6 considerations when choosing drone flight planning software


Share | 05/26/2022


As companies continue to place more emphasis on their drone programs to accomplish a wide range of tasks, there’s an increasing need for a single software platform to centralize all the necessary operations.

With the right flight planning software, companies can eliminate the need for multiple apps and quickly and efficiently manage their multi-drone fleets.

When it comes to choosing the flight software for your drone program, there are six important capabilities to consider. Let’s dive into these features to ensure the program you’ve been looking into is the best fit.

1. Drone compatibility

When looking at the different flight planning software options, the first step to selecting the right software for your needs is to make sure that the software is compatible with the drone you plan on using to complete your missions. If you are choosing flight planning software for a multi-drone fleet, make sure the software will support all your drones if they are different makes or models. This will eliminate the frustration of having different drones running on different platforms and provides the benefit of simplifying your flight planning operations.

2. Robust software

Flight planning software should allow the user to have a centralized platform to complete the required steps of a drone mission without having to jump back and forth between multiple apps. The ideal flight planning software will allow you to create and schedule missions, manage your mission calendar, assign pilots and equipment to missions, send notifications, check airspace and weather conditions as well as create and execute flight plans all in a single platform.

The software should also give the user the ability to fly manual and automated flight plans, including both waypoint and grid flights, and be capable of re-flying specific sections of a grid flight if updated or new data is needed without the user needing to rebuild flight plans or re-fly the entire mission.

By streamlining the entire process, the right flight planning software saves both time and money through increased efficiency and productivity.

3. Collaborative environment

Most drone programs will require input from various team members to schedule, plan, and execute each drone mission. A critical requirement for today’s flight planning software is the ability for different team members to be able to access the flight plans independently without the need to share a log-in or link. The advantage of a collaborative environment is it allows team members who may be working in the same office or as far away as a remote job site to quickly and seamlessly work together on a project, increasing the speed of communication and reducing downtime.

4. Cross-device and cross-platform functionality

With team members working across different devices and different platforms, it’s critical that your flight planning software supports the technical requirements of all users. The right flight planning software should work across both iOS and Android devices as well as both mobile and desktop platforms. The software should also have the ability to sync flight plans seamlessly between devices and platforms, meaning a flight plan can be created and saved on a desktop device and quickly accessed by a mobile team out in the field, increasing efficiencies and eliminating unnecessary delays.

5. Offline access

Team members are often out completing missions in remote areas with limited or no access to wifi or a reliable internet connection. When selecting flight planning software, look for one that allows all flight plans to be downloaded and cached on each device, ensuring that the mission can be completed even when there is no internet available. It should also have the ability to store any data collected from completed missions in the flight app until an internet connection is re-established. This gives your drone pilots the ability to complete missions at any time and in any location without having to worry about maintaining a signal.

6. KML file support

As land use is constantly changing, being able to access the most up-to-date geographic data is critical. When looking at the different options for flight planning software, having the ability to reference a KML file on both desktop and mobile devices are becoming essential. This benefits drone pilots by giving them the most relevant data to ensure a mission is carried out successfully and without costly errors.

With these capabilities in mind, you can choose the right flight planning software for your organization. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of using Measure Ground Control as your flight planning software, click here.

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