Flight Plans Update Sept 2022

  • Post author:
  • Post published:September 14, 2022
  • Reading time:8 mins read

We are excited to announce an update to the drone flight plans generated though the Outfield web app. Following feedback from our users, Outfield drone flight plans are now faster with better terrain following. We’ve also created the option to survey from different sides of the tree, meaning you can fly with confidence at different times of the day.

What’s New?

Morning and Afternoon Surveys

In the Outfield web app you will now see options for Morning and Afternoon Surveys

Morning flight plans set the drone to look from east to west, while Afternoon flight plans do the opposite. This gives you the option to survey different sides of the tree, meaning you can choose the flight path that best suits the time of day you are surveying at. To get the best results from your Outfield surveys, you need to ensure that the sun is behind the drone as much as possible. These new flight plan options help you do that, resulting in more accurate surveys of your orchards.

Increased Speed

After some rigorous testing, we have been able to almost double the speed that the drone flies at. This means you can fly the same orchards in just over half the time taken with the old flight plans.

Improved Terrain Following

Outfield flight plans have always included the ability for the drone to follow the terrain or slope of the orchard. With this new update the drone is able to follow the terrain much more closely. This is great for orchards on very steep slopes, or large orchards where the terrain changes a lot across the field.

The new flight plans include more waypoints, meaning the drone adapts its altitude more frequently. The drone will now follow the terrain more accurately giving better consistency in image quality, all while reducing any risk that the drone will collide with trees or obstacles.

How do I use the new flight plans?

Step 1: Delete your old flight plans

The first step is to delete any old Outfield flight plans you have from your Litchi account. You can do this on your desktop at flylitchi.com or with the Litchi app on your phone or tablet.

On the desktop, hover over “Missions” then click on “Open”

You will be presented with a list of flight plans, click the trash can icon on the right of each plan to delete it.

You may still have some locally save flight plans on your phone/tablet. On your device, open the Litchi App, make sure you’re on Waypoint mode, tap the folder icon on the left. You will be presented with a list of flight plans. Swipe from right to left on each mission to reveal the delete button, tap the delete button to remove the flight plan.

Step 2: Generate new flight plans on the Outfield web app

You will need to repeat these steps for each orchard
Click on the orchard, then click the “Flight Plan” button, then download the new flight plans. These will each take around 30 seconds to generate. We recommend you download the morning and afternoon flight plans for any orchards you intend to survey, so that you have both options ready to go when you are in the field.

The flight plans will download to the Downloads folder computer as .csv files, exactly the same as previously. Add these as flight plans to Litchi as before. We’ve described the steps for that below, but you can also follow this guide if you need a refresher on how to import flight paths into Litchi.

Please make sure to name your Litchi Missions correctly when importing the flight plans, take note of the time of day at the end of the file names.

Import the flight plans into Litchi, and save them with the same name as the .csv files.

If you are uploading many flight plans at the same time, you may receive a message when adding orchards that says: “Error: Cannot create missions this often.” This is a limitation within Litchi, you will need to wait around 30 seconds before clicking “Save” again.

Congratulations, you’re now set up for our new Flight Plans!