New functionalities for MikroKopter version 2.10
The release of version 2.10 of the MikroKopter firmware brings once again a plethora of improvements recalling if necessary the leading position of the German manufacturer in the professional drones market.
Here is a list of the major improvements and new features brought by this version:
1. Automatic calculation of the image overlap
To utilize the taken photos, several aerial imaging applications such as photogrammetry, terrain mapping, topography, geomatics, 3D cartography, and others require a certain overlap between the pictures.
The overlap is a percentage of the area covered on the same time by two consecutive pictures.
To calculate the required overlap on the ground we use the focal length of the camera, the altitude at which it will be triggered and the sensor's size.
Rather than having to evaluate it every time, it is now possible to perform this calculation in the MKTool which can then automatically generate the Waypoints grid with the desired side and forward overlaps.
The MKTool already integrates the sensor sizes of several common cameras and it is of course possible to manually enter the size of any other camera's sensor.
2. Display trigger points on the map
The flight planning software (MKTool) represents every trigger point of the camera on the map by a yellow dot. The triggering needs to be performed via the flight controller for this.
3. Trigger Counter (ShutterCounter)
A counter indicating how many times the camera will be triggered is available in the flight planning software, the MKTool (when the triggering is performed via the flight controller).
The value of this counter is also recorded in the log files so it makes easy to gather the pictures after the flight (by relating them with this counter).
4. Automatic triggering by the distance in the Waypoints settings
To trigger the camera every x meters (of distance traveled by the drone), the automatic trigger is now adjusted in the Waypoints generator.
In order to trigger every 15 meters for instance, when the drone travels between the Waypoint number 1 and the number 2, we just need to enter the parameter (15) in the âAutotriggerâ column.
5. Simplified Mapping
Thanks to the travel distance triggering, it is easy to automatically take pictures and cover large areas in a short time using only a few Waypoints.
The flight is therefore faster to implement but also smother and easier to achieve.
6. The direction of the drone when it returns to the "home" position becomes now configurable.
This orientation can be preset by the user between the following choices:
- No change (the functionality is not used)
- Forward (for FPV): the front faces forward
- Back (makes manual operation easier): the back faces forward
- The same orientation like at the flight's start
7. Multiple "Fail Safe" positions can be configured
You can set multiple "Failsafe" destination points that will be used by the drone in case that something goes wrong during the flight (like the loss of connection with the remote control or a battery under-voltage).
- If necessary, the system will always choose the point that is geographically closest to the drone among those configured.
- The take-off point may also be selected if it is nearer than the other "Failsafe" points
- The position of the active "Failsafe" is indicated in the MKTool
Thanks to this feature, it is possible to plan long Waypoint flights even if parts of the mission are far away from the take-off position.
8. Ability to control up to 16 motors
The flight controller can now operate with 16 motors. This pushes the limits even further (the previous record was also held by the MikroKopter system).
9. Display the limits of the flight envelope in the navigation planning tool (MKTool).
To better visualize the Waypoints based flight limits they are now represented by colored circles in the MKTool:
- Operational Waypoints limit (250 meters, 1000 meters etc ...)
- Virtual geo-fence boundary (Max Flying Range)
- Automatic landing limit (Descend Range)
In addition to the above list, several other improvements are also included in this version 2.10, such as viewing and editing multiple flight parameters via the radio-control, adjusting the accelerometer in flight, a voice alert notifying when 100 meters of altitude or distance are reached and others.
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