Mapping with E382 and DroneMapper


I just wanted to share a mapping mission I ran last week with the E382 from Event 38 (my company) and processed with

The reason these results are somewhat noteworthy is the amount of time it took to make this. I pulled up to the flying field, setup the plane in maybe 5 or 6 minutes. I hand launched the plane, flew around manually for exactly 5 minutes, taking 110 pictures in that time. Brought it in for a quick landing in some bushes then I packed up and went home. At home I uploaded the images straight to DroneMapper without even reviewing them. A few hours later, DM came back with really awesome results. All of this took just a few minutes of my time not counting the drive to and from the field.

My setup on the E382 is as follows: 

- Skywalker 168cm Airframe

- APM 2.0 with ArduPlane 2.4

- 3DR Telemetry Radios 915MHz

- Canon Powershot SX230 HS with CHDK

The camera is really what made this so quick.. with built in GPS all the images are geotagged automatically as they're taken. This mission was actually done to see if it could keep a GPS lock for the entire flight which it did. Having the images geotagged and processing them with DroneMapper returns files that can be analyzed (as in the image above) for things like the elevation profile of any path, the length of a path, the area of a field and so on. There are nice tutorials on how to get started with that in the DroneMapper FAQ.

3689468999?profile=originalMeasuring the length of a trail

3689468939?profile=originalMeasuring the area of low lying vegetation


Extracting the coordinates of a point of interest

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  • If you calculate number o shots * interval time = time to shutdown lens. It's more simple.

    So,if I understand correctly, the script you are using allows you to put in a start delay where you specify when you want the intervalometer to begin and then when you are done capturing photos you can use a switch on your RC tx to shutdown the camera?

  • Jeff- Thanks!

    So,if I understand correctly, the script you are using allows you to put in a start delay where you specify when you want the intervalometer to begin and then when you are done capturing photos you can use a switch on your RC tx to shutdown the camera?

    Currently, the script I am using is very simple. I set the interval that I want in milliseconds and then launch. I use a switch or dial on my RC tx to start and stop the intervalometer script whenever necessary. To me this comes in very handy because I can start right at first waypoint and stop just after last. If I want to send a new mission via telemetry then I can repeat the start and stop process without taking a lot of extra pictures or having to land the plane.

    The problem I have is that I don't know how to get the lens to retract prior to landing using this method.

    I am seeking out ways of either getting it to switch to playback mode when switch is off or possibly using an on-off sequence of a specific duration (<500ms) to trigger shutdown. 

    Any insight is greatly appreciated and I will certainly share any successful techniques I discover.

    PS- I might try out your PARAM file for comparison sake...Have you tried it on Arduplane V2.7 firmware yet?

    My PARAM seemed to transfer well overall though on my last mapping mission with 2.7 the plane didn't seem to be tracking the path between WP as well as with V2.68. I'll probably run through the PID tuning process again using V2.7 and compare the differences.

  • Hey Brendan, sure - check out the TvEvent38.bas file linked at this page:

    I've tested it and it does work well on the SX260!

  • Jeff, thanks for posting! would you be willing to share the CHDK script you are using? I have several simple ones that allow me to start and stop an intervalometer script and it works great but I'm not sure how to get the lens to retract before landing. I use a plexiglass/acrylic window but it gets dirty easily and eventually scratched up...I am using an SX260 so hopefully the script you are using will work with it. Thanks!

  • Morgan, There is a tool in the Mission Planner software which helps you pick the appropriate flight line widths based on those criteria. It's in the Flight Planner tab.. right click on the map, and navigate to Map Tool -> Camera.

  • Hi Jeff, do you know how to determine your flight line widths? I know this will be a combination of camera specs, altitude, %overlap required but I wondering if there is a online calculator available to work all that out?



  • Yes I use CHDK on the A2200. The A2300 CHDK page is here.

  • when using powershot A2200 do you use the CHDK firmware? just asking because I have got Canon Powershot A2300 and I can not find a CHDK firmware for it (nor the A2200), do you know if there is a CHDK firmware for A2300? is there a firmware for A2200?

  • Thanks for the help, i'll go back to isolating vibrations

  • The blur problems I've had have been with motor vibrations only, not focusing too close.

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