Solo mapping with mission planner

For everyone looking to do some basic mapping with solo and mission planner I thought I'd write this post. FYI this post is just shorthand notes I've made and may contain some minor mistakes. The process to map with solo is fairly quick after you get familiar with everything and this post should be able to help guide you through it.  You may need a Alfa APA-M25 dual band 2.4GHz/5GHz 10dBi high gain directional indoor panel antenna with RP-SMA connector and extension cord from Amazon that will screwed into the left hand antenna as a replacement for extended range.

Make sure all batteries are charged including gopro. Setup in the middle of the area to be mapped for most coverage. Start solo, controller and solo app.

Sync gopro with phone clock using the gopro app, then shutoff the gopros wifi and leave gopro on, Set it to take picture every 2 seconds with gimelapse mode and have gopro facing straight down.
Start laptop and connect it to sololink wifi then the drone using UDP connection.(note do note use the configuration tab or any setup wizards in mission planner only use flight editor and data tabs) Go to flight editor and set home point. Add polygon by clicking the second mouse button on the map and draw the polygon for the area to be mapped. Then click the second mouse button on the map and go to auto wp then down to survey.

In survey select the camera you are using if it's a gopro then you will need to use the advanced options to put in the camera inputs. Note focal length is 2.77mm for hero 4 camera.

Set the speed and select use auto takes off and land. Select 85 percent sidelap and overlap. Go back to the simple tab and accept the survey.

Back in the map editor hit the second mouse button go to polygon and clear polygon.

Check the altitudes in waypoint at the bottom of the screen to ensure everything is set to the correct altitudes. I like to use verify height and set my takeoff altitude to the same as my mission altitude.

Once everything is set correctly upload map to solo by clicking write wp. Once it's uploaded go to flight data tab.

In flight data check to make sure the map Matches the one made in flight editor.

Click on the action tab on the left and change the top option to start mission. Start shooting the timelaspe with gopro which will take a picture every 2 seconds.

Click arm drone and then select start mission. Wait for solo to complete the mission and land.(note ensure the solo controller is always in range of solo) Stop the gopro footage and disconnect the link in mission planner to finish writing the log on your computer.

Find the log file in the mission planner directory log folder on your C drive and change the name to the flight you just did. (Note the log file has a mission planner icon and should be under the log and quadcopter folder or something like that. I have a shortcut to it on my desktop)

Now take the SD card from the gopro and copy the pictures to the laptop and ensure they have there own folder.

In mission planner press control f and select geotag images. Under log select the log file you renamed. Under images select the image folder you created from the flight. Click on time offset and leave at 0. Then pre process the files, once complete click add the geotag at the bottom of the window.

Once the geotaged images are done open pix4d and make a new project. Select the images and in camera setting select the model of gopro you are using. Continue to make the map as per normal with pix4d.

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Comment by RPM on July 12, 2015 at 1:09pm

Definitely in need of a replacement antenna to extend range. I am only getting about 550' away before losing connection.

What kind of range are you getting with the Alfa APA-M25??

Nice write up!

Comment by Justin on July 12, 2015 at 1:31pm
The furthest I've seen with that antenna setup is in this YouTube video.
Comment by RPM on July 12, 2015 at 1:38pm

Great, I will give it a try. Thanks

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on July 12, 2015 at 1:50pm

Great use of the Mission Planner geotagging feature. 

Comment by Mark Prince on July 13, 2015 at 6:36pm

what speed are you using for the 2 second intervals and what altitude ?

Comment by Justin on July 13, 2015 at 8:38pm
90m altitude 80 percent overlap and I set it to 15m/s. If you fly 10m/s it only requires a picture every 3 seconds.
Comment by dan kemme on September 20, 2015 at 12:15pm

i am having trouble getting solo to connect to mission planner.  i've followed your instructions which appear to be the same i can find in a few other places.  after connecting to the sololink wifi with my computer, i use the UDP setting at 115200 and click "connect."  from there i get a box to enter the local port, and i use the default of 14550.  i then get a box that says it's waiting for the UDP and that just continues to process without any change.  (i've checked the windows firewall and it has MP enabled.)

i am running MP in windows on my macbook pro through parallels desktop.  could that be the issue?  i can get my solo to connect using APM planner, but i like the greater features of MP.  

Comment by dan kemme on September 20, 2015 at 5:39pm

the issue seemed to be with parallels, since it isn't actually running windows natively.  after installing windows through bootcamp on my macbook pro, it seems to work just fine and connects easily.


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