Plotting your DJI video on an ESRI ArcGIS map by using the full motion video (FMV) add-in is a game changer.
FMV can capture data faster than an overlapping grid mission, and allows you to capture data where photogrammetry does not work (like over water).
FMV also only requires 1 pass down a corridor (pipeline or powerline) where photogrammetry requires at least two passes to get overlap.
Currently there are 2.5 ways to get your DJI Flight data into a MISB compatible FMV format.
#1 – DatCon was the first to be able to convert the DJI .DAT file into a readable format. You could then clean up that file and move some columns around to get a MISB log.
#0.5 – CompassData Inc. created a script that would utilize the .DAT file and the .SRT file from the DJI drone and make the MISB file for you. This saved a lot of time, but has been discontinued due to irregularities in the .DAT file.
#2 – After getting tired of messing with spreadsheets – CompassDrone built an Android application called CIRRUAS to capture MISB logs while you fly your DJI Drone. No more finding logs, no more converting, no more messing with spreadsheets. Just record a video and send yourself the log.
Since the CompassData script is discontinued, we will compare .DAT and CIRRUAS below.
DAT VS CIRRUAS
If you have 1 or 2 short videos to plot on a map from a Phantom 3, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Inspire 1, or Mavic Pro – Then go for the .Dat file workflow.
The .DAT file workflow is free, and it works for short videos.
If you plan to capture more than a few videos, then the $99 USD charge for the CIRRUAS app will end up saving you money in the long run.
Think of how many hours you spent retrieving logs, and messing with spread sheets then multiply that by your hourly wage or salary.
If that number is greater than $99 then go for CIRRUAS.
CIRRUAS records all the necessary MISB data -In Realtime – right off the flight controller. CIRRUAS supports all current DJI air frames* and enterprise air frames like the Matrice 100, Matrice 200 and 210, and the Matrice 600.
*Spark support is coming soon.
In truth – The .DAT file was built for DJI to do repair diagnostics.
In the event of a crash, you could sync your flight log and DJI would decide to warranty your repair or not based on the .DAT flight log.
A very smart person “decoded” the .DAT file, but it is not a supported workflow.
The .DAT file changes and some times disappears after a firmware update. The Mavic Pro flight log disappeared for a few months in the winter of 2017.
Outlined below are the Pro’s and Con’s of each workflow:
.DAT File Pro’s
- Works with:
- Phantom 3
- Phantom 4
- Phantom 4 Pro
- Inspire 1
- Mavic Pro
.DAT File Con’s
- The .DAT file format changes making any kind of automation or scripting difficult.
- The .DAT file disappears at times.
- Videos longer than 3 or 4 minutes may not make it through the multiplexer.
- You have to connect your DJI drone to a computer to retrieve the .DAT file and the USB drivers don’t always load properly.
- .DAT files are large, and slow to transfer
- It is difficult to match the right .DAT with the right video.
- You have to land and turn the drone off to create a new .DAT for your next video
- The .DAT file has 30x or 60x more data than the ESRI Multiplexer needs, so you will have a lot of clean up to do.
- FMV only needs 13 types of metadata, and the .DAT file has 60+ Fields
- ***There is no Gimbal telemetry in the .DAT file, so you will have to keep the gimbal fixed and dummy this record***
- Elevation is not present so you will have to dummy this too
- Strange things happen to your brain after starring at spreadsheets for too long…
CIRRUAS Android App Pro’s
- CIRRUAS FMV workflow is 90% FASTER!
- No limit on how long the video recording is.
- Start and stop the video whenever you like.
- Record multiple videos in a single flight.
- Only the 13 MISB fields are recorded which results in much faster multiplexing.
- Supports More DJI Drones
- DJI Enterprise Drones Supported
- Matrice 200
- Matrice 210
- Matrice 100 & 600
- Inspire 2
- All Phantom 4’s
- All Phantom 3’s
- Inspire 1
- Mavic Pro & Platinum
- Able to adapt to DJI Firmware changes more quickly.
- Full Support of Gimbal Attitude
- Drone heading and gimbal heading can be different
- Elevation calculated for you, and also tools to fix bad elevations
- Multiple ways to send the MISB log to yourself
- We put the Reference Altitude in the name of the log to save you time
- Only $99 USD
- You don’t have to open a spreadsheet
- Currently Android only, but iOS on the road map