At Firmatek, we are happy to work with you to develop a program that will work for you. If you want to use your own drone, that works for us. However, in order to ensure that you get good data and that our team can produce the information and deliverables you are requesting, we need your drone to meet certain basic requirements.
For best results Firmatek recommends using the correct combination of 1) drone/camera, 2) autonomous flight planning app, and 3) appropriate use of ground control points.
Firmatek has fully tested and recommends using the following DJI aerial platforms for collecting data and creating 3D maps:
- DJI Phantom 4 Pro
- DJI Phantom 4 Advanced
- DJI Inspire2 with X4s camera
- DJI Matrice 200 series with X4s camera
As a minimum requirement all of these drones have a camera that is at least 12 MP, 1 inch CMOS sensor, and mechanical/global shutter.
Other DJI models are not recommended. For example, the DJI Inspire 1, Matrice 100 are compatible with the DJI X3 camera (and not the X4s) which does not meet the minimum camera requirement. The DJI Mavic has a “fish eye” camera lens and is not suitable for producing accurately scaled 3D models and calculations.
Other brands of drones with GoPro brand cameras do not geotag drone photos and are also not recommended.
For best results a camera calibration procedure is required for every drone camera. Firmatek will perform the camera calibration service free of charge as part of a BYOD service engagement.
The Flight Planning App
Data collection performed with a drone using an app with autonomous 3D Mapping flight planning capability. Firmatek tested many flight planning apps and recommends the DJI Ground Station Pro app (DJI GS Pro). For configuration guidelines refer to the following guideline:
For best results the following camera settings should be used in DJI GS Pro:
All 3D mapping deliverables such as volumetric calculations or topo/CAD deliverables require accurate reference points common referred to as ground control points (GCPs). Please refer to Firmatek’s guideline for setting and using GCPs:
In addition to traditional survey techniques, Firmatek recommends the AeroPoints product by Propeller. Refer to the User Guide here: