Does Atlas Flight control the drone?

No. Atlas Flight enables you to create a flight plan which consists of a series of waypoints (x,y,z coordinates). Once you input your desired flight settings, Atlas Flight sends the waypoints to DJI, and DJI takes control from there: taking off, navigating from one waypoint to the next and landing your UAV. 

Switching flight modes back and forth on the remote typically ends the waypoint mission, as does pressing the "return to home" button on the remote, or pressing the "pause" button in Atlas Flight. 

More Detail:

Atlas Flight uses a feature of the DJI Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) called a "Waypoint Mission". From the DJI SDK reference:

"In the waypoint mission, the aircraft will travel between waypoints, execute actions at waypoints, and adjust heading and altitude between waypoints. Waypoints are physical locations to which the aircraft will fly. Creating a series of waypoints, in effect, will program a flight route for the aircraft to follow.

Actions can also be added to waypoints, which will be carried out when the aircraft reaches the waypoint. The aircraft travels between waypoints automatically at a base speed. However, the user can change the speed by using the pitch joystick. If the stick is pushed up, the speed will increase. If the stick is pushed down, the speed will slow down. The stick can be pushed down to stop the aircraft and further pushed to start making the aircraft travel back along the path it came. When the aircraft is traveling through waypoints in the reverse order, it will not execute waypoint actions at each waypoint. If the stick is released, the aircraft will again travel through the waypoints in the original order, and continue to execute waypoint actions (even if executed previously). If the aircraft is pulled back along the waypoint mission all the way to the first waypoint, then it will hover in place until the stick is released enough for it to again progress through the mission from start to finish."

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