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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions about our products, services, and policies. Browse our FAQ section to get quick solutions to your queries and learn more about what we offer.

Customer Support

What is the appropriate means of reaching out to WISPR’s Customer Support when the resolution to my issue cannot be located within the provided documentation or videos?

Customer support can be contacted via this link: Report a Problem.

You may also contact support via email at support@wisprsystems.com or cubbo@auto-is.com.

Report a Problem or Request a Feature via American-Made Drones | WISPR: Power to the Pro

Assembly

Ranger Pro Unboxing and Assembly

  • Open the WISPR Ranger Pro Carrying Case to reveal the drone
  • Attach the landing gear by inserting the two metal pins on the leg into the two holes present in the landing gear, and then screwing the red connector ring on tightly to connect the two parts. The antenna mounts (velcro pads) should be facing toward the outside of the leg
  • Attach both of the antennas running from the body of the drone to the antenna mounts on the outside of the landing gear
  • Remove the drone from the carrying case
  • Unclip the arm holders and remove the straps securing the propellers
  • Unfold arms and lock them into place using the latches attached to the drone arms

When attaching the landing gear, which way should the bracket for the antennas face?

  • The antenna bracket on the landing gear should always face outwards when attaching the landing gear.

Side View of Proper Leg Orientation


My leg bracket connectors are becoming loose frequently. What should I do?

  • Please follow these steps to ensure the proper functioning of the leg bracket connector:
  • Verify that the O-Ring (included) is correctly placed inside the leg connector, identified by the red metallic ring. Take care to examine the O-Ring for any signs of stretching, wear, or breakage. The O-Ring plays a critical role in maintaining a secure connection and preventing vibration.
  • Thoroughly inspect the threads on the leg connector for any worn areas or breaks that may impede the ability to tightly screw on or maintain tightness during flight.
  • If you find that the O-Ring needs replacement or if the leg connector is damaged in any way, we kindly request you to file a ticket through the provided form. Our team will be ready to assist you promptly.Report a Problem

Leg Connector for the Ranger Pro


How should my propellers be attached to the drone?

  • The drone uses 2 pairs of counterclockwise (CCW) and clockwise (CW) propellers. The CW propeller has a ‘L’ marked on it, and the CCW propeller has a ‘R’ marked on it. You can easily tell the difference in the CW and CCW propellers by these markings. The picture below shows how the propellers should be positioned. If for any reason they are not positioned in this manner the drone will attempt to launch and ultimately crash, potentially causing damage to the propellers, motors, GPS, or the body of the drone.

Top-Down Diagram of Proper Propeller Attachment


When should I check the condition of my propellers?

  • It is imperative to conduct a thorough examination of propellers prior to each flight. It is recommended to inspect the propellers for indications of cracks, fractures, or any signs of detachment from the motor. In the event that any of these abnormalities are detected, NEVER launch the drone. Even a small nick could cause unwanted flying conditions.
  • If a propeller is damaged, prompt replacement of the propellers is vital to ensure optimal operational conditions.
  • WISPR offers propellers in pairs (CCW and CW) or sets (2 CCW and 2 CW). A single propeller is not available for purchase.

When replacing a propeller the entire propeller (either CCW or CW) must be replaced, not just one blade!

Battery Information

The high voltage batteries used in the Ranger Pro should be charged on LiHV, rather than LiPo, which is the default setting on the SKYRC dual battery charger that is packaged with WISPR drones. In the event of a power outage in a location where your charger was plugged in, be sure to change your charger back to LiHV- as the charger will reset to LiPo when disconnected from power.

How to set the battery charger to LiHV for charging high voltage batteries, and the battery charging process:

  • Hold the up and down arrows on the charger until the setting is changes to LiHV instead of LiPo.
  • Plug the battery’s XT90 connector into the XT90 port on the charger (yellow plug).
  • Plug the balance port on the battery into the balance port connected to the battery charger (white plug).
  • Change charging to 20A, if the charger is not already set to this value.
  • Press and hold the start button until the charger beeps three times. You should see a warning on the screen about charging high voltage batteries.
  • Soft press start one more time to begin charging.

You should see the voltage increasing, as the battery is now charging. If you would like to change a setting, such as balanced charge to fast charge, simply press the start button once to stop charging. Then soft press start again and the selected option will blink letting you know it is ready to be changed. Change the setting using the up or down arrows. Each press of the start button will select the next item on the screen that can be adjusted. Once you have each settings configured the way you would like, press start again to lock the adjustments in.

