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PPK KIT PHANTOM4 USER MANUAL
V3.0

Convert your Phantom 4 Pro / Advance into a PPK system. Easy integration without the need to open or modify the drone

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Description

The PPK-Kit-Phantom4 is a non-intrusive adapter system to connect a GNSS Reach M2 or M+ receiver (not included) to a DJI Phantom 4 Pro or Advance model drone..

Main Advantages:

  • Works with M2 and M + modules (not included)
  • There is no need to open or modify the drone
  • Kit attaches and detaches in seconds
  • No batteries required
  • Ultra-fast Image Trigger Detector Sensor
  • Lightweight micro electronics: 70 grams.

An externally installed sensor on the drone detects the trigger for each photograph and records a timestamp in the Reach M2 / M + module’s log file. Timestamps are extracted from the module post-flight and added to images taken in flight as metadata such as centimeter-precision geotags (geotags) using various specialized software options available on the market.

The Reach M2 and M+ modules (not included in the Kit) are centimeter-precision multi-band/single-band GNSS systems for UAV mapping up to 100km/20km respectively.


Image: Reach M2 and Antenna Module. Not included in the kit.

Operation requirements

For integration requires:

  1. Un PPK Kit Phantom4
  2. A Drone: Phantom 4 Pro or Phantom 4 Advance (Not included)
  3. One Reach M2 or M+ with GNSS Antenna (Not included)
  4. A RINEX compatible GPS Base Receiver (Not included)

 


Image: Kit components.

 

Kit Components

  1. Antenna Support with short connection cable and high-strength velcro
  2. M2 / M + Module Support with power regulator, Micro-USB cable for power supply and high resistance 3M Velcro
  3. Trigger Sensor  module, attached to the module holder

Installation

  1. Attach one side of the Velcro to the center back of the M2/M+ module.
  2. Connect the 6-pin connector of the M2/M+ cradle to the connector S1 of the M2/M+ module.
  3. Connect the 5-pin connector of the Photo Trigger Sensor to the connector C1 of the M2/M+ module
  4. Using the Velcro, firmly attach the M2/M+ module to the Module Holder.
  5. Install the M2/M+ Bracket on the bottom of the left landing gear of the drone, using the two crossbar grips. To do this, insert one of them first and then slide the cross bar upwards, until the other grip can also be easily inserted.
  6. Connect the Micro-USB cable to the USB slot on the drone.
  7. Remove the clear plastic clip located at the end of the left front arm of the drone.


Image: Plastic clip removed from drone arm.

  1. Carefully insert the trigger sensor under the motor of the left front arm of the drone.
  2. Install the GNSS antenna onto the Antenna Mount using the short connector cable provided. Before screwing the connector to the antenna, unscrew the locking nut provided and save it.


Image: Nut unscrewed prior to antenna installation.

  1. Securely attach the Antenna Bracket to the top of the drone using the Velcro provided. The correct installation position of the antenna support is just above the drone camera location. Once in place, make sure that the drone propellers do not touch the bracket when rotating: a five millimeter safety margin is sufficient.
  2. Connect the antenna cable to the M2/M+ module. Be careful not to block the view of the drone’s anti-collision system. In the case of using the long connecting cable, wrap the antenna cable around the bracket and secure it in place with a tie wrap.

Drone configuration

  1. Turn on the Phantom 4 Pro or Advance drone and the remote control.
  2. Log in to the DJI GO4 App and activate the front lights on the drone arms:

Settings / MC Settings / Advanced Settings / Turn on Aircraft Arm LEDs.
En idioma español: Configuración Principal / Configuración Avanzada / Habilitar “Activar los LED de los brazos de la aeronave”.

M2/M+ module configuration

Reachview 3 App and Firmware update

  1. Download and install the ReachView 3 application on your Android phone or tablet or iPhone.
  2. When starting the application for the first time, you need to update to the latest firmware. To do so: Disable mobile data on Android phones while using ReachView 3.
  3. Turn on your Reach M2/M+ module.
  4. In the Wi-Fi settings of your mobile device: connect to the M2/M+ access point. (“reach:XX:XX”). The initial password is: emlidreach
  5. Start the ReachView 3 application and select your M2/M+ module.
  6. Select the “+” symbol to add your Wi-Fi network to the list of available networks.
  7. Enter your Wi-Fi network information.
  8. Restart the M2/M+ module.
  9. Reconnect your mobile device to your Wi-Fi network.
  10. Refresh the ReachView 3 application. The M2/M+ module will now have a local IP address. (192.168.1.XXX)
  11. Update ReachView 3 (the M2/M+ firmware will be updated). Restart the M2/M+ when finished.
  12. Restart the ReachView 3 application and connect to the M2/M+ module. You will now be able to view the satellite connection status, download logs and make changes to the M2/M+ configuration.

