Over the last several months I've been writing a Windows application I call the Waypoint Path Generator to be able to programmatically generate paths for a uav to fly. Currently the program can generate paths for importing into the Mission Hub application for the DJI series of drones and for Mission Planner although the later is not fully implemented. The program can also output 3d paths for importing into Google Earth.
The following are three short videos I've put together demonstrating the program.
Have you taken curved, convergent, non-traditional (non-linear/non-parallel) flight lines into account - as well as the traditional (linear/parallel) flight lines? Also, the artificial limit of 99 waypoints should be reconsidered.
I'm flying curved flight lines (manned aircraft) in order to a) get a more diverse view perspective and b) mitigate the SfM doming (elevation) error. For an independent validation of using curved flight lines, consider the following research.
Minimising systematic error surfaces in digital elevation models using oblique convergent imagery
First published: 16 March 2011
Results of the simulation process, the laboratory test and the practical test are reported in this paper and demonstrate that an oblique convergent image configuration eradicates the systematic error surfaces which result from inaccurate lens distortion parameters. This approach is significant because by removing the need for an accurate lens model it effectively improves the accuracies of digital surface representations derived using consumer‐grade digital cameras. Carefully selected image configurations could therefore provide new opportunities for improving the quality of photogrammetrically acquired data.
For a visual comparison of curved flight lines vs traditional (linear/parallel) flight lines, consider the following two images.
I've been adapting my curved flight lines (waypoint generator) for use with long, narrow corridors (electric power transmission). In the example below, no flight line is linear; and no two flight line segments are parallel to any other segment.. Therefore, no two images have the same orientation. The objective is to mitigate the systematic SfM doming (elevation) error. The flight lines were flown using a fixed-wing drone flying at 31mph with a flight height of 400'AGL. The target corridor is about one mile in length with a width of 2200'.