Safety parameters

A drone is a tool for professionals that can be a safety risk if not used properly. Make sure you always respect the limitations of your system to ensure the safety of material and people.

WingtraPilot features a couple of safety parameters to ensure safe operation throughout the entire flight. The parameters allow you to influence the automatically-triggered RTH scenarios described in Return to home.

Check the safety parameters based on the WingtraPilot and WingtraOne versions.

Safety parameters in 2.7 version

The safety parameters are accessible on the top right during mission planning via the drop-down menu below the flight plan information.

safety params_highlighted

The safety parameters are saved to the flight plan. It is important to ensure that they are set correctly according to your flight plan. Keep in mind the following considerations:

Max. height above ground

  • Defines the maximum distance between the flight height and the terrain height
  • The default value is 200 m
  • Set the parameter to have a margin of 60 m at least to the minimum height above ground
    • Make sure to align the flight direction with the terrain. You might want to split an area into multiple areas so that you can align better with the terrain. For more information, check out our Terrain following article.
    • Increase the maximum height above ground parameter to resolve the conflict
    • If the flight plan is too complex, consider splitting it into multiple flight plans

Min. height above ground

  • Defines the minimum distance between the flight height and the terrain height
  • The default value is 60 m
  • Set the parameter to have a margin to the highest obstacle in the flight area
  • Note: The parameter should account for the uncertainty in the elevation data, which is approximately +- 20 m. As an example, if an object is in your airspace that is 50 m tall, set the parameter to 70 m
  • The flight height should always be higher than the min. height above ground. If not, the flight height will be auto-adjusted when uploading the flight plan to not violate the minimum height above ground parameter

min and max height above ground

Connection loss timeout

  • Defines the time span after which WingtraOne will execute an RTH if the telemetry connection is lost. If you fly with a remote control (RC),  the connection loss timeout indicates the time that WingtraOne will return after both links (telemetry and RC) are lost.
  • Note: since no telemetry connection is available, you will not receive feedback on the state of WingtraOne
  • Adapt connection loss timeout to your mission requirements. I.e., in cases of flights beyond visual line of sight and obstacles in the direct line of sight, you may need to increase the timeout time to ensure that WingtraOne follows and completes the defined flight plan

Wthout telemetry connection you have no means of interacting with your WingtraOne; do not increase connection loss timeout unnecessarily, and make sure not to violate your local law

Geofence

The geofence defines the maximum allowable distance from home in the particular mission. If the drone crosses the geofence, the return-to-home command is triggered automatically. 

There are 2 types of geofence, the circular and the polygonal. You can see the 2 options, by clicking on the Geofence menu on the right size. The default option is the circular geofence, which is a circle centered around the home point, and the default radius is 1200 m.

geofence options

You can switch to the polygonal geofence and a rectangle that encloses all flight plan elements will appear. To adjust the geofence shape, move the corners of the polygon. The polygonal geofence can also be dragged when it is selected by clicking on the Geofence label that appears inside the polygon.

Screenshot_20220819-120036

The polygonal geofence can be created based on a KML file. For more information read the article KML for flight planning.

Increasing the geofence size allows the user to operate WingtraOne beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Before changing the geofence limits, make sure that WingtraOne will fly safely and within the local legal boundaries.

The geofence is part of the flight plan, which means that it is saved along with the rest of the flight plan elements.

The polygonal geofence is particularly useful when there are no-fly zones in the surrounding area. It will ensure that even in the event of a smart RTH that the drone will stay within the polygonal boundary.

Safety parameters before 2.7 version

The safety parameters are accessible on the top right during mission planning via the drop-down menu below the flight plan information.

safety_parameters-1

Before starting a flight, one can adjust the parameters. These parameters are not saved to the flight plan. They are thus required adaptations after each power cycle / flight, which is especially relevant if your project requires more than one flight. Keep in mind the following considerations:

Geofence radius around home 

  • Defines the maximum allowable distance from home in the particular mission
  • Prevents a fly-away of the WingtraOne beyond this distance
  • When creating or opening a flight plan, the maximum default radius is set to 1200 m, which corresponds to the maximum visual line of sight

Geofence height above home

  • Defines the maximum allowable height above home in the particular mission
  • Prevents a fly-away of the WingtraOne beyond this height
  • Per default, the maximum height is set to 400 m before each take-off

Minimum RTH height above home

  • Defines the minimum height, at which WingtraOne returns to home 
  • If current height is lower than the defined minimum RTH height, WingtraOne will climb to the set value in a loiter circle and only then will it fly directly home
    minimum_RTH
  • Per default, minimum RTH height above home is set to 60 m before each take-off
  • Adapt minimum RTH height to the mission requirements—in particular in difficult terrain and when using ground elevation offsets

Connection loss timeout

  • Defines the time span after which WingtraOne will execute an RTH if the telemetry connection is lost. If you fly with a remote control (RC),  the connection loss timeout indicates the time that WingtraOne will return after both links (telemetry and RC) are lost.
  • Note: since no telemetry connection is available, you will not receive feedback on the state of WingtraOne
  • Per default connection loss timeout is set to 60 seconds before each take-off
  • Adapt connection loss timeout to your mission requirements. I.e., in cases of flights beyond visual line of sight and obstacles in the direct line of sight, you may need to increase the timeout time to ensure that WingtraOne follows and completes the defined flight plan
Without telemetry connection you have no means of interacting with your WingtraOne; do not increase connection loss timeout unnecessarily, and make sure not to violate your local law

Minimum ground clearance

  • Defines the minimum distance between the flight height and the terrain height
  • Use the minimum ground clearance parameter to account for trees, houses and obstacles
  • Set the parameter to have a margin to the highest obstacle in the flight area
  • Note: The minimum ground clearance parameter accounts for uncertainty in the elevation data, which is approximately +- 20 m. Especially in steep terrain, it is recommended to increase the ground clearance parameter.
  • Important: if the minimum ground clearance parameter is higher than the defined height above ground, the flight height will adjusted to match the ground clearance parameter
  • Read the article Flight Planning Tools to learn how to optimally use the minimal ground clearance.