To see an example of how to charge your batteries correctly, and how to configure your charger settings properly, please watch the video below.

Charging Your Batteries with the Ranger Pro

Charging a LiHV battery on LiPo setting will likely not cause a fire but will not allow a full charge, and can damage the battery. Charging a LiPo battery on LiHV settings can cause a fire. Please be aware of this.

How to determine if a battery is fully charged:

  • The WISPR battery will charge to 26.11 volts. Even once the battery voltage reaches 26.11 on the charger screen, that does not mean it is fully charged. You should wait until the charger sounds to indicate the battery is finished and the screen reads “END: FINISH” to get the most out of the battery. You will also recieve multiple beeps once a battery is completly charged.

Battery Charging Modes:

  • Fast Charge – This mode directs the charger to only complete the first charging phase, constant current (CC) charging. The charger applies a high enough voltage to cause current to flow into the battery, up to the max current you’ve set. This will mostly charge the battery, but there will still be some unused capacity with this mode.
  • Balanced Charge – For maximum health, you should always balance charge your batteries. This is also why your battery has a second plug. This second plug is called the “balance plug” and is used by your charger to individually monitor and balance charge each cell.
  • Storage Charge – This option should be used if you are not planning on using your battery for an extended period of time (24 Hours or longer). You should never store a fully-charged LiHV battery. Instead, it should be set to the storage charge setting and the voltage decreased to “storage voltage”, which is 3.8 to 3.85 volts per cell.

If upon plugging a battery in, the battery immediately beeps with an error preventing charge:

  • Check that the balancer plug (white plastic plug on the battery) and the XT90 plug are properly plugged into the respective ports and wires coming from the charger. Wires on both ports (balancer and XT90) should be plugged in tightly.
  • Verify that you have the correct charging mode set on the charger.
    – If these options are not the issue, use the charger to make sure all cells are balanced. You can check the cells by pressing the stop button once, the start button once, and then the up arrow once. If you see a damaged cell, (one reading completely different from the others) replace the battery immediately.

Flying with damaged batteries:

NEVER fly with a damaged battery, even if it is minimal damage. This can cause erratic behavior or accelerated battery depletion, which can result in a crash. Replace the battery and safely dispose of the damaged battery.

Proper procedure for inserting the battery into the battery tray:

  • The positive and negative wires (red and black wires attached to the XT90 battery connector) should be on the right side when inserting into the battery tray.
  • Additionally, the battery strap should be:
    – Looped around the left standoff of the entrance to the battery tray. The velcro side should be facing outwards.
    – Pulled from left to the right, threaded between the positive and negative wires.
    – Around the right side of the battery, in between the battery and the standoff.
    – Run back through the battery wires, pulled tight, and pressed firmly against the soft side of the velcro to secure the battery in the tray.
    – Wedge the remaining connector in between the battery and the strap.
    – Ensure that the loop around the left standoff is positioned to rest in the center of the standoff, so that the strap stays in place for the duration of the flight. The strap should go evenly across and be firmly pressed against the battery.

Proper procedure for powering the drone:

Be sure when powering the drone that the battery plug is flush with the port and inserted in one swift, smooth motion. Inadequate alignment or lingering for too long when making partial contact may result in an electrical arc, causing the wires to generate excessive heat, consequently leading to battery swelling and malfunction. Sometimes it is helpful to grasp an arm of the drone with your other hand to keep the drone stationary. This will prevent the drone from tilting backwards if the plug fights tightly into the port.

Battery instructional videos for charging and insertion can be found here:

First Flight Quickstart for Ranger Pro | Charge Batteries for Ranger Pro

Hot-swapping:

Hot-swapping a battery allows you to swap batteries in your drone while the drone is still powered on. This allows you to extend flight time without having to power down the drone. This also allows you to continue your mission from the previous waypoint without powering down the drone.

