Facade Inspections with Hammer Missions and Commercial Drones

Updated: Aug 16


Overview

Hammer Missions is an adaptive flight automation and data analysis platform the commercial drone industry. We support a large number of mission types on both mobile tablets through Hammer App and Desktop environments through Hammer Hub.

Whatever your use-case, Hammer can adapt to it.

Tutorial


Before going through this tutorial, we highly recommend reading on our guide on how to conduct facade inspections using drones, which will give you a high-level overview of what to expect in facade inspection missions. Once you have the high level overview, you're ready to learn how to automate the drone using Hammer.


In this tutorial, we will focus on facade inspections — 1 of the many inspection missions supported by Hammer.


Video

If you prefer a video instead, here’s how to setup vertical / facade missions in Hammer:




Vertical / Facade Inspection


This type of inspection is useful for precise surveying of building walls and other vertical structures such as facades & cliffs, etc.


In this mission, Hammer calculates picture points inside a vertical frame placed a horizontal distance from the building. From a top down view, this is visualised as a line generated parallel to the building. Hammer then flies the drone from top to bottom in altitude on this line, taking a picture with the camera facing forwards.

You can think of it as a regular grid mission flipped into a vertical plane.

Steps to Create

  1. Tap on the add(+) button in the right side panel.

  2. Choose ‘Facade Inspection’ from the available missions.

  3. Draw a line to mark the building edge/facade to be inspected. OR

  4. Fly the drone to the top-left corner of the building. Tap the back the right button (c2 button) on the controller OR tap on the drone icon on the map screen. Then fly the drone to the top-right corner of the building and tap the back right button on the controller. This will capture the GPS points and draw a line:


Fly-To-Draw Vertical Inspection Line


5. Once you are happy with the line that marks the building edge, click OK on the right panel.

Hammer will generate a flight path parallel to the drawn line. The drone will move left/right, up/down on this path during the mission. The blue arrows represent the drone’s position and heading at each point in the mission.

Creating a Facade Inspection Mission


Steps to Configure

  1. Tap on the white gear icon on the mission you wish to configure, which will open a settings menu.

Note: In case the generated arrows are not facing the building wall to be inspected, simply open the settings menu for the mission and tap on rotate points to rotate them by 180 degrees


2. Now use the settings menu to configure the mission settings.



Configuring a Vertical Inspection Mission


Brief description of the available settings:


Top Altitude: Starting altitude for the flight, with reference to the takeoff point. The drone will not go higher than this point in the inspection. If you used fly-to-draw feature to create the mission, the top altitude will be set to the altitude of the drone while drawing.


Bottom Altitude: Ending altitude for the flight, with reference to the takeoff point. The drone will not go lower than this point in the inspection.


Note: Correct Altitude values can be directly fetched from the drone by flying the drone to the top-most and bottom-most altitude of the building and tapping the drone icon next to the altitude setting.


Altitude Fetchers — Align the drone with the top and bottom of the building and tap on these buttons to fetch the drone’s current altitude and set it as the top/bottom altitude of the mission.


Horizontal Distance: Distance from the building.


Image Overlap: The % of overlap between images of the wall/facade.


Rotate Points: Option to rotate the points 180 in case the generated points are not facing the building by default.


Note: If the generated points are not facing the building/structure, simply tap on rotate points in the settings menu and they will rotate to face the building.


Steps to Simulate

  1. Once you are finished creating and configuring the mission, simply press play button in the right panel.

  2. If no drone is connected, Hammer will prompt you to add a simulator, press OK and choose a home location for the simulation. Then press OK.

  3. The simulation will begin and you’ll see a simulated drone appear on the screen flying the vertical inspection mission.


Steps to Fly

  1. Once you are happy with the created mission, simply connect your drone to Hammer through the USB port on the remote controller.

  2. You’ll see a drone icon appear on the screen at its current location.

  3. Press Play to start the mission.

  4. Press Pause anytime to pause the mission, and play to resume the mission.


Post Processing


Once you've collected the data, we recommend using a data inspection platform to sift through the images and annotate your findings. You can even run your data through AI-based defect detection software to speed up your analysis process. If you'd like to learn more about data processing options, please feel free to get in touch with us at team@hammermissions.com.




Summary


And…that’s it! Now you know how to create, simulate and fly your own facade inspection mission in Hammer.


If you currently do not have access to Hammer Missions, you can get started over here.


If you’d like to learn more about other missions supported in Hammer, including facade inspection, tower mapping and more, please visit our mission tutorials.


If you're interested to learn more about our enterprise solutions, including mission collaboration, flight analytics and more please contact us at team@hammermissions.com.


We look forward to hearing from you.

- The Hammer Team

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