M2/M+ adjustments

  1. Go to REACHVIEW 3 > RTK SETTINGSand in the GNSS SELECT section select GPS, GLONASS and other GNSS systems that, according to the geographical location of your project, are suitable for you.

1.1.   IN THE M+ MODULE: Due to the limitations of this module in data capture speed, the following selection combinations are possible:

GNSS selection Allowable frequencies
GPS + GLONASS + GALILEO + SBAS + QZSS 1 Hz
GPS + GLONASS + QZSS 5 Hz
GPS + GALILEO 5 Hz
GPS 10 Hz

It is recommended to set the refresh rate to 5 Hz and keep the GPS + GLONASS + QZSS selection. Do this for both the Drone/Rover and the Ground Base when using the Reach RS+ base.

1.2.   IN THE M2 MODULE: The M2 version tracks GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS and BEIDOU satellite systems. Data can be recorded with a refresh rate of 1 Hz, 5 Hz or 10 Hz.

Do this for both the Drone/Rover and the Ground Base when using the Reach RS2 base.


Image: GNSS Configuration screen with selected satellites and 10Hz frequency.

  1. Vaya a REACHVIEW 3 > LOGGING y active RAW DATA con UBX. It is recommended to activate the automatic registration start option. (Autostart): UBX logging will be started each time the module is successfully turned on.


Image: Registration screen with the function Autostart activated and registering in UBX format.

  1. Go to REACHVIEW 3 > CAMERA CONTROL and take a photo manually with the Photo Shoot button located on the remote control of the Phantom 4 drone. The value in the CAMERA EVENTS: LAST TIME MARK should be updated at that time. You can take several pictures to verify the proper functioning of the Timestamp capture and recording system.


Image: Camera Control screen with trigger event time detected by the sensor.

  1. The M2/M+ module is now ready for operation.

Topographic Survey Flights

Before the flight:

  1. Program your flight plan following the instructions of the flight control application you use: DJI GS Pro, Pix4D, DroneDeploy, MapsMadeEasy or others.
  2. Connect the previously installed PPK KIT by connecting the Micro-USB cable to the drone.
  3. Turn on the Phantom 4 Pro / Advance drone.
  4. Wait for the three lights on the M2/M+ to turn on: Orange, Blue and Green. It takes about 30 seconds to wait for the Blue(Wifi) and Green(Satellites) lights.
  5. In the event that at the first power up of the drone the M2/M+ module does not turn on completely (only orange light on) do the following: disconnect and reconnect the 6-pin connector directly from the M2/M+ module without turning off the drone. This happens due to slight power performance issues in some drone batteries due to time of use (low amperage) or other factors external to the kit.
  6. Connect to the M2/M+ via Wi-Fi (See point 6 of the section: M2/M+ module configuration: Reachview 3 App and Firmware update.).
  7. Perform a manual snapshot to verify correct Time Stamp registration. (CAMERA EVENTS: LAST TIME MARK).
  8. Initiate or verify start of GNSS data logging (RAW DATA / UBX) in the M2/M+.
  9. Once these checks and recommendations have been made, you can proceed to fly the drone and capture photos.


RECOMENDACIÓN IMPORTANTE
: It is recommended, at the end of each flight plan, to take a picture with the drone camera positioned over a Ground Control Point (with the camera placed over the center point of the Ground Control Point) using the Shutter button on the Phantom 4’s remote control.

After the flight:

  1. At the end of each flight, disable the recording of UBX logs using the Reachview 3 App. Before turning off the M2/M+ wait until the log processing is finished.
    Note: Make sure that the GNSS data has been saved correctly (.UBX file).
  2. Download the data logs (RAW DATA LOGS – UBX) from the M2/M+. To do this in the Reachview App press the download buttons of each log, in the section REACHVIEW > LOGGING.
    Search for the UBX file in the file system of your mobile device and send it by e-mail. Then retrieve it to your PC for further processing.

The UBX file will be inside a .ZIP folder. Save it and unzip it for your use.

As a result of the flight session and in order to perform a correct processing in PPK, you should obtain the following set of data:

  1. Photographs captured by the Phantom 4
  2. RAW LOGS UBX of the M2/M+ module for each flight performed.
  3. RAW LOGS (UBX or RINEX) from a GNSS receiver on the ground
  4. List of the coordinates of the Control Points

With this information, you will be ready to process the data through different photogrammetric software options.

Post Process – PPK

The final PPK post-process mapping workflow (Post Processed Kinematic) can be performed using the following software options. Each of them has its own steps to be followed at the user’s choice. This is a list of post-processing programs according to their degree of difficulty and the degree of surveying knowledge required:

  1. Toposetter 2.0 Pro (Trial Version / Buy)
  2. REDtoolbox (Trial Version / Buy)
  3. RTKLIB (Freeware)

Once the information has been processed, you can import the set of images into any mapping software, such as Agisoft Metashape, DroneDeploy, Pix4D and others of your choice.

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