To hot-swap a battery, follow these steps:

  • Ensure that your drone is equipped with the hot-swap cable.
  • Fly the drone until the battery reaches the low battery failsafe and the RTL sequence is initiated.
  • Ensure that the drone lands in a suitable location for a safe touchdown, which should be level and free of debris.
  • Once landed, on the right of the smart controller screen you will see three options appear: “Keep mission”, “Resume from waypoint X” and “Delete mission”. Select “Resume from waypoint X” to have the drone continue from the last waypoint you reached in the mission, after the hot-swap and takeoff are complete.
  • Plug the charged battery into the free XT90 port of the hot-swap cable and disconnect the used battery from the hot-swap cable immediately after the fully charged battery is plugged in. Next, slide the new battery into the battery tray after the depleted battery has been removed. Make sure that the new battery is properly secured in the battery tray.
  • Once the charged battery connected and the used battery is disconnected from the hot-swap cable, you will see the percentage at the top of the Fly View bar raise to the percentage of the charged battery.
  • Once the charged battery is in use and the percentage is displaying the updated value, you may launch to continue your mission. The mission will start from the previous waypoint and continue with a now new fully charged battery without ever powering down the drone.

 

Thick red and black cables connected to yellow electrical connectors on a blue background compose WISPR, an American-made drone.

WISPR hot-swap Cable

Further hot-swap instructional video can be found here: Hot Swap Quickstart Video

It’s important to note that to use only batteries from WISPR, as this can help reduce the risk of accidents or malfunctions. Be sure to follow all safety guidelines and precautions when hot-swapping a battery in a drone.

Hot-swapping during a LiDAR mission:

Please note that when performing hot-swaps while using any Inertial Labs or RESEPI LiDAR payload (such as the Avia Livox or RESEPI Hesai XT32), the time from when the LiDAR begins recording data to the time the LiDAR stops recording data we suggest should not exceed 50 minutes. Typically, this means the Lidar should be rebooted every two flights, if the user is to include two 20 minute flights and allow time on the ground for hot-swapping.

Smart Controller Troubleshooting

How much battery should the controller have before flight?

We recommend you charge your smart controller to 100% before beginning any flight. This will help prevent mishaps in flight and is the best course of action with safety in mind.

What should you do if your smart controller is not staying charged for long enough in the field?

We suggest buying a portable charger to extend the battery life throughout the day. Below are links to recommendations, but you can purchase any charger that will fit your needs.

What should you do if the LED light on the smart controller is solid/flashing red?

  • This indicates the battery is critically low and the smart controller should be charged before any further use. If you are flying and you see this, you should return to launch immediately. Use of the controller while having a low battery could potentially result in a dangerous flight situation or end with damage to the drone.
  • If the controller runs completely out of battery during a flight, a failsafe is active that returns the drone to its launch position to prevent a fly-away.

Although the failsafe exists in case of a disconnection or a depleted controller battery, the user should not willingly fly with a low battery controller. The drone will RTL at the height set in WISPRGroundControl General Settings if the failsafe activates. Depending on the location of the drone at the time of the failsafe, it could collide with obstacles on the way back to its launch position.

There will also be no way for the user to make any needed positioning adjustments near the target landing zone. Always check your RTL Height in General settings, and be aware of your surroundings to avoid hitting obstacles during any part of the operation.

My smart controller will not connect to my 5GHz network. What should I do?

Always confirm that the SSID you are trying to connect to is a 5GHz band. If your Wi-Fi connection is a 2.4 GHz band it will not appear in the list of SSID’s in the Wi-Fi menu.

  • If the smart controller isn’t allowing you to connect to a 5GHz network, go to your apps menu and tap Herelink Settings. Under the Radio tab, confirm that the country is set to United States. If it is not, change it to United States, reboot the controller, and try to reconnect. Available 5GHz networks should now allow you to connect the smart controller to your choice of network.

Screenshot of the drone control app interface for WISPR's American-made drone, showcasing radio, joystick, and button settings alongside status details such as signal strength and bandwidth.

Herelink Settings – Radio Tab

  • If the controller displays United States and you still cannot connect, try:
    – Switching to a different country code. (You may pick any)
    – Power the controller off and back on.
    – Change the country back to United States, and your 5GHz SSID should now be visible for connection.

If the controller doesn’t load parameters when opening WISPRGroundControl, what could be wrong?

  • Navigate to Herelink Settings and under Radio, make sure the Pair State reads “Paired”. If not, you can use these steps to pair your smart controller to your drone. The question above contains an image of this screen if you wish to view for visual reference.
    – Remove the two screws attached to the access door on the left side of the drone to gain access to the Pair/Reset button.
    – From the same screen where the paired status is checked, locate the Pair button beneath the Frequency tab.
    – Use a tool with a small, pointed tip to press and hold the Pair/Reset button until LED 2 is flashing green.
    – Once flashing, press the Pair button. LED should turn solid green and the pair state should now read “Paired”.

