Stand Count Troubleshooting Guide

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This Guide is a means of verifying your flight setup and confirming you're ready to fly stand count missions with DroneDeploy.

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Verify Set Up

It is important to ensure you have the proper setup to fly stand count missions with DroneDeploy. We will break down what is needed below.

Software

  1. Ensure you have the latest version of DroneDeploy. You can check the latest version here.
  2. Ensure your iOS is running 14+. You can learn how to check the software version on your iOS device here.

Hardware

  1. The best drones to use with Stand Assessment are the Mavic 2 Pro, Phantom 4 Pro V2, Phantom 4 Pro.
  2. Standard Controller.
  3. Latest drone firmware, which can be checked using DJI Go.
  4. If your drone has onboard storage, confirm your drone is set to use an SD card in DJI GO, and not internal storage.
  5. DroneDeploy supported iOS device.
  6. 10GB+ of free storage remaining on iOS device.
  7. A supported SD card: SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme Pro (A2 / U3) with 1GB+ free space remaining.
  8. Apple-branded USB cable.
Storage Space
A minimum of 10 GB of free storage remaining on your iOS device is critical. Less storage space can result in low performance, flight issues and app crashes due to the strain being put on the iOS device.

Power Cycling Hardware

  1. Power down the drone and remote. Power back on when in the field.
  2. Force close the DroneDeploy app and restart. Do not reinstall.
  3. Force close other apps if many are open, ensuring DroneDeploy will be the only open app.
  4. Open the DroneDeploy app and connect to the internet to fetch the latest settings.

Test Workflow

This is a simple plan of action to confirm Stand Assessment is operating as expected on your iOS device and with your current setup. This is the workflow that should be run through prior to starting any Stand Assessment missions on your field as this will confirm everything is in working order.

Steps to Create a Simple Plan

  1. Verify Setup
  2. Create a new Project in the area you will test.
  3. Create a Crop Report plan in the area you will test.
  4. Maintain use of a 20 acre, rectangular-shaped default plan for the test - modify the default plan as little as possible. Ensure only 1 battery is required to complete the test plan.
  5. Disable terrain awareness for a simple flight plan.
  6. Disable obstacle avoidance in advanced settings.
  7. Set Crop Attributes as you prefer.
  8. Confirm your test flight will take place in an area with a cell/wifi connection - if offline, we recommend downloading the project for offline use in Advanced settings.
99 Waypoint Warning
All missions flown in DroneDeploy, including Stand Assessment, will trigger an RTH action with an option to continue mission at the 99 waypoint mark. If possible, keep your Stand Assessment missions at 98 waypoints or fewer.

Test Flight in DJI GO

  1. Take off in DJI GO and take a few pictures before landing your drone.
  2. Confirm there are no issues.

Flying the Drone

  1. If cell/wifi connection is spotty at the field, we would recommend using Airplane mode on your iOS device. If cell/wifi connection is good at the field we recommend being online for the flight.
  2. Load the Project you are flying on the DroneDeploy app.
  3. Power on your drone and remote controller.
  4. Connect the remote controller to the iOS device via an Apple USB cable.
  5. Enter the manual flight view and confirm that satellite connection (GPS), Airlink strength (the transmitter + HD icon), and battery levels are all high.
  6. In manual flight, take a photo in the DroneDeploy app with the capture button. Confirm that the number increments up by 1 in the DroneDeploy app.
  7. Exit the manual flight view and select the simple Crop Report plan created above.
  8. Enter and pass the pre-flight checklist.
  9. Start Flight.
  10. Important: Do not interrupt the flight unless there is a safety concern.
  11. During the flight, monitor the Airlink strength (the transmitter + HD icon) and confirm that it is high throughout the entire flight.
  12. You should see the image count increment at each capture location. Ensure you are not entering commands into the physical controller during the flight.
  13. Allow the drone to land automatically.
  14. Once the drone lands automatically it should most likely have transferred all images during flight. If more images need to transfer, the screen should automatically display and you should allow that to happen without powering off the drone/remote/or DroneDeploy app.
  15. Once the DroneDeploy app switches over to the Explore Tab, the flight is finished and the drone and remote can be safely powered down/disconnected.

Analysis

  1. At this point, the image markers should be visible on the Explore Tab.
  2. Any points that are still processing will be indicated by an icon with 2 arrows and a % progress showing in the sidebar next to Stand Count. Make sure you do NOT leave the app while images are processing.
  3. Try tapping individual image points - the image should load successfully for viewing.
A Good Habit
Generate the Crop Report and save it to your local files just in case.

