Florida Panhandle

I am about to start a new project in an environment not well known to me being the Florida panhandle. This 300 acres is adjacent to the bay not far North of Panama City. I wanted to keep my flight time so I could accomplish this in one day if possible, and I am worried that if I fly with minimal front overlap, 30% side overlap, and say at 300 to even 400 feet AGL I will get poor results penetrating pine trees and dense underbrush in wetland areas. If anyone has experience in this type of environment, I would love to gain from your knowledge. I suspect I need to be flying as low as possible, and break this up over a couple of days, but hoping that may not be true. Appreciated in advance!

300 acres is an easy 1 day task for the R2A M300 combo. If you plan accordingly you should easily be able to capture your entire AOI in 2-3 hours of flying max. I did 300 acres about a week ago at 35m AGL and 5m/s and it was about 2:15 flight time. I was forced to break it up into 2 days simply because I ran out of light due to a late start, but you should have no issue knocking this out.

In regards to your 300-400’ flight height question. You likely will still get suitable ground data for contours, but you may compromise point density and not have the most impressive looking point cloud.

What mission planning software are you using? Have you done a project of this size before? How much elevation change is there in your AOI? How many batteries do you have?

I have 8 total batteries or 4 sets. I have not done a project of this size before. 125 acres is my largest. This property is right on the bay above Panama City, and I don’t expect very much elevation change at all. I am worried about dense undergrowth. Please see image below, and let me know any tips you may have for wetland type areas in Florida! LOL.

For flight planning software, I have just been using the DJI controller and no 3rd party software so far. Haven’t had to worry about much elevation change yet, but I am sure it is coming. I have already figured out how to get a DEM in the controller.

One idea I had, but do not know if it is viable, is to take a gas generator, and be charging the batteries as the flight is in progress. Have you done this before? I also have a inverter that hooks to the car battery which I believe could power the battery charging box.

I appreciate your help as always!

A couple of thoughts for your project.

  1. Careful with not overflying your AOI in DJI Pilot. Be sure to set your margins to 0%
  2. Generator or Inverter: Pure Sine only (don’t want to damage those expensive batteries) and it works great. The M300 charge case uses about 900 Watts consistently.
  3. Florida is great for not needing terrain following as the whole state is super flat. Tackle that when you have time or need to.
  4. Batteries: You should have more than enough to fly 300 acres especially if you are charging at the same time.
  5. Set your Base Station and don’t touch it until you have the whole thing captured. That will ensure that if you fly multiple sorties they will all line up properly.
  6. Keep GCP best practices in mind, you’ll thank me later.

I have been using 5 m/s 30% sidelap and minimal front lap. Do you think I could decrease the sidelap or increase the speed possibly?

Appreciate the info about Pure Sine Inverters.

All good info!

5m/s and 30% side overlap would be the minimum I would go.
Perhaps, depending on the volume of vegetation, you may increase the velocity to 8m/s, but you won’t get the totally awesome, dense data set… it will only be awesome :slight_smile:

Just before winter hit (you can’t fly in -45°c with 15kt winds) we completed a similar survey, 200ac flat land with minimal veggie cover… No wind, 60m AGL at 8m/s, 30% overlap… 1.5 batteries used and we made so much data.

Here is a tip: Pay attention to where you set up your LZ… if the drone has to fly 1,600m (that’s 1 mile for those who have not discovered metric) before it starts the survey, and requires 3,200m to return, your loiter time is severely limited.

DJI Pilot also suffers from “dumbF&$%^#y” in its mission planning… Sometimes it wants to fly 2/3 of the mission, turn the corner, fly to the other side of the mission and finish there. It is very wasteful if you don’t pay attention. DJI Pilot is not a good product, but the one we have. Be careful with it, it loves to waste your time.

Good Flying!

Sounds like good advice! Appreciated! Going to give this a try tomorrow…

I fly size in GA/FL and you sound like you should be good to go