MicaSense FAQs

My camera will not power on; what should I do?

How are you powering the camera? If from the drone, is the power cord connected properly? If from an alternative source, are you sure it is getting enough voltage (5V for RedEdge, 6V for Altum)? If that does not help, please try an alternative power source to ensure it is the camera with an issue.

After checking the power source, please ensure you have the latest camera firmware. Do not attempt to upgrade the firmware if the camera is not getting the required voltage. 

  • **Reformat your flash drive to FAT32**
  • Download the latest firmware update for your sensor from the Atlas downloads page.
  • Copy the *.bin file that matches your MicaSense sensor model to the root folder of the USB flash drive.
  • With the sensor powered OFF, insert the storage device into the sensor.
  • Provide a source of power to the sensor and power the sensor ON if it doesn’t power on automatically.
  • Connect to the camera's WiFi interface and navigate to the settings page.
  • Select "Storage and Firmware" and then "Update Firmware".
  • Navigate to the .bin file on your flash drive using the "choose file" button.
  • Wait approximately 30-60 seconds.
  • The sensor should then boot up normally

Try powering on the camera without the DLS2. If the camera powers on without the DLS2 you could have an issue with the power to the DLS2 or you are not providing enough power to the camera.

For more details, please refer to the Knowledge Base: 

I flew a mission, and when I returned, the camera only took a few/no pictures; why?

Before operating the camera, there are critical steps that need to be followed. They are outlined in the MicaSense Sensor checklist for operation.

Once you have connected to your MicaSense sensor, setting your camera up to trigger is a simple process. However, there are many factors that may lead to your camera not triggering during flight. This article will offer possible causes and troubleshooting tips that may help determine and solve the issue. 

Triggering issues can be broken down into three scenarios: No images were captured on the SD card, the camera stopped capturing mid-flight, and inconsistent triggering leading to data gaps. We separate these scenarios below and outline possible causes and ways to avoid and/or troubleshoot them.

Continue reading: Troubleshooting Triggering Issues

I broke a cable, can I get a new one?  

We sell replacement wire kits for each camera here: https://www.micasense.com/accessories

If a cable you need is not listed, please email support@micasense.com 

I am a researcher investigating “X” can your sensors work for this kind of application?

We suggest you visit our case studies or our researchers page and sign up to access published papers that include work done with MicaSense sensors. 

If you do not see information on our site about the application you are researching, please feel free to contact sales@micasense.com, and we will let you know if we have any additional information. 

I can’t connect to my sensor’s wifi. 

Most wifi issues mean your camera isn't getting enough power or interference from other connections like your drone's remote control. Make sure you are giving the camera enough power, and try turning off your drone's remote control. Move your device as close as possible to the camera's wifi dongle. Note that the wifi isn't meant to be connected while the drone is in flight. Powering the camera through your computer's USB port is not supported. Using a USB battery that doesn't have the required output is a common cause of wifi problems. If you are following the steps to connect and it is not working, we have tips for troubleshooting: Troubleshooting Connection Issues.

I cannot access the live view from my camera.

MicaSense cameras do not support live view capability through apps like DJI Pilot. The camera's web UI can be used to check image quality on the ground, particularly of panel captures. However, this feature should not be used in flight as it can interfere with proper, consistent triggering.

I just got my sensor, and I can’t get it to work. What should I do?

Please refer to the quick start guide for your sensor:

If you have followed the instructions for set up and you are still having issues, please submit a support ticket

I flew with a MicaSense sensor I got errors when I submitted the data to Pix4D. 

We have a tutorial on processing our sensor data in Pix4D, please refer to the instructions provided: How to Process MicaSense Sensor Data in Pix4D.

Another option would be to try processing the data with Agisoft Metashape to see if you get different results.

If you are still getting errors, please contact Pix4D support directly. 

My RedEdge will not recognize the SD card--what should I do?

First, please make sure you are using a recommended SD card and that your card is in FAT32. Next, follow the steps provided below:

  • Download the latest firmware update for RedEdge-M/MX from the Atlas downloads page.
  • Copy the .bin file to the root folder of the SD card.
  • With the camera powered OFF, insert the SD card into the camera. 
  • Provide a source of power to the camera and power the camera ON if it doesn’t power on automatically. 
  • Wait approximately 30-60 seconds.

If your camera still does not recognize the SD card, please contact support@micasense.com.

My camera no longer works after updating the firmware. Can I go back to the previous firmware?

You most likely had an error when trying to update the firmware. Make sure you are giving the camera enough voltage (5V for RedEdge, 6V for Altum).

Please try reinstalling the firmware making sure you follow these steps:

  • **Reformat your SD card to FAT 32** 
  • Download the latest firmware from the Atlas downloads page.
  • Copy the .bin file to the root folder of the SD card.
  • With the camera powered OFF, insert the SD card into the camera. 
  • Provide a source of power to the camera and power the camera ON if it doesn’t power on automatically. 
  • Wait approximately 30-60 seconds.

What GPS coordinate system does my camera use?

  • Reference Frame: WGS84
  • Geoid: EGM96 (from the DLS2's integrated GPS receiver)

How do I convert the thermal data from Altum into Celsius?

Please see Converting Altum Thermal to degrees Celsius.   

How do I process my sensor data?

If you have a RedEdge, please see RedEdge Image Processing Workflow.

If you have an Altum, Agisoft Metashape or Pix4Dmapper are good processing options. Other third-party software providers are adding Altum and thermal processing capability as well. Please contact sales@micasense.com for information on the latest options. 