Access Door of the Ranger Pro & Air Unit Pair/Reset Button

If the smart controller has sustained damage, what should I do?

If the smart controller has been damaged in any way, the controller should be replaced. If you suspect any damage, DO NOT use the controller. This can cause your drone to crash. Always check your smart controller before each flight for any damage. It must be replaced before you fly your drone.

Telemetry data is not displaying properly, or at all during flight.

  • If this occurs during flight, land the drone and move to the next step.
  • Close WISPRGroundControl and reopen the application. This should reset the app, and all data should be properly displayed upon when you reopen.
  • Reboot the drone if closing the application does not work.

After trying to arm the drone with the joysticks, an error reading “Compass calibration running” appears, preventing the drone from arming. What do I do?

  • Open the Herelink Settings, select the Joystick tab, and make sure that the Y axis has been reversed. If it is not reversed, the controller will try to put the drone into calibration mode instead of arming the drone when pulling the joystick down and to the right. See picture below:


Herelink Settings – Joystick Tab

WISPR Ground Control

Updating WISPRGroundControl and WISPR Flight Firmware

Periodically WISPR will release software and firmware updates that the customer will need to know how to receive, to ensure that their drone is always flying with the latest and greatest we have to offer. Software applies to WISPRGroundControl. Updates for it will only effect settings and elements within the app. Flight firmware updates are less frequent, yet very important updates that can effect flight characteristics.

Can the volume of the controller be muted/unmuted from inside of WISPRGroundControl?

Yes. You can mute all audio output if needed by navigating to the General Settings, then scroll down and check the “Mute all audio output” selection box as seen below. To unmute, uncheck the “Mute all audio output” box.


Mute Audio Output Checkbox

WISPRGroundControl freezes on the controller while in the air/running a mission.

  • The most common causes for this are the USB cord dropping packets during the installation, or the USB port on the computer being used for the installation is faulty.
    – Before reinstalling, be sure to delete WISPRGroundControl in the applications on the controller, and then reinstall.
    – To test this, use a cable that you know works with no issues for data transfer.
    — You can also try a different port of the computer being used, or use a different computer for the installation.
    – If this does not fix the problem, please submit a ticket at wisprsystems.com using the support tab for further help.

I cannot update WGC. When I run the update tool, the script to install appears, stops, and does not install WGC.

  • Ensure that you are installing from the extracted file and not the zipped folder.
  • To extract the files from the zipped folder, right click the folder and select “Extract All”
  • Enable “Developer Mode” on the controller by navigating to Settings → About Phone → Build Number and tap at least 7 times on Build Number. You will receive a message stating “You are now a developer”.
  • Next, you will need to enable USB debugging in the settings.
  • Go to Settings and scroll down to Developer Options. Once there, you will see USB debugging with a toggle switch to the right of it. Toggle the switch on. You may now run the update tool again.
  • The controller may prompt the user with a message reading “Allow USB debugging on this computer?” if it is the first time updating from that computer. Press yes to proceed. You will only need to allow USB debugging one time on each device.

While trying to update WISPR Flight Firmware in Mission Planner, a pop-up reading “Is this a Solo” appears. What should I do?

  • Do not be concerned by this message. Select “No” and the custom firmware will begin to load.

What steps should I take if the maps appear as a plain white screen, lacking the actual map content?

You’ll need to connect your controller to a 5GHz hotspot, such as your phone (ensure your phone or any hotspot you choose is emitting a 5GHz band). The controller needs access to internet data to display the maps. It is important to note that this is not a guaranteed resolution, but it may assist and is generally the cause behind this issue.

You can also download offline maps while connected to internet so that in locations where you don’t have access or don’t want to tether to a hotspot, the map will be usable on site.

If a mission is being flown higher than the set RTL altitude, will the drone descend to that altitude before the RTL?

No. The drone will ascend if it is below the RTL height, but if the RTL height is set to for example 50m, the drone with RTL at any altitude equal to or greater than that.

Pre-Arm Errors and Fixes

Over time, users may encounter pre-arm errors that will prevent takeoff. Usually the user will take note of pre-arm errors in the bottom center of the screen, displayed with a yellow dialog box. The user can also view a log of errors via the megaphone icon on the icon bar at the top of the screen. The icon has two states: no alerts and unread alerts. If there are no alerts it will be displayed as a megaphone icon, and unread alerts will display as a triangular warning icon.

