Flight Recorder Q&A

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ShellDude
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Flight Recorder Q&A

Post by ShellDude » 11 Oct 2013, 21:34

Let's use this thread for flight recorder related questions with AR.Pro.

As of v2.0.12 AR.Pro provides some pretty fancy integration with Google Maps and your GPS Flight Recorder. Features are constantly being added and tweaked so be sure to check back here for updates.

AR.Pro's GPS Guidance and Mapping mode is unlike all other software out there. I do not rely on Parrot's jacked up MAVLINK implementation in any manner and all guidance code is 100% mine. The only exception to this statement is that I hijacked Parrot's navdata stream for gps coordinate data. Everything else is pure butter.

There is no time / storage intensive operation of downloading OpenMap data of cheezy maps and the maps you use are high quality Google Hybrid ones.

Another key differentiator is that I have entered into a cooperative agreement with Maestro Wireless (the maker of the Parrot Flight Recorder GPS) and am able to offer precise GPS extended ephemeris data that will DRAMATICALLY improve your time to fix on cold boot. AR.Pro currently uses a 3 day ephemeris file and will automagically download it from the Shellware AWS EE farm and upload it to your drone once every three days. All of this happens in the background. There is nothing you need to do to take advantage of this feature. In the future I may offer some additional flexibility around EE file selection. I currently maintain daily updates for 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, and 31 day extended ephemeris files but have found that the 3 day one works best. Other developers / enthusiasts looking to take advantage of this service should drop me a PM. I will disclose details to anyone who asks that can assert their identity and agree to some basic "throttling" terms accessing my servers.

GPS Status Indicator
The GPS Status indicator tells you everything you need to know about your Flight Recorder's status. It serves 2 functions. It tells you the status of your Flight Recorder's GPS signal and 3D fix and it is also the gatekeeper between AR.Pro's First Person View (FPV) and Map View modes.

The first couple seconds after boot up you will very likely have no GPS signal of any kind and it will look like so:
no_signal.png
You cannot fly with your GPS in this state. You must have a 3D fix to fly with your Flight Recorder enabled.

The GPS Status Indicator is surrounded by two informational digits. On the left is the number of satellites currently assisting in providing your Flight Recorder a 3D fix. On the right is the HDOP (signal strength / accuracy) of your fix, regardless of whether or not it is a 2D or 3D one. You can learn more about HDOP here .

Here is an example of your Flight Recorder having a 2D only fix (you cannot fly with it in this state):
no_fix.png
And here is an example of it having a full 3D fix:
good_signal.png
You will very likely only have 1 or 7 satellites displayed as part of your initial fix. Shortly after launching your Flight Recorder will switch to a more thorough fix. This is normal behavior.

Go Home Button
AR.Pro's Go Home Button allows you to quickly direct your drone back to its launching point.
home.png
When your drone launches, AR.Pro automatically stores the drone's launch location. If you ever want to return to it, simply hit the Go Home button. Your drone will take a direct route, likely on an arc, back to its home location. It will gradually reduce its altitude to between 1 and 2 meters. Please ensure your drone has a clear path home. If you are not satisfied with the path your drone is taking (such as an obstacle being in its path) you can easily cancel the maneuver by tapping the Touch Pad control in FPV mode or any location on the map in Map View mode.

As a secondary function, you can long press the Go Home button to override your current Home location. A toast message will inform you when the home location has been updated. Subsequent short presses of the Go Home button will take you to this new location following the rules mentioned above.

Map View (activated by using the Map View Sliding Drawer - see below)
Screenshot_2013-10-11-17-04-51.png
Map View is where you gain access to "guided" mode. Here you are able to add destinations, waypoints, altitude, pause time, etc. Make sure your drone is in flight before setting a destination. If your drone goes in a direction other than intended chances are your magneto is out of whack and you'll need to land and reboot your drone to reset it. This is a rare use case but I have seen my magneto calibrate incorrectly on rare occasions.

While your drone is moving from place to place you can switch to FPV View. You maintain full controllability of your drone throughout its autonomous operations and can override at any time. A gamepad makes it even more immersive. If at any time you want to cancel your drone's movement simply short press any location on the Map View map or if in FPV mode touch any of the control pads.

Like with Go Home your drone will fly between 1-2 meters off the ground to its destination unless you specify otherwise. If it starts at a much higher altitude it will gradually descend to the target 1-2 meter range.

Downloading Offline Google Maps
When you select Download Offline Map in preferences you are presented the following dialog outling the procedure to follow:
1.png
Press OK and you'll be taken into Google Maps.

While in Google Maps navigate/scroll to the broad location you want to cache and then tap Map's search bar (it's shown in the upper left corner below):
2.png
You'll then be presented a screen similar to this:
3.png
Minimize the Android keyboard and scroll down to the bottom of the list provided and you'll see the "Make this map area available offline" option:
4.png
Select the "Make this map area available offline" option and when Maps indicates it is done caching the map press your Android back button twice. You'll now be back in AR.Pro in a zoomed out globe view:
5.png
Zoom to the location area you want to fly in and you're done. Your map is now cached and it will remain available to you for some period of time (at least a couple days in my experience). Hint: Press the my location button in the upper right corner of the screen to quickly zoom to your current location, assuming the area you want to cache is in its vicinity.
6.png
If you do not see the "Make this map area available offline" then it is one of two things. 1. You don't have the latest version of Google Maps or 2. You do not have a connection to the internet. If #1 is the case there is a work-around, but it is very kludgy. Right after tapping into the Maps search bar type the following text: "Okay Maps". I'm dead serious LOL... Maps will then tell you it has cached the area loaded. Press your Android back button twice and proceed with the remaining steps.

Destination / Waypoint Selection
See the below diagram for an explanation of all Map View options:
map_view_options.png
While not shown, you can initiate waypoint execution by short pressing the Marker icon that is displayed in AR.Pro's top action bar once a waypoint exists. Long pressing the Marker icon in AR.Pro's action bar will make the next waypoint active.

Canceling in progress movement
Canceling an in progress command (whether its Go Home, Destination, or Waypoint) is a very simple thing to do and will save you from a crash or a misguided drone in the event your altimeter needs to be reset (typically accomplished by simply landing), your magneto needs to be calibrated (typically demonstrated by the drone going east/west when it thinks its going north/south), or your trajectory has you on a collision course.

If using a gamepad / joystick, simply move any of its joystick controls.

If in Map mode, press any location on the map that doesn't currently have a waypoint or destination defined.

If in Normal Flight mode tap the touchpad.

Your drone will immediately stop.

Toggling between Map view and FPV view
Toggling between Map and FPV views is as simple as swiping the left and right edges of your screen accordingly.
device-2013-12-08-141332.png
device-2013-12-08-141355.png
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Last edited by ShellDude on 09 Dec 2013, 06:08, edited 7 times in total.

ShellDude
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Re: Flight Recorder Q&A

Post by ShellDude » 01 Nov 2013, 05:32


ShellDude
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Re: Flight Recorder Q&A

Post by ShellDude » 08 Dec 2013, 20:09

Map View / FPV toggle explained

ShellDude
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Re: Flight Recorder Q&A

Post by ShellDude » 08 Dec 2013, 21:47

Destination / Waypoint Selection explained with new diagram

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