Safety and Usability

Safety and usability are key design considerations in Mission Planner. We have designed feature-rich and intuitive user interface to let aerial photographers & videographers planning easier, flying safer and shooting better. There are other Android and iOS waypoint apps as well as DJI GO available in both Google Play and iTunes App Store. Some apps might sound powerful but hard to learn and use, especially when you are in the field (even in the air) and need to make instant adjustment. Complex apps are usually easier to incur reliability issues and human errors. Some are straight forward but lack of flexibility and basic features, such as camera settings. Mission Planner opts for the right balance between safety, usability and feature-rich.

You are also advised to read Important Notes section of Mission Planner.

Safety

  • RC Signal Lost: This is a common issue likely due to RF interference, antenna orientation, far distance or signal blocked by obstacle. When RC signal lost or app crashed/quit accidentally during a mission, the mission will continue until reaching the last waypoint. If you set Finish action to RTH in Setup tab, aircraft will RTH and auto-landing. This is usually safer than aircraft RTH upon signal lost. Imagine, when you fly behind an obstacle (such as a tall building) blocking RF signal and the aircraft executing RTH, RTH altitude might not set high enough to avoid hitting the obstacle.
  • Low Battery RTH: When aircraft reaches Low Battery RTH level during a mission, it will abort the mission and perform standard RTH procedures. You may cancel RTH and take over the control.
  • Initial Height: This is an improvement over standard DJI waypoint implementation. It allows you to define the Initial Height (RTH, 1st-WP) upon starting the mission. Standard DJI waypoint would fly to the first waypoint diagonally from the current height (with firmware 1.4.10), and it might hit an obstacle in diagonal path between the current height and the first waypoint.
  • Takeoff Checklist: Before uploading and starting a mission, the Checklist verifies all conditions and reminds you Initial Height.
  • Preliminary calculation: When you are planning a mission, the app estimates the farthest waypoint, total travel distance, flight time, battery consumption based on aircraft type and mission Setup. It helps you planning waypoints mission easier, safer and more accurate.
  • Weak Battery Warning: There are many incidents reported aircraft falling out of the sky or forced landing even with >50% battery level. Most of these incidents are likely due to battery issues or any battery cell lower than critical low voltage. The app keeps monitoring all individual battery cells status and warns pilots proactively to minimize the possibility of such incident. Please refer to Custom Warning for details.

    When aircraft in the air with heavy loading (~10A-20A current) is easier to trigger such Weak Battery warning than aircraft on the ground with light loading (~1A current) with non-balanced battery. If this warning flashes a short period of time during takeoff or rapid ascending, you can then safely ignore it. If this message keeps flashing during normal flight, you may need to pay attention to this battery. You may also verify battery voltage with DJI GO > Aircraft Battery with loading.
  • Pre-mission Preview: For safety reason, you might consider to fly a pre-mission preview to ensure clearing any obstacles in the upcoming mission flight path, and make necessary adjustments. You can easily toggle back-and-forth between a preview and a well planned mission for shooting footage.

 Usability

  • Step-by-step: Mission Planner opts for a simple step-by-step workflow concept to guide you through the entire mission from Setup to Fly. The beauty of this design is maintaining simple UI and operation though adding new mission types and features.
  • Context sensitive help: Tap "?" icon would show up a context sensitive on-line help based on current step, if there is internet connection and not flying. It helps you to learn the particular step/topic easier without searching the whole document or user manual. We keeps reviewing and updating on-line help regularly.
  • Camera settings: Most of basic Camera Settings (such as white balance, exposure, photo & video settings) are under Settings menu. Users don't need to switch back-and-forth between DJI GO app for changing common use camera settings.
  • Toggle FPV and Map: You may tap on small window (or click C2 button on RC) to toggle FPV and Navigation Map during mission flight. This is handy to let you switch between different views without leaving hands off from RC. It allows you to focus on the views of your choice easily.
  • Show Height/Distance: Show/hide the height of both waypoints and targets on the map, as well as distance of between waypoints and targets. This is very handy for planning various height of waypoint and distance between waypoints/targets. Occasionally, you might want to turn these off if the map is too crowded.
  • Waypoints aiming Targets: Once you set a target from waypoints, the waypoint icons are always aiming the target even you move the target or waypoint around. It illustrates how the aircraft flying mission and shooting footage without guess work.
  • Toggle Auto-Tilt: Auto-Tilt is a powerful feature in Mission Planner to control camera tilting in real time aiming to targets. However, you might want to disable it and take over control of camera tilting occasionally.
  • Auto-Tilt Offset: Aircraft height (altimeter) may easily vary 15-20m (50-66ft) off the actual height, or users might misjudge target height. Auto-Tilt Offset allows you to adjust camera tilting in real-time of maximum +/-10° to compensate aforementioned discrepancy.