The second icon, illustrating a car door, is highlighted with a red square out of the four— featuring an American-made drone as a paper airplane, WISPR loudspeaker, and an alert triangle.

No Alerts Unread Alerts

Below, a list of pre-arm errors that the user may encounter during general operations has been compiled, along with actions the user can take to resolve them.

  • No GPS Lock – Check the number of satellites you’re receiving, which can be done by viewing the number next to the satellite icon on the icon bar at the top of WISPR Ground Control. If there are less than 13, reboot the drone. If that doesn’t clear the error, try moving the drone to a different location- ideally wherever offers the maximum clearance between the GPS and the sky. Obstructions can have a significant impact on satellite detection. You will know you have achieved GPS lock when the LED lights on the sides of the GPS are blinking green and continue to do so.
  • GPS High HDOP – This triggers based off of a function that measures position accuracy, and can appear in flight modes where GPS is necessary. Allow a small amount of time to elapse in order for the GPS to settle, as sometimes this error can clear itself without need for action. If the error persists, try either rebooting the drone, or moving the drone to different location especially away from metal objects. Even rebar directly underneath concrete the drone is resting on could potentially trigger this.
  • GPS Glitch – This occurs when the GPS is not reading the correct coordinates for more than 5 seconds. This usually will resolve itself by waiting for the number of satellites to increase. If it doesn’t clear on its own, move the drone to a different location, paying heed to metal nearby. A reboot can potentially solve this as well if you seem to be unable to find ideal positioning. If the error persists, the GPS needs to be inspected- and likely recalibrated.
  • Need 3D Fix – This error occurs when the drone is in a mode where it requires a GPS signal to take off, but the GPS signal isn’t strong enough. It is handled in much the same way as the GPS Glitch and High HDOP errors, as they are all GPS centric. This can almost always be solved by moving the drone a few feet over from its current position. A common cause of this is the presence of metal in the ground beneath where the drone rests. If that does not fix it, a simple reboot should fix it. If neither of these work, it may be time to look at the GPS for hardware issues.
  • Battery Below Arming Voltage – You will receive this error if the drone detects the voltage output of the currently equipped battery is too low. This occurs to prevent beginning a flight with a battery that may deplete too quickly and result in a crash. Charge the battery completely before flying, or swap to a fresh battery.
  • Pre-Arm: Check Proximity Sensor – There may be an object too close to the sensor, or the sensor may be malfunctioning. Generally the best practice is moving the drone to a spot where it is less likely to pick up anything that will cause the pre-arm, but sometimes this issue won’t resolve itself until a reboot occurs. Occasionally, allowing some time to elapse will let the sensor recognize a falsely detected obstruction, and it will clear the error. Try these approaches multiple times. If the sensor continues displaying the error, the option to disable it exists in the general tab of the WISPR Ground Control settings. You can find this by tapping the WISPR logo in the top left corner of WISPR Ground Control.

If you opt to do this, please exercise extreme caution when flying. With this setting disabled, the drone has no collision avoidance active and nothing will prevent the drone from flying directly into an obstacle or bystander.

  • Compasses Inconsistent – This is caused from reading the Internal and External compasses as pointing in different directions. Reboot the drone. If the same pre-arm error continually appears, a compass calibration should fix this.
  • Pre-Arm: ESC Temp Over Threshold. False Reading Detected – This error occurs when temperatures are very cold. The values for the ESC temps range from 0-255 degrees Celsius. When the value is read as below 0 from the cold, it will cause a false reading that registers the ESC temps as maximum. This error appearing just confirms the drone has detected the false reading. Do not be alarmed by this error, as it will not alter the drone’s behavior and should have no impact on pending operations. If you see this, you may safely close the message box and continue.
  • Low Battery Failsafe RTL – This means the drones has calculated how far it is from home and how much battery it will take to get back to home safely. This sequence should never be cancelled unless in an emergency, in which case the drone should be landed immediately.
  • Gyros Not Healthy – Limited information regarding this error is present. Rebooting the drone should clear this error.
  • OpenDroneID: Arm Status Not Available (Lost Transmitter) – Occasionally you may encounter this on boot. It may appear with several other temporary pre-arms or messages that often are present during the boot period while the drone initializes and acquires GPS lock. These other messages will clear but “Lost Transmitter” will still loop infinitely, with “OpenDroneID: Arm Status Not Available” appearing every so often. This happens as a result of a de-sync between the Remote ID transmitter and the controller, with the transmitter being the component which WISPRGroundControl cannot establish a connection with. Presently the only known solution to this is to reboot the drone. While this almost never occurs in sequence, if you should find this happening consecutively, leave the drone unplugged for 3-5 minutes before rebooting.
  • OpenDroneID: Operator Location Must Be Set (Lost Operator Location) – This issue is twin to the “Lost Transmitter” error. This happens when the controller becomes desynced rather than the Remote ID transmitter. You will see this when you’re in a location that blocks GPS signal thoroughly enough that the controller’s location cannot be established. This can usually be resolved by taking the controller outside if indoors (most applicable if inside a metal building). If that doesn’t solve your problem or you are already outside and encountering this, reboot WISPRGroundControl. Usually there should be no need to reboot the drone, but if the error persists after a few reboots of WGC, reboot the drone.
Missions

