Aligning a Mission Using Adaptive Flight Drone Offsets

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Drone Offsets, also called Adaptive Flight, can be enabled for any mission, and are used to align and shift a mission plan in the field, or to make minor adjustments, and help compensate for errors in both satellite imagery during planning and GPS errors on the drone.

This tutorial showcases how offsets can be used in the field and is broken into 2 parts:

To enable Drone Offsets, see this article. 


Mission Alignment Using Reference Point Position    

Every mission plan has a mission reference point, the purple pin in the mission editor. This pin can be moved and used to align a mission in the field, using the mission reference position alignment button, highlighted below. It is important to know where the mission reference pin is before using it for alignment.

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The Mission Reference is the Purple pin, it may be covered such as with a take-off restriction



Modern Dashboard - Open Alignment Workflow


Step 1 - Move Mission Reference Point Location in Mission Editor

It's important to position the mission reference point at a useful location in order to use it for alignment. Dronelink recommends placing the reference point over a known location that can be identified in both satellite imagery and in the field, and / or overlaying the point with the start of the flight path at the first destination component (green pin).

In this example, we have planned a distribution line inspection in a rural area with poor satellite imagery using a Facade component. We are framing the distribution line at an angle from the side and have placed the boundary points to follow the line.


Drag the reference pin over the green destination component. The start of the flight path. Alternatively, one could also set the reference point over the boundary point indicating the pole location, and use that to align the mission.





Alternatively to Move the Reference Point - Right Click on the Map and Select Move Reference


Select Move Reference Only to only adjust the reference point instead of moving the whole plan.



Step 2 - Open Mission Alignment / Georectification Workflow

Once in the field, load the mission plan and take-off.

Fly to the reference point or location to which you want to move the reference point which will shift the entire mission. Note the map showing the original reference point in purple set in the mission planner, and the drone position in red. It is off from where we want it, so we will select the Reference Position Alignment button to shift the plan.




Step 3 - Select the Georectify button

Selecting the button will adjust the mission reference point to the location of your drones current position. The actual offset heading and distance will display in the position offset dialog.




Step 4 - Start the Mission

Select Start to begin the mission, the map will update and adjust the path to match the location of the drone and new reference point.

Note that Georectification will be disabled during mission execution, however the drone offsets can be used.




Mission Alignment Using Offsets

During the flight, use the offset menu items to shift the flight plan with the Position Offsets section, or make additional adjustments to Yaw and Altitude. It is possible to use these buttons as the mission is flying, or if the mission is paused, the offsets will be applied on resuming the mission.


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Position Offsets - Bottom

Allows a user to shift the entire mission plan using the directional buttons.   


Yaw / Altitude Offsets - Top

Allows a user to both increase or decrease altitude and yaw the aircraft left or right during flight. This can be helpful when trying to keep an object centered, increase altitude to navigate around obstacles or change the sample distance. 


Position Adjustment to Better Frame Target

Select the down position arrow to shift the flight plan to better frame the powerlines. Similarly use the up and down arrows to adjust the position as needed.




Adjusting Altitude to Frame Target Closer or Avoid Obstacles

Decrease the altitude to frame the target closer, or increase the altitude if concerned about an upcoming obstacle.




Yaw Aircraft Left or Right to Adjust Framing

Yaw aircraft right to change the angle of capture and better optimize the data for your use case.





Reset the Offsets by Selecting the "X" in the Offset Menu

It is possible to reset any offsets applied by selecting the "x" in the respective offset menu.





Optionally Enable Stick Control to Make Offset Changes

Selecting the controller icon on either offset section, will enable stick controls. The position is controlled with the right joystick and yaw / altitude with the left joystick.


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