Expectations of Drone Pilots:
- Pilots are always responsible for their drone-use and any consequences of their operation. This is the law.
- Pilots should always be in command of their aircraft, fly line-of-sight, and always be ready to take over manual control of a drone, for any event that requires.
- Pilots are adequately trained and comply with local laws.
- Pre-flight checks of both Hardware and Software are performed prior to each flight, to ensure the drone is in suitable condition to safely fly. See more safety information here
- Drone Hardware should not be modified in any way that might void the manufacturer's warranty.
- Pilots operate safely, away from people, and at an altitude high enough to clear obstacles.
- Pilots ensure any software/firmware they are using is up-to-date.
- Pilots are aware of hazards, including terrain, obstructions, wind, rain, and temperature which can negatively impact the performance of their drone and battery.
- Pilots should have adequate insurance to protect themselves and 3rd parties who may be harmed by their activities, with products like DJI Care to cover repair fees for damage sustained during normal use.
DroneDeploy Drone incident Policy
- While we charge for aspects of our analytics, and map processing, our flight app is completely free. We will continue to invest in it for the benefit of enabling our analytics and processing business, pushing improvements on a regular cycle to make it a better user experience, and more reliable. See How DroneDeploy Flight Software works below.
- We want our customers to succeed. In fact, as a subscription business, we are dependent on your success with our products. We'd always like to see customer drone back in the air, creating amazing data sets. To assist in this regard, for any paid customer of DroneDeploy - if a customer crashes their drone while operating a flight using DroneDeploy we'll credit a month of the user's current plan to their account while we assess the incident. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so an assessment can be made.
- DroneDeploy will assist in helping you get your logs to DJI - who have services and policies to help with drone repair.
How DroneDeploy Flight Software works
- DJI provides developers with a Software Development Kit (DJI SDK), which allows DroneDeploy to connect to DJI drones and perform functions such as automated flight, and telemetry collection.
- The DroneDeploy flight app works directly with this SDK, and leverages it to interact with DJI Drones.
- For a given flight, the DroneDeploy app will send waypoints to the DJI SDK, which will in turn send them to the drone.
- The Flight Plan is then stored on the drone in its autopilot, which controls the flight of the drone.
- During our pre-flight checks - we not only send the waypoints to the drone, but we also ask for them back from the drone, and compare to ensure the drone "heard what we said".
- The DroneDeploy app will display those waypoints on the screen, including the altitude of each waypoint, as it flies toward that waypoint.
- Once the user presses the "Takeoff" button, we tell the drone to execute the waypoints, and all actions thereafter are purely handled by the drone's Flight Controller.
- Telemetry from the drone is handled by the DJI SDK - and displayed on the screen.
- No Fly Zones (NFZ) are handled by the DJI SDK, and DroneDeploy communicates with the SDK to check if you have permissions.
- In-flight, DroneDeploy listens (monitors) telemetry, and provides no other instruction to the drone flight other than 'Return to Home' when activated.
- Thus, if the drone misbehaves in any way during flight (e.g. deviation from the intended path, hanging out in mid-air, sudden loss of power, etc.), this is under the Flight Controller misbehaving, not the DroneDeploy app.
Virtual Sticks Mode
For some drones not supported by the DJI SDK (including Mavic Air 2), DroneDeploy uses another third party’s SDK (Dronelink) to execute autonomous missions. This works very similarly to other autonomous missions controlled by DJI’s SDK, except the flight plan is not stored on the drone, but rather the waypoints are sent to the drone during the flight.