At-field- Pre-Flight Checklist

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1. Flight Checklists

1.3. Preflight Checklist – At field before arming
1.3.1 Camera settings (Based on Canon PowerShot S100/S95/S110 Point & Shoot cameras)
General recommendations for aerial imagery:
❏ Keep the camera focal length fixed throughput the mission.
❏ Shoot in RAW since the RAW format retains maximum scene details and provides greater flexibility during post-processing.
❏ Use faster shutter speeds to avoid blur due to vehicle speed and vibration.
❏ Use gimbal to get maximum nadir shots of the scene and to avoid image blurring.
❏ Set the Manual Focus (MF) setting to infinity for above 5 meter altitude flights.


Choose one of the following camera shooting modes:
1. Shutter Priority (Tv) mode:
❏ In Tv mode, only shutter speed needs to be adjusted, ISO and F-number are automatically adjusted by camera based on scene conditions.
❏ Shutter speed: fastest or close to fastest (for S100 canon, 1/1250, 1/1600, or 1/2000 would work, depending upon the light conditions). Tip: faster the shutter less light hitting the sensor.
❏ Optional: Ev (exposure): 0, -1/3 or -2/3 (again adjust based on ambient light conditions)
2. Manual (M) mode:
❏ Shutter speed: fastest or close to fastest (for S100 canon, 1/1600 or 1/2000 would work, depending upon the UAV speed and weather conditions)
❏ ISO: ~80-250 (adjust based on ambient light). Hint: Higher ISO, brighter image but higher noise.
❏ Aperture (f-number): 4.0-5.6. Note: Small f-number means wider apertures and shallow depth of field. In our experience, F-number of 4-5.6 is a sweet spot. It is recommended that you play around with the manual settings to setup your camera to suit your specific requirements.
❏ Ev (exposure): -1/3 or -2/3. Again, adjust based on ambient light conditions.
❏ Additional note: Use the vertical bar with moving pointer to adjust the camera settings to get proper exposure (not too bright and dark). The pointer should point at or below the mid-mark.
Under MENU option, change the default settings to:
❏ GPS ON
❏ MF-point ZOOM OFF
❏ Safety MF OFF
❏ Wind Filter OFF
❏ Image format: Camera raw (CR2)
1.3.2 UAS In-field Pre-flight
❏ Place the UAV on a flat surface, plug-in the battery and close the lid. Note: Avoid any disturbance to the UAV during initial few seconds as the UAV performs automatic sensor-calibrations.
❏ Lock the SD card and insert it in camera.
❏ Switch-on the camera by pressing the preview button.Half-press the shutter to let the lens out.
❏ Set the camera parameters by following the instructions given in section 1.3.1.
❏ Attach the camera to the gimbal mount and plug-in the wire.
❏ Load and run CHDK script by half-pressing the camera shutter button.
❏ Open mission planner on field laptop and connect mission planner to UAV Autopilot using telemetry radio link. Use a correct COM PORT Number and 57600 Baud rate from the drop down menu on top right corner of mission planner software. Then hit connect.
❏ Check flight parameters (see parameter section below for detailed parameter list)
❏ Load proper mission waypoint file and write the waypoints into the Autopilot through radio link. Note: You can read back the WP from UAV to double check the correct WayPoints are written to the UAV.
❏ Make sure the GPS signal is good (3D fix: number of satellites > 7 and hdop < 2) and there is no error message flashing on the mission planner main window.
❏ Check if the camera trigger is working properly by walking the UAV. Note: Make sure the UAV safety light is flashing to avoid accidental arming.
❏ Check battery voltage.
❏ Turn the radio controller (RC) transmitter on.
❏ Check to make sure the RC switch positions are set to:
❏ Stabilized Mode [ON], RTL [OFF], Throttle [All the way Down].
❏ Depending upon how the other RC switches are mapped, make sure the switches are set to a mode that is safe for take-off.
❏ Check the trims are zero (offsets to stick positions that can be set with small slide switches).
❏ Make sure no one is close to UAV and survey area.