Camera Actions during a waypoint mission. Comments and Questions

I fly a lot of waypoint missions from my back yard. Because of the terrain and hazards, natural and man made, in the vicinity of my launch/recovery location, I defined 3 waypoints to use when leaving on the mission and when returning from the mission.
I designed a short mission to take pictures at each waypoint. I used the action option for default panorama at each waypoint. I edited the default rotate headings to start from 0° (why anyone would want to start from 180° is beyond me :smiley:).
The first time I flew the mission, the aircraft went where I expected it to go and rotated as I expected it to but the camera didn’t take pictures when I wanted it to.
When I compared to images exif data to the AirData csv file, I determined the pictures were taken at 10 second intervals. Before you say too much, I had the photo capture interval in the mission hub settings disabled.
I finally figured out the problem was within the Capture Mode settings on the controller. Sometime in the past, I had set the type as Interval with a 10 second setting as opposed to using a type of Single.

I changed the Capture Mode setting type to Single and flew the mission again. In general, everything worked as expected and planned.

It appears as if the Capture Mode on the controller is anything but Single, the camera actions defined in the mission are ignored.

I know this forum has discussed the AutoRecord setting and how it interferes with waypoint missions but I haven’t found any reference to Interval being selected. Nor is there any mention in the Help files.

Not really an issue for me, but I thought I would share my new knowledge with the group.

I have developed a workflow, using Exif Pilot and a homebrew Excel program, which allows me to quickly (15 minutes, more or less) to print a report with thumbnails of each photo and the associated location, timedate stamp and bearing from the aircraft.

This brings me to my questions.

  1. Why would the compass heading and the gimbal heading be different?
    Example: the waypoint action is to rotate the aircraft to 52°. The data row in the AirData file representing when the photo was taken, shows the compass_heading as 51.6° and the gimbal_heading as 46°.

  2. Which heading truly represents the reference from the aircraft location to what the camera saw?

With the exception of the second image in the pano series, all the changes are 51 to 53 degrees. The change from the first to the second image is 46 degrees.
The value differences are relatively consistent for all three waypoints.

Thanks visiting and ya’ll stay safe, now, hear!

I don’t know but I am guessing that starting at 180 degrees (and ending at 184 degrees) would put whatever the drone was pointing at in the center of the sequence of images. However, I’m sure you found that it does this no matter what heading is selected for that waypoint. I’m not sure what the logic was but if you are going to stitch the images together, it shouldn’t make any difference.

I have come across the same anomaly when I wrote my “AirData to Litchi” converter. The drone log files have two similar column names:

  • Gimbal_Heading(degrees)
  • Compass_Heading(degrees)

Because the gimbal allows the camera to point in directions other than the direction the drone is pointing, the obvious assumption is that “compass_heading” refers to the drone and “gimbal_heading” refers to the camera. However, through trial-and-error I have found that “compass_heading” is what corresponds to the camera’s view. It doesn’t make sense but that is what I found.

1 Like

Thanks for the insight on aircraft heading and camera view.
I will take gimbal_headings out of the picture. :cowboy_hat_face:

I seldom stitch the images. My goal is to have a series of images in sequence I can study or print for future reference. I prefer north as a starting point when dealing with locations.

Starting at 180°, pano default, the last photo is taken at 132°.
Starting at 0, rotating 52°, the last photo is taken at 312°.

Stay Safe! :cowboy_hat_face:

Yes, you are correct. I was taking the rotation increment of 52 degrees and adding it to the last rotation of 132 degrees yielding 184 degrees which would have been the next rotation in the sequence. I was just checking to see how well 360 degrees was segmented using an increment of 52 degrees.

Hello, #Jim_Smithheisler you mention that the AirData file representing when the photo was taken, shows the compass heading as 51.6° and the gimbal heading as 46°. Please note that it’s not the Gimbal heading! It’s the Gimbal Angle 46º to the POI.

Thanks Octavio, but that’s not quite correct. The column headings that we are referring to include:

  • gimbal_heading(degrees)
  • compass_heading(degrees)

Those are both “headings”.

The gimbal pitch angle that you are referring to (which is usually a negative value) is listed under the header “gimbal_pitch(degrees)”.

1 Like