Micasense rededge and FLIR vue pro R integration with reach GPS

Hi there,

We are looking for information about the integration of the reach gps in order to get precise geotagging for two well known sensors in the UAV community: micamsense rededge and flir VUE pro R. There is good documentation regarding the integration of RGB camera with hotshoe but I did not find a lot of info for other well used sensors like micamsense rededge or flir VUE pro R .

For the integration of micasense, I found two old topics:


Reach with Micasense Rededge 3 camera from @ebennb

In these topics @igorvereninov mentioned that emlid was in contact with micasense… @igorvereninov , have you some updates about theses exchanges with micasense?

As a first approach, as Micasense and flir allow to use external gps info, we though to connect reach to the camera in order to be used for the geotagging in the exif during the flight. Back to office, we intend to perform PPK on the raw logs and then replace the XYZ in exiff wth the corrected ones (using XYZ and time matching). What do you guys think about this approach?

Thanks in advance for the information’s!

Adrien

Any idea?

:grinning:

Hey,

I’ll answer for Igor and seems like there’s not much progress there. However, I don’t see why you can’t use the normal workflow used with standard cameras - connect Reach to your camera, record events during your flight. Process the logs and get a CSV with the coordinates of the photos in chronological order.

Hi,

Thanks for your reply @egor.fedorov! I agree with your solution. But is it really the same wiring than with a classical hotshoe?? More info about micasense external connection is provide here https://support.micasense.com/hc/en-us/articles/226364087-RedEdge-Integration-Guide
If it is, it should be great to find clear information as we can find for RGB camera. A tutorial-like case study would be much appreciated!

@egor.fedorov, what do you think of the alternative solution where reach gps in RTK mode is connected to the gps port of micasense or FLIR vue pro ? It would allow in-flight precise geotagging … Correct me if I am wrong (or I am missing wiring or timesync issues that I don’t know) but this method is absolutely equivalent right?

Regards

Adrien

Looking at the docs, I don’t really see a way to sync with the hotshoe without getting inside. Moreover, it seems like they only accept UBX protocol as an input for tagging pictures which is also not really nice. Something standard like NMEA would do the job.

PPK has the following advantages:

  1. Most importantly, depending on the speed of your aircraft, update rate may become a limitation. Our PPK routine includes interpolating event positions, while the camera will(very likely) just use the last one available, increasing the error.
  2. You don’t need to provide a correction link for RTK corrections
  3. If you require absolute precision, it’s easier to get via PPK. If you want to have everything immediately(to not retag pictures, for example), you’ll need to worry about settings up a base and getting its true position.

RTK, on the other hand, will provide:

  1. Cool and smooth RTK data for you to fly with
  2. Images tagged with the locations, so you don’t have to do it manually.

Hi,

Thanks for your return. @egor.fedorov, could you please confirm through the following questions that we understood you well?

  1. How can we set reach gps position output from reach to work with micasense rededge? I am a bit confused because UBX is not an output position format

  2. it is not possible to connect the micasense to the reach in order to get a message in reach log when a set of pictures are taken (like we do with hot shoe and rgb dslr camera). right?

  3. If 2) is indeed not possible, we have to deal with direct geotagging during the flight through reach position output. If we can provide input correction to our reach gps, we have RTK geotagging.
    But if we want PPK, we have to match gps time in image geotags to gps time in reach log (previously postprocessed)…

Thank you very much !

Adrien

Oh. I wasn’t quite clear on this. It seems like the camera only accepts UBX, and we can’t output that. I was trying to say they should have stuck to something vendor-neutral. Sorry for the confusion.

I guess it is for you to figure out. The docs don’t seem to reveal a way to sync camera trigger to Reach by default or by design. I think you have a good chance of hacking something together if you disassemble the camera, but it’s up to you to decide whether you want to take the risk with expensive equipment.

Hi,

Thanks for your really clear reply! But I still don’t understand the whole picture. I am wandering how @ebennb did … See his post:

It doesn’t look like he got inside the camera… But I am not sure that I actually connect the reach and the micasense (I don’t see how on the picture).

What about FLIR view pro R ? I hope it does accept standard gps position inputs

Regards

Adrien

If the port is used as an output indicating the moment of the image capture (micansence link). Can we use it as it is an hotshoe information for reach?

Hi everybody,

We found a nice solution for the red edge using the link provided by @Seb_B to configure the PPS pin to work as an output which will be recorded as _event by your reach unit.

Simply use an external power source and PWM output (using pixhawk in our case) and plug the 6 pin cable from micasense to the underside 6 pin slot of the reach, the one with the time mark pin. This will allow you to use the ‘hotshoe’ protocol.

Please be extra carefull to which reach port you are connecting the micasense… If you connect micasense to the 6pin output next to the usb port, your camera could be severely damaged!

We have received some feedback from micasense and they are working on a tutorial… Coming soon

Now we still have to figure something for our FLIR camera… I will come back to you guys as soon as we find something working with the FLIR.

Adrien

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I’m interested in the reach/rededge integration, so a tutorial would be greatly appreciated!
Do any other pins need to be connected besides the time mark on the reach to pin 4 of the rededge?

Hi

You also have to connect the ground pin.

The micasense team is working on a tutorial.

They also told me that the DLS should not be plugged in this configuration … Be extra careful!

Thanks Adrien, good to know about the DLS! Maybe I will hold off until they have a tutorial to avoid frying the rededge.

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