/firmware upgrade...
Thanks, Ok I will do that. Yes, very expensive hardware. Another question. Does UGCS trigger RTH itself using the profile battery thresholds, or does it let the Matrice 600 do this itself only? I ask as the A3 Matrice has smart RTH which triggers at different battery volt thresholds based on distance to home, whereas UGCS profile values are static. So I think it would make sense to set the UGCS battery thresholds very low (or turn them off) to avoid having it trigger an RTH before it was necessary?
UgCS will not trigger failsafes. Battery levels in vehicle profile define color of indicator in UgCS and also when UgCS will issue textual warnings on the screen.
Sorry so many questions. As you said expensive hardware and first flight in a week. You can see what we are planning to fly at: www.gatoreye.org if you are curious.
1) Does setting 'emergency return height' in UGCS update the parameter that is internal to the DJI Matrice 600 (i.e., that is uses when it triggers its battery failsafe), OR does it just use that value when you click the 'return home' button in UGCS. If the 2nd, then it would be critical for me to update both of the RTH altitude values once I defined how high I would need to be to fly over any terrain between the mission waypoints and home during BVLOS flights.
2) The other values in parameters for a vehicle are just used in modifying or providing warnings for missions that users create in UGCS, but not actually altered for the aircraft. I.e., there is no update of DJI GO App or DJI Matrice 600 parameters by UGCS of any kind - it just feeds waypoints and provides feedback via the computer.
3) Is there anyway you can think of to use 1 computer to connect to both my android UGCS app (so I can use my laptop as a ground station), AND another wifi network (is how my LiDAR transmits live point clouds)? Or is the only solution to purchase an additional laptop or windows tablet to functional as my UGCS ground station?