*NOTE: Download the Best Practice Guide and Checklist as PDFs at the bottom
End-to-End Process Summary
- Inspect the Firmatek drone kit. Check the weather, onsite conditions,
and airspace, for any issues that may hinder a successful flight.
- Use fully charged batteries to initialize the drone, controller, and iPad.
- Use the flight planning App. to capture the intended area and GCPs.
- Fly safely following all laws and recommended best practices.
- Perform quality check on the images collected by the drone.
- Upload your data at the Firmatek Portal for processing.
- View your results at the Firmatek Portal when notified.
- Email Firmatek at email@example.com for help and support.
Step 1: Pre-Flight Checks and Planning
- Fully charge all batteries (drone, controller, iPad) prior to flying;
always bring additional fully charged drone batteries.
- Check for any potential firmware or software app updates.
- Check and resolve all errors and warning messages.
- Check online resources for any site-specific airspace restrictions.
- Check the weather for precipitation, extreme temperatures, winds >
25mph, or any other adverse changing weather conditions.
- Complete an onsite assessment checking for any obstructions.
- If applicable, ensure that Ground Control Points (GCPs) are in the
correct place, clearly visible, swept off, and unobstructed vegetation.
Missing GCPs may impact the accuracy of the data; notify Firmatek
immediately of any problems (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- For best results missions should be flown before 10am or after 2pm.
- The SD memory card should have enough space prior to flying.
Step 2: Create a Flight Plan
- Use a reliable WiFi or “hotspot” Internet connection to complete all
required firmware and software updates.
- Open the flight planning App. and select create new flight plan.
- Configure the flight plan to cover about 110% of the intended area to
be mapped, and if applicable, including all GCPs.
- Save the completed flight plan for future reuse.
- For best results, make sure the flight plan (settings menu) is set for
80% front-lap and 70% side-lap.
- Most flights can be completed using 1 battery, however larger ones
may require a battery swap mid-mission.
- Refer to detailed documentation for creating a mission here.
Step 3: Before You Take-Off
- Perform a final inspection of the drone checking for any obstructions
on the drone gimbal or camera lens.
- Choose a take-off/landing area that is flat not to rocky or jagged
allowing plenty of room for a safe landing.
- The take-off area should be clear of nearby trees, overhead powerlines,
and buildings that would obstruct adequate GPS connectivity.
A "high spot" such as the top of a quarry highwall is the preferred
take-off/landing area, rather than the bottom of a pit.
- The controller antennas should be pointed away from the pilot
(unfolded, and straight).
- Perform a final App. check looking for errors and warnings.
- Scan the area looking for approaching aircraft, vehicles, or people
that may interfere with the flight. Practice "sense and avoid”
Step 4: Flying the Drone
- A mapping mission is designed to take-off, fly, gather data, and land
autonomously with minimal operator intervention.
- Flight information such as battery life, mission progress, and image
capture should be monitored while maintaining visual line of sight.
- Avoid doing other tasks and distractions.
- A battery swap may be required for larger missions. The drone is
designed to take-off, resume the mission, collect the data, and land.
- The drone is configured to continue a mission even after a brief loss
of communication with the controller.
- After completing the mission, the drone will return to the approximate
take-off spot and land autonomously.
- During the landing approach the drone can gently “nudged” towards
the optimal landing spot by the operator.
- Be familiar with all Return To Home (RTH) safety contingencies.
Step 5: Uploading Your Data
- For best results, data should uploaded using a computer on a fast,
reliable Internet connection.
- Copy images from the SD card to computer. Check for color quality,
extreme shading, or extraneous artifacts that may affect processing.
- Login to the Firmatek Portal
- Select GCP file and images for upload; provide special notes,
descriptions, and instructions along with the correct Drone ID.
- Each data upload cannot exceed a total of 5GB.
- Firmatek will be notified when your data is uploaded.
- For more detail, see our page about Uploading Data to Firmatek
Step 6: Results
- Firmatek will notify and post results on your account on
portal.firmatek.com within 48 hrs.
- Custom deliverables and special format requests may be emailed.
- For questions about your results contact email@example.com
- Firmatek experts may contact you via phone, email or live webinar.
- Firmatek delivers supreme confidence in your data!
- Customers are encouraged to seek answers to most common
problems and questions in the detailed user-guides and videos found
on our Support Center
- Customers are encouraged to review the detailed user guides and
- Often times equipment problems are resolved by “rebooting”, or
completely turning off all the equipment, pausing for 10 seconds,
and turning on the controller then the drone, followed by the iPad.
- Please contact Firmatek for access to the DJI & iCloud account
associated with your specific Done ID.
- Firmatek can be reached by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drone Kit Maintenance & Storage
- The Firmatek Drone kit should be stored in a clean & dry area.
- Compressed canned air should be used to clean off dust & debris.
- Compass, IMU, and camera calibration should be performed weekly.
- Perform all recommended Apple, DJI and App. software/firmware
updates promptly and proactively rather than “in the field”
Download a Copy of the Best Practices Guide and Drone Checklist Here: