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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  • This keeps getting better and better! Thanks Thomas for turning me on to Autopano Giga. If did SOOO much better at analyzing the photos from multiple viewpoints. Heres the map run through APG. Ive dropped about 70% of the errors. Keep in mind this is still my 1st try at this, more photo overlap will get me closer to a true orthophoto. :)



  • Hi Matt, Matt Here,

    Thanks for making this info availible, I am very excited to see your success, Congrats!!!  We are looking to do much of what your doing on a deer and elk survey project out in California. Would love to trade notes and pick your brain a bit. While equipment lists and settings are all well and good, we both know the devil is in the details.....

  • Matt, you can also try for stitching, for free, Microsoft ICE

  • Thanks for sharing, Matt!

    Your Mosaic looks nice at a first look. At a closer look I found a bunch of stitching errors, I am sure you noticed yourself. My experience is that PTGui (which was my first stiching software) does not cope very well with photo sets shot from multiple viewpoints (which is normal during aerial mapping). Autopano Giga does, though. A free trial version can be downloaded to experiment with.

    / Tomas

  • For anyone interested, this is the gimbal that Im using in the plane. Its a single-axis unit designed by Gaui for their 330x quad. At $59, including the metal gear servo, I think its a decent price vs the time involved to make one from scratch.


  • Thanks Matt for showing the photos of the camera gimbal. I look forward to seeing more if your posts on this subject :-)
  • Yes, the gimbal menu was used. In the menu, you need to assign the servo to a channel, and I picked channel 8 on the output. Then in the gimbal type settings in the standard parameters tab, choose GPS point or MAvlink targeting and it will start stabilizing. Ill post a pic of the gimbal menu tonight.

  • MR60

    Nice, very nice. Love the gimbal on that plane. Can you explain again how you configured it to stabilize it ? You did not use the Hardware/gimbal menu of mission planner ? You used CH8 instead , how ?

  • and while I'm at it, here's a few more of the plane.


  • Heres pics of the camera in shooting position and stowed


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