Frequently asked question

What are the considerations when flying a Perimeter Scan with Site Scan Flight for ArcGIS?

Last Published: July 29, 2021


With Site Scan Flight for ArcGIS, it is possible to create high-quality point clouds and 3D meshes using the Perimeter Scan flight mode. Using this mode, it is possible to plan the flight, set altitudes, and let the drone and camera work autonomously to capture optimal pictures for the scan.

Perimeter Scan is an advanced flight mode. Before flying Perimeter Scan, carefully read the safety guidelines and instructions.
Important safety precautions are advised: 
• Always maintain line-of-sight when the vehicle is in air.
• Use additional visual observers as needed to maintain line-of-sight.
• Identify obstacles such as power lines, towers, cranes, and trees before taking off.
• Flying at altitudes below the height of the point of interest adds additional risk.

Evaluate the flight area

To ensure a safe and successful Perimeter Scan, identify any hazards or obstacles around the site. Evaluate a safe height for RTL (return to launch) when planning the flight. After evaluating the area, open Site Scan for ArcGIS Field Planning, select a project, and tap Perimeter Scan from the flight modes screen.

image of the Field Planning Flight Modes screen

Draw the region of interest

The region of interest (ROI) defines the perimeter of the area to scan. The actual flight path is generated with an initial offset of 100 feet, with a minimum of 50 feet. This default offset reduces the risk of colliding into vertical structures.

Image of the region of interest perimeter flight path

Set structure height and altitudes

The structure height is the top of the area to scan. After setting the height, adjust the maximum and minimum altitudes. As a rule of thumb, adjust the altitudes so the gimbal angles are 65 degrees (maximum altitude) and 35 degrees (minimum altitude). The gimbal angle values are on the left side of the altitude slider. After setting the structure height and making any adjustments to the altitudes, confirm the flight path and settings on the next screen, as shown in the image below.

image of height and altitudes settings

Run the Pre-Flight Checklist

The Pre-Flight Checklist runs, ensuring a safe and successful flight.

Monitor in-flight progress

The vehicle changes altitudes, from the top to bottom, as it completes rings at each altitude. The vehicle also hovers in place to capture panorama shots for sharp angles.

Ensure an additional visual observer is used if the vehicle is to fly outside line-of-sight. This way, if a disruption occurs, the vehicle can return home at any time.

Process the job and assess models

Upload the job to the cloud and begin processing. The processed job produces high-quality point clouds (.las, .rcs) and 3D meshes (.obj, .rcm) that can be exported and uploaded to ArcGIS Online.

Article ID:000023058

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