Welcome to DroneDeploy! This is a document to help you get setup and flying with the DroneDeploy app for flight automation. Please see our Supported Drones and Supported Devices articles for information on compatibility with your aircraft and operating system.
Check compatibility with your DJI drone and your mobile device
First, please check for any iOS or Android updates for your mobile device, .
Then, please check the App Store or the Google Play store for updates to DroneDeploy and DJI Go. We recommend turning on automatic updates.
To use DroneDeploy, you will need to upgrade to the latest firmware for your aircraft and make sure your aircraft is fully calibrated. Uncalibrated hardware and out-of-date firmware are the two most common issues that prevent people from flying or causes unexpected behavior.
You'll want to check for updates before you leave home. Checking for updates out in the field is a recipe for waiting too long for a download or flying with out-of-date firmware.
How to check firmware
Connect your controller and drone to your mobile device and open up DJI Go. The first screen that is shown will also load firmware updates as it first searches for those updates. Enter your drone if it appears there are no pending firmware updates, and ensure that the aircraft status is 'Normal - Ready (GPS)'
At this point, you've confirmed that your drone is updated and you're now out in the field at your takeoff point.
You're set to fly with DroneDeploy after 'Ready to Go - GPS' status in DJI Go
Just make sure to hard-quit DJI Go before opening up DroneDeploy!
Before opening up DroneDeploy, we highly recommend opening up DJI Go first to ensure that the compass and IMU do not need to be recalibrated (travel can cause these instruments to become uncalibrated) and that you have ample satellite coverage before takeoff.
Manually Fly to Check the Altitude of your Highest Obstacle
Obstacle Avoidance does not always work. It can't be relied upon to avoid crashing into objects.
Before opening up DroneDeploy, use DJI Go to fly to the high obstacle in your map and take note of their altitude. We recommend flying higher than the highest obstacle.
When flying with DroneDeploy, you'll be prompted to switch to
F mode for Inspire and Phantom 3 series
P mode for Phantom 4 series
P mode for Mavic Pro
If at any point you are feeling uncomfortable, take manual control over the drone:
Switch to P mode for Inspire and Phantom 3 series
Switch to S mode for Phantom 4 series
Switch to S mode for Mavic Pro
Or initiate a Return to Landing using the remote controller or home button on the app.
Position of mode switch on remote controller (P3 pictured).
Distance, physical barriers (a big building, a hill, a tree), and electromagnetic interference (such as power lines, reinforced concrete, or large metal objects) are the most common reasons why your drone can disconnect from the controllers signal.
In order to help avoid this, we recommend:
- Taking off from the high point of the map. A vantage point has a good chance of the signal propagating strongly throughout the whole area.
- Take off as centered within the area as possible
- Avoid sources of interference, examples given above
- Avoid flight plans that take the drone out of line of sight
- Walk with the drone if necessary if the flight plan must take the drone out of your line of sight
- Adjust flight direction and flight shape especially near the specific problem area.
- Stay within advertised range of drone.
No Fly Zones/Restricted Areas
DJI's NFZ unlocking SDK is very unreliable and buggy. Mapping in and around an NFZ even with proper authorization may not work. Read more about it here.
After you've flown, your images can be uploaded for processing via an automatic Mobile Upload (if available) or can be added to the existing map or a fresh map by following the How to Process Datasets article for instructions to upload imagery from your SD card to your DroneDeploy dashboard. Processing of images is a feature only reserved for our paid users on our Pro, Business or Enterprise subscriptions.