5 months ago


  • Text
  • Multirotor
  • Aircraft
  • Drone
  • Transmitter
  • Controller
  • Controls
  • Pilots
  • Receiver
  • Modes
  • Orientation
  • Droneschoolopt

Auto or Waypoint

Auto or Waypoint Programming Some refer to waypoint navigation as an “autonomous” flight mode because the operator does not give control inputs during flight. Instead, GPS waypoints and altitudes are programmed into the flight controller prior to the flight. This can be done with the use of a laptop or tablet. Once the waypoints are programed in, they are then transmitted to the flight controller by cable or wireless. This flight mode is used whenever a specific flight path is desired. The operator still must maintain visual line-of-sight with the multirotor in Auto Mode in case a GPS signal is lost or the aircraft has in-flight problems. If something happens, you can flip a switch on the transmitter and regain control of the autonomous aircraft. n Auto Mode is used during mapping and surveying because a grid flight path can be programmed so the camera or sensor covers all of the desired area. n Search and Rescue operations may also use Auto Mode if the mission requires an area to be completely covered during the flight. It is very easy to program in a search grid for the aircraft to follow. n Aerial cinematographers may sometimes use auto mode if there is a need to make repetitive flights over the same flight path. Waypoint programming is the perfect mode for photo surveying large areas, such as this solar-panel array. Orientation modes should also be labeled well on the 3-channel switch. Normal Orientation Mode In this mode, you need to be aware of the front of the multirotor at all times because as it is pitched forward and aft, it will move in that linear direction. For example, if the front of the multirotor is rotated a full 180 degrees toward you, pulling back on the stick (aft elevator) will move the aircraft away as the control inputs will be reversed. n Normal Mode should only be used when you can maintain visual orientation of the multirotor. Radio-control helicopter pilots will find this mode to be very comfortable. n LED lighting or colored markings may help you to identify the front of the aircraft. n Large multirotors with bright LEDS and distinct markings will help you to maintain orientation at greater distances. Free Orientation Mode In the Free Mode, the orientation of the multirotor has no relation to the position of the pilot. In this mode, the multirotor will return to the home point when the elevator stick is pulled aft. This mode is beneficial for the new pilots because the front of the aircraft does not need to be determined during the flight. n Free Mode is great for beginners because you can concentrate on learning how to do maneuvers and then easily bring the aircraft back to home. n If you lose orientation while in the Normal Mode, select Free Mode to safely bring the multirotor home. n Free Mode will only operate properly if the home point was properly obtained prior to takeoff. This requires a GPS start-up sequence. 24

Switched Return-to-Home Failsafe Flight controllers with GPS have several advanced safety features that can be of great benefit under certain conditions. If the multirotor is flown beyond a safe distance or orientation is lost, you can initiate a return-tohome and auto land the aircraft back at its point of departure. Assigning a switch on the transmitter that initiates a return-to-home (and/or land) is a highly recommended safety feature for all multirotor operators. n The Failsafe Mode should only be engaged if necessary, because obstacles and other situations could make it a risky operation. Know how the failsafe mode works and the prescribed flight path back to home. n If the multirotor does not properly return to home, you can switch out of this mode and take control of the aircraft and fly the multirotor back home. The return-to-home failsafe will automatically land your multirotor if it loses contact with the transmitter or has a low battery. If you lose orientation, then the switch return-to-home failsafe can be a lifesaver, especially as in this case over water. Auto Return-to-Home Failsafe These same flight controllers can be programmed to return to home if certain hazardous conditions are encountered. For example, if the radio link is lost or the transmitter loses power, the flight controller automatically enters the return to home mode. Other conditions, such as low voltage, can also be programmed to initiate this remarkable safety feature. It is important to know that failsafe modes will only function properly if an adequate GPS signal is obtained prior to takeoff. n If your multirotor enters this mode automatically, there is a serious issue that needs to be resolved! n A thorough inspection of the aircraft will need to be performed after the flight to determine the reason why this mode was activated. The takeaway As you can see, using the flight modes available on your controller can greatly assist you in safely piloting your multirotor. This article overview should help you to determine which modes are best suited to your flight missions, and be sure to take the time to read your controller’s flight manual so that you program it correctly. By using the technology available, you’ll enjoy worry-free flying while protecting your multirotor investment. K Flight Success 25

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June 2013
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