Onboard Waypoints - Converting and Running Missions

  • Updated

Onboard missions are uploaded to and run on the drone, which has the benefit of not requiring constant communication between the controller and drone, unlike virtual stick. Dronelink allows you to run onboard waypoint missions, while still having access to visual mission planning, complex path shapes and multi component missions.

Onboard missions and the contents of this tutorial are not supported for virtual stick only drones. Onboard waypoints will not work for the Mavic Mini, Mini 2, Mavic Mini SE, Mavic Air 2, or the Mavic Air 2S.

This article shows how to convert a virtual stick missions to a DJI waypoint mission and run it onboard. It's possible to also directly create DJI Waypoint missions, and set waypoint actions. 

The mission planner must be set to Expert Mode.



Table of Contents

  1. Basics to Convert and Run Onboard Mission
  2. Conversion Options
  3. Disconnection During Flight


1 - Basics to Convert and Run Onboard Mission

Step 1 - Select Convert from the Menu on the Plan 




Step 2 - Select DJI Waypoints



Step 3 - Select Finish Conversion with Default Settings

The map will show a conversion preview, select Finish Conversion with the default settings to complete the process.

More on these settings later.




New Mission is Saved Ending with DJI Waypoints 

Your original virtual stick mission is still available. You will need to convert again if you make changes to the original.




Step 5 - Open and Select Start to Upload Waypoints and Run Mission


Drone mode and status will display that waypoint flight is active



Key Details

  • A onboard mission will continue after disconnection with the controller
  • Mission will automatically resume at last camera location after battery swaps, or pausing the mission. No resume point must be selected like other apps
  • DJI waypoint missions have a 99 waypoint limit
  • Multi component onboard missions require a connection to upload each component
  • Commands are not converted to onboard missions. You'll need to set them with DJI app, or run a separate camera setup mission.
  • A Path component will be broken down into a single onboard component and supports bezier curves
  • Map component conversion uses distance based triggering
  • Multi altitude orbits are possible with DJI Waypoints and Dronelink using the converter
  • Smoother orbits can be achieved with onboard


2 - Conversion Options

There are 2 settings during conversion. We'll look at the behavior in more detail with an example below.


Strategy (Convert to Multiple Components or a Single Component)

Select to have the converter create multiple onboard waypoint missions that will best fit the original path with multiple missions up to 99 waypoints each. This requires a connection to upload waypoints during the mission.

Or convert the entire mission into 1 single component that will have a 99 waypoint limit. Only one mission will need to be uploaded, although the path may not have the best fit to the original due to the limited number of waypoints.

Default Waypoint Spacing:

Control how many waypoints will be used during the conversion. The smaller the spacing the more waypoints will be used. This setting is not useful for large missions being converted as a single component.




Let's convert the following flight plan that contains a Map and Path component, both using Terrain Follow. 



Multiple Component Strategy resulting in 3 DJI Waypoint components: 2 Map components, and 1 Path component. 



Increasing the waypoint spacing using the Multiple Component Strategy.



Single Component Strategy resulting in 1 DJI Waypoint Mission



3 - Disconnection During Flight

Before disconnection, showing location of mission.



When the drone disconnects during flight the following message displays. The drone continues to fly the onboard mission. A Pause icon shows the last reported location on the map preview.




Open reconnection, Dronelink automatically resumes the mission, and clears pause icon on the map preview and shows the current drone position and preview.












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