For instructions on processing Altum data, Agisoft has a tutorial: https://agisoft.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/31000148381-micasense-altum-processing-workflow-incl-reflectance-calibration-. For the processing in Pix4D, we have details on our Knowledge Base: https://support.micasense.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000831714-How-to-Process-MicaSense-Sensor-Data-in-Pix4D

I am reviewing the MicaSense GitHub library, and I have some questions.

Please submit these questions directly through GitHub by creating an issue on the repository. 

I would like to purchase a camera or accessory.

Our sales team is happy to help with your purchase. Please send an email to sales@micasense.com or purchase directly through our website.

I need better resolution for my data--how low can I fly to get a higher spatial resolution?  

We recommend flying at 120 meters to increase the efficiency of the data collection and to minimize the volume of the data collected; however, you can fly lower. When flying lower, you will need to decrease the drone’s flight speed in order for the camera to still achieve the 75% overlap. We do not recommend flying lower than 30 meters AGL.

Please use the Flight Calculator to determine the speed at which to fly. For the RedEdge MX, it is possible to take 1 set of images per second using 12-bit DNG mode, however, if there is even a minor delay in writing the data to the SD card, it can result in an inconsistent space between photos. It is possible to shoot at one capture per second using 12-bit DNG mode and the stock SDHC Class 10 SD card on the RedEdge MX, while you will need to shoot using 12-bit DNG while using an M.2 SSD in a USB enclosure on the Altum. See the Altum Integration Guide for more details about this. 

I just flew a mission, and it seems like the sensor did not save all of the data as there are gaps in the collection. Is there anything I can do? 

How fast are you flying? Although the sensors can take 1 set of images per second using 12-bit DNG mode (and an M.2 SSD on the Altum), there is sometimes a delay in the write speed to the storage device. If you are experiencing this issue, we recommend testing your storage device on the ground. The Altum's thermal sensor also has to recalibrate every few minutes, so this can cause a gap. See the Thermal FAQ for more details. 

I uploaded a dataset to Atlas a day ago, and it still has not processed.

Atlas processes most jobs within a few hours (usually within a few minutes). If it doesn't, there's probably either an issue with the data or an issue with the servers. If you submitted a project through Pix4Dmapper and it has taken longer, please verify that you have submitted all 5 bands without an error message. Submit a support ticket, including your user name and the name of your project. We will then restart the processing.

Note that Altum data is not compatible with Atlas and will not process.

What are the recommendations for max flight speed?

The maximum flight speed will depend on the flight altitude and which sensor you are using. Please use our pre-flight calculator to enter the intended mission parameters for your flight. The calculator will output the time between captures, please ensure that it is no less than 1 second for RedEdge. For Altum, we recommend keeping the time between captures at 1.5-2 seconds. 

What is the minimum overlap I can use for mission planning?

To ensure good quality data, we recommend flying with at least 75% front lap and side lap. If the overlap is insufficient, the outputs are likely to have defects such as blotchy artifacts or errors in the image alignment.

I am using a MicaSense sensor with DJI Skyport but the sensor payload is not showing up as recognized in the mission planner. What should I do? 

Instructions will vary slightly depending on the mission planner you are using. If you are using Atlas Flight, the Altum or RedEdge-MX sensor with Skyport should be recognized automatically. If it is not, please contact support@micasense.com

If you are using DJI’s Ground Station Pro, you should connect the sensor to the drone, power it on, and connect to the mission planner. The payload is will be detected, but it will be marked as unknown. At that point, you can enter the sensor parameters under the custom camera section. Sensor parameters for RedEdge-MX and Altum are listed in our Knowledge Base

If you are using DJI Pilot or Pix4Dcapture, the process will be similar - where you need to enter a custom camera. 

For an overview of mission planners, please see Choosing a Flight Planner.

I am processing my data, and I need the values of my reflectance panels. Where can I get this information? 

Most of our newer panels have the reflectance values printed on the labels, you can use these values for your processing. If your panel does not have these values, you can find your panel-specific values by going to Panel Reflectance Values on our web page and entering the requested information.  

I crashed my camera, and it is not powering on. It looks like there is only superficial damage. Where can I send it to have you fix it? Should I open up the camera to see if I can see an issue?

It is our policy not to RMA crash cameras. The forces imparted by a crash can damage internal components of the camera in ways that are not detectable, resulting in unreliable operation in the future. Unfortunately, we are unable to perform warranty repairs on crashed cameras, as we cannot guarantee that the camera does not have internal damage to the components, optics, or circuit boards. Even if we get the camera working properly, there can be problems with the sensor’s board that can eventually become a problem. We are unable to guarantee the problems have been fixed. Also, impacts can cause very subtle damage to the lenses that are difficult to find.

Never open up the back of the camera for any reason. This will cause the lenses to become uncalibrated and require you to return the camera to us to be recalibrated. Opening the camera also voids the warranty.

If you do have insurance, we will provide you with the documentation (such as the assessed replacement value) needed for your claim.

 

Can I repair my own camera?

The Altum-PT and RedEdge-P contain user-serviceable cooling fans which can be replaced by the end user in coordination with MicaSense support.

Outside of these items, there are no user-serviceable parts inside MicaSense cameras. Opening the casing of a camera will void the warranty. More importantly, this disassembly will invalidate the calibration of the camera, causing any further data to be unreliable.

 



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