Uploading Data to DroneDeploy.com

  1. Connect your iOS device to a strong and stable cellular or WIFI connection.
  2. Leave the DroneDeploy app open and on-screen (foregrounded) until the blue dot in the sidebar disappears.
  3. Once the blue dot disappears, all stand count data should be synced and ready for viewing on DroneDeploy.com.
This is an Optional Step in the Workflow
Uploading data to DroneDeploy.com is not required and is a completely optional step in the workflow.

Specific Issues

Below, we've outlined top issues experienced by our user base with some tips and recommendations to overcome them. Please ensure you have verified your setup prior to trying these recommendations.

Drone Took Off and Hovered

  1. Verify Setup
  2. If able, dialable obstacle avoidance and try again.

Drone Missed Capturing Some Images

  1. Verify Setup
  2. Verify a chained mission was not attempted which will reduce chances of success.
  3. Ensure storage location is set to SD card and not onboard storage for the drone.
  4. Use a higher area per image setting for the stand assessment plan if possible to give more time between photo capture locations.
  5. Slow down the capture speed in advanced settings to give more time between photo capture locations.
  6. There is a likelihood that the DJI SKI was locked up causing missed images. Your drone and controller must be power cycled before trying again. Once power cycled, we would also recommend force closing the DroneDeploy app and reopening.

Images Captured but do not Transfer

  1. Verify Setup
  2. Verify a chained mission was not attempted which will reduce chances of success.
  3. The likely cause is that the Airlink signal was not good enough during the flight to download the images during flight. The pilot should ensure they maintain a good signal for the next flight.
  4. Try force closing the DroneDeploy app and reopening to check if any data recovers.

Data Points were Visible but Later Disappeared

  1. Verify Setup
  2. Verify a chained mission was not attempted which will reduce chances of success.
  3. Try force closing the DroneDeploy app and reopening it. Check to see if any project data recover. Ensure this is done when the iOS device is connected to strong, stable cellular or WIFI connection.
  4. Leave the DroneDeploy app open on the individual project page and connect to a strong WIFI or cellular connection for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes have passed, force close the DroneDeploy app and reopen. Check to see if any project data recover.
  5. If experiencing ongoing trouble with this issue, we recommend you save your reports immediately after the flight to your file system so to never lose a report.

Data is not Uploading

  1. Verify Setup
  2. Verify a chained mission was not attempted which will reduce chances of success.
  3. Try force closing the DroneDeploy app and reopening it. Check to see if any project data recover. Ensure this is done when the iOS device is connected to strong, stable cellular or WIFI connection.
  4. Leave the DroneDeploy app open on the individual project page and connect to a strong WIFI or cellular connection for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes have passed, force close the DroneDeploy app and reopen. Check to see if any project data recover.

Stand Count Data Seems too Low

  1. Confirm crop is V2 or V3 emergence.
  2. Review individual images to look for problems such as weeds.
  3. Verify the gap and row spacing entered. You may consider updating and reprocessing the count if needed. 

Reprocessing Stand Counts on Mobile

In the event you wish to update the row spacing or gap, select the three dots next to the Stand Count. Choose Reprocess. You'll be presented with options for the crop, and then you can reprocess the count data with those new parameters.

*Note: This can only be done if the images are still available on the device. Images are available for 30 days after the flight unless the user signs out or deletes the DroneDeploy app.

Long Stand Count Processing Time

Stand count processing should occur in minutes. If you see your stand count data is taking longer to process, it is likely an error has occurred. Here are some of the most common: 

1. Mission flown too close to the ground. The default stand count altitude of 50 feet generally does not need to be edited. Flying too close to the crop can cause issues with processing.

2. Twin-row crops located in images. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I upload my stand assessment images at a later time?
A: No. All stand assessment transfer and processing occur in the field and in real-time. no processing occurs in the DroneDeploy cloud. There is no way to upload your stand assessment photos for processing at a later time.

Q: Are twin row crops supported?
A: At this time, twin row crops are not supported with the current stand count algorithm.

Q: What does my gimble angle on my drone's camera need to be for a successful stand assessment mission?
A: You want the drone's camera pointing straight down at the ground when capturing imagery. Any small discrepancy in gimble pitch can result in inaccurate counts or the complete inability of the algorithm to count.

Q: How can I make more storage available on my iOS device?
A: The easiest way to free up storage is to sign out of DroneDeploy and sign back in once you've verified all data has synced to the web app from your mobile device. Images are stored for 30 days. You can also reach out to support@dronedeploy.com to have permissions set for your account to offload the DroneDeploy app once data is 7 days old.

Q: When will more crop types be supported?
A: The team is looking into supporting more crops types soon. Feel free to provide your feedback on crop types you'd like to see on the Features & Ideas channel within our DroneDeploy Forum.

Next Steps
If, after reviewing this Troubleshooting Guide, there are still outstanding questions or issues, please feel free to contact the DroneDeploy Support Team at support@dronedeploy.com.

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