Mapping Mission Ride Along

Here's my 1st mapping test flight with a Skyhunter twin-boom pusher. Im running Arduplane 2.73. Mapping camera is a Canon s95 running an intervalometer script via chdk. Its suspended from a single axis gimbal that keeps the camera pointing down regardless of aircraft bank angle. Video shot from a GoPro 3 Black Edition.

It took 120 photos during the 10 minute flight, and stitched with PT GUI. I need to refine my grid spacing and polygon locations relative to the target area, and intervalometer timing. The generated map is a little rough, but its a great start.

 I gave up on using the APM trigger at 3m from waypoint function as I couldn't get it to work and there's just no documentation on it.


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  • Altitude was 327 feet (100 meters). Total time was around 10 minutes.

  • Developer

    Could you share altitude and total area mapped? And flight time.


  • Moderator
    Congrats Matt, great picture. Glad everything word for you
  • I'm just using a standard hitec HS 65 HB. Yes its on the roll axis.


    For the question about the airframe and electronics:

    4s 5000mah 20c pack
    T-Motor 2820 830kv
    12x6 APC prop
    60amp esc

    I have not done a duration flight, but its very efficient. After a 10 minute mission I've got about 80% battery left. It only pulls 4-5 amps during the cruise.

  • Very interesting. Are you using a gyro servo for your 1 axis (roll?) gimbal?? I'm going to be assembling a mapping plane soon so am interested in what you have done.

  • Really nice operation. Love the airframe. 

  • Nice to hear. Ive been controlling mine through the APM via CHDK as well, but just cant get the waypoint triggering down. I can, however, take single pictures by clicking "trigger camera now" on the main page map. Its good for single photos but I would love to automate it through waypoint triggers soon.

  • 3D Robotics


    Great job! We're working on a whole tutorial series on controlling CHDK cameras with APM (it's the main way the 3DR team does aerial imaging), so stay tuned for better documentation on that. 

  • Thanks for the gimbal photo, adapting an existing one seems a better option than trying to make one from scratch, I might try one of the el cheapo Chinese kits as a starting point.

  • Martin, I have not used the geotagging feature yet, but I will explore it once I get the photo stitching dialed in.

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