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RID Compliance with Phantom 4 Multispectral running with DJI's GS Pro - solutions besides external RID broadcast module?

tmcclure.wadnr

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I'm posting this in the survey/mapping section as that's closer to our actual application although it could also be compared to agricultural -

In our workgroup we use a couple of P4 Multispectral's for kelp mapping - the Mavic 3M is being touted as the future solution from DJI for these applications but we use the blue band in our normalized difference vegetation index because kelp (and other brown algae) have far more overlap between visible red and the infrared bands, leading to some problematic results and far worse performance by "normal"/terrestrial NDVI with IR and visible red. However, blue is a distinct distribution from visible red and the IR range (and green) in the coastal/marine application and "BNDVI" performs WAY better for our work. Effectively: our M3M is only an eelgrass mapping platform (RGB - infrared attenuates way too much in submerged areas and best mapping results arise from having the highest possible resolution) and our P4Ms are our kelp mapping platforms (5-band multispectral, works great with floating kelp canopy). We also use DJI's GS Pro as our mission planning software, at least currently.......

Here in the Remote ID compliance era we are struggling to come up with a workable solution that is compatible between our aircraft and flight control software - noting that the P4M has largely been treated as analogous to the P4 Pro v2, one might conclude that aircraft firmware update for RID compliance would be a workable solution, but all that information is accompanied by a big caveat to NOT do this aircraft firmware update if you are using GS Pro for your mission planning and flight control. This leads me to two questions -

1) Are there P4M operators out there who are successfully using other mission planning and flight control software (e.g. DroneDeploy) successfully alongside this firmware update to provide standard Remote ID? I would be interested in your specs as once you update the aircraft firmware you can't travel backwards.

2) Oddly, we were able to get RID working correctly with my colleague's M3M while running GS Pro, which suggests that some effort has been made to keep GS Pro up to date at least for the newest aircraft line. However, we had previously noticed that GS Pro has been put into the maintenance phase as of 11 months ago - which we thought likely explained the lack of compatibility between the aircraft firmware update that brings RID-compliance. Does DJI have any plans to bring up a new mission planning software, or are they ceding that market entirely to the third-parties? And why only for the Phantom 4? It feels like a marketing and not technically-rooted decision to push Phantom users along in the product line.

In short, it's pretty wild that an enterprise level product, that DJI will still repair and perform service on, has been sunsetted to this extent with respect to remote ID updates and when used in combination with their mission planning software, in favor of the newest multispectral platform which does NOT offer full-spectrum sensors. Just because 4-band G/R/Red Edge/NIR gets the job done in most terrestrial work doesn't mean you can ditch the blue sensor entirely and still market the product in a traditional remote sensing context. It appears that in my context, we're being faced with the decision to run with an aging mission planning software (buy an external RID broadcast module), or switch to a different mission planning software that is compatible with standard RID post-firmware update on the P4M.

I have an inquiry out to the DJI enterprise service department and will update this thread with any information that I get back, but I wanted to get this post up and see if anyone who'd encountered similar issues with the P4M and what mission planning / flight control software you were using to achieve this!

Tim
Nearshore Ecologist, WA Dept of Natural Resources
 
It feels like a marketing and not technically-rooted decision to push Phantom users along in the product line.
In short, it's pretty wild that an enterprise level product, that DJI will still repair and perform service on, has been sunsetted to this extent with respect to remote ID updates and when used in combination with their mission planning software
Hi Tim

Nothing new here. Look for this pattern to repeat over time.

Regarding RID, throw a module on it and move on. DJI will not revisit this I can 99.9% guarantee.

Do you work on the coast or also the inland seas?
 
Hi Tim

Nothing new here. Look for this pattern to repeat over time.

Regarding RID, throw a module on it and move on. DJI will not revisit this I can 99.9% guarantee.

Do you work on the coast or also the inland seas?
Thanks for the reply! That's what I'd been starting to expect we end up doing, likely the DroneTag Beacon v2 or the Mini, independent of whether sticking to GS Pro is the best solution. (We actually have a related issue with the age of GS Pro installed on our work iPad mini, in which buying the upgrade that allows uploading shapefiles (or .kmls) to use as perimeters for the mission planning no longer appears to process correctly, but that might also be an app store work credit card problem.... we've got an onion of layered issues here!).

I am however still interested if anyone has had success with the firmware update to get Standard Remote ID off the P4 platform and are successfully using something like Drone Deploy for flight control.

My work is baseline mapping of kelp in central Puget Sound, although my colleague's work at our monitoring sites extends out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca - we're not really out on the "outer" coast in our workgroup and the fixed-wing imagery we also get covers most of that area. My coworker has a recent report out though which covers our workflow if you're interested in more! - (looks like pasting the hyperlink parks the comment in moderation, googling the title "Monitoring Puget Sound Bull Kelp Forests with Multispectral UAS: An Index-Based Approach" gets you there)
 
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Thanks!

By chance, I may have seen your operator for the North Beach 2021 survey on a low-tide walk with the wife. Being tuned into uas/rtk surveying, drones on the beach, not so surprising. But, I noticed the GCP targets.

Small world sometimes!
 

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