Create a Mission Plan

Use the information below to get started creating your mission plan

Becoming an expert LiDAR mapper requires a good understanding of mission planning. I will get into all the details of the many little things to think about that will increase your efficiency and therefore productivity. But first, the basics. The quality of your LiDAR dataset depends on 3 factors:

  • Flight Height
  • Flight Line width
  • Flight Speed


Custom Camera Settings

The R2A & r360 comes with a Sony A5100 24MPx camera

For initial camera set-up:

  1. Create a custom camera in your favorite mission planner
  2. Define a new custom camera called: R2A or r360
Number of Pixels - Width 6000 px
Number of Pixels - Height

4000 px

Sensor Size - Width 23.5 mm
Sensor Size - Height 15.6 mm
Pixel Pitch 3.9 µm
Focal Length 16mm

Recommended Mission Parameters for the M300

Application Scan Height Overlap Speed
General Topography 400ft (120m) 30% 8m/s (18mph)
Survey-Grade Topography
≤165 ft (50m)
30-50% 6m/s (13mph)

Transmission Corridors

200--225ft (60--75m) >60% 6m/s (13mph)


150ft (50m) >60% 6m/s (13mph)



Variable ≥50% 5m/s (11mph)
These parameters are approximate and should be tuned to the environment and mission specific requirements.

Define the mission area by creating a KML

  1. Download and install Google Earth Pro. Open Google Earth Pro.
  2. Enter the project address and click Search.
  3. Zoom in to see the area on the screen.
    1. Scroll mouse wheel to zoom in/out.
    2. Press U for top-down view.
    3. Press N for north-facing view.
  4. Above the map, click Add Polygon and enter a Name and Description.
    1. Keep New Polygon box open until you're done
  5. Go to Style, Color tab and change Width: 5.0 and Area: Outlined.
  6. Go to Measurements tab in the polygon box and set the desired Area and Perimeter type.
  7. Using the left mouse button, draw the shape of the area of interest. Right click will remove the last point.
  8. When complete, click OK.
  9. In the left section, right click your polygon under My Places and click Save Place As.
  10.  Select the folder and enter the name of the project.
  11. Save as type: Kml (*.kml) and click Save.

Recommended Mission Plan Software

  • DJI Pilot
    • The DEM files for Pilot have to be GeoTIFF files which can be downloaded from USGS here
    • Complete all of your mission planning and parameters before importing the DEM to avoid slow downs on your smart controller.
    • The margin needs to be set to 0%. 
  • Maps Made Easy (aka Map Pilot Pro)
  • UgCS
  • Q Ground Control (PX4 based Flight Controller)

Use the navigation menu below to continue the tutorial.


Calibrate the R2A

ROCK R2A Tutorial

Facade Mount Best Practices