At what altitude should missions be conducted?

Missions should not be conducted below 164 feet. This is for the safety of you, anyone else present, and the drone itself. The only exception is if you are running a bathymetry payload over open water. If not, you should be flying at or above 164 feet in any missions you conduct.

Can you change mission speed while a mission is already in progress?

Yes. Mission speed can be adjusted, but the mission must be paused in order for it to take effect. Once you pause the mission, you may enter the general settings tab by tapping the WISPR logo in the top left, and change the speed of the mission using the dropdown.

What is the Terrain Altitude overlay emblem shown in the bottom left when planning a mission?

The Terrain Altitude emblem conveys the difference in land and start altitude in terrain follow.

The WISPR interface displays an aerial view from an American-made drone, featuring map grids, a terrain altitude slider set at 250 feet, and waypoints over sports fields.

Can KML files, such as a mission you already have planned, be uploaded to WGC?

Yes! You can upload KML files onto Wispr Ground Control in a couple of ways.

  • You can copy the KML file from the SD card inserted into the SD card slot on the smart controller into the WGC/Missions folder found on the smart controller. You may do this by using the Android OS file manager on the smart controller.
    – You will need to install an APK File Extension app onto your controller to save the KML files in. Once you have that installed in your apps you can now upload the KML files you have created and uploaded to that folder.
  • You may also connect the smart controller to your computer, using a USB to micro-USB cord, and copy the file from your computer. You may then upload the mission directly from WISPRGroundControl to the drone.

If I need to stop a mission while it is in progress and return to launch, do I have to start the mission over completely from the first waypoint on the next launch?

No, the mission does not need to be restarted. A pause feature exists that allows you to pause the mission in order to land, power down (or hot-swap if using one) the batteries, repower, and resume the mission from the most recent waypoint before the pause. Below are the steps to achieve this:

  • Select the pause button on the left toolbar (typically, try to pause immediately after the drone has just passed a waypoint in the mission).
  • Return the drone to launch and land.
  • Once landed, a “Flight Plan” menu will appear on the right side of the screen. You will see a few options, one being “Resume Mission From Waypoint X?” Select this option to resume from the last waypoint the drone reached in the mission when relaunched.

Give this video below a watch for a visual reference on the steps listed above:

Continuing a Mission from the Previous Waypoint

WISPR offers a hot-swap cable option included in all packages.

An important part of Wispr drone packages is the hot-swap cable, which is inserted into the front of the drone where the battery is usually plugged in. The hot-swap cable is not necessary for every flight, but is used when the drone is returned to launch to allow the pilot to replace a depleted battery without shutting down the drone.

  • This is done by connecting the fresh battery to the unoccupied XT90 plug, and unplugging the depleted battery from the occupied plug. This switch needs to be done rather quickly. When the plug swap is complete, remove the depleted battery from the drone in order to load the fresh one.

Thick red and black cables connected to yellow electrical connectors on a blue background compose WISPR, an American-made drone. Hot-swap Cable Provided by Wispr

Basic Photogrammetry Mapping Mission using WISPR Ground Control

This video will show you everything you need to know to get started with survey mission planning, the standard for photogrammetry operations.

Planning a LiDAR Mission using Wispr Ground Control

This video will walk you through the necessary steps required to plan and conduct a survey mission using a LiDAR payload. The LiDAR featured in the video is the Avia Livox AA450.

What is a structure scan?

A Structure Scan allows you to create a grid flight pattern that captures images over vertical surfaces (e.g. walls of a building) around a structure.

When should I use the structure scan option?

You may use a structure scan any time you like. The most useful cases are for visual inspection or making 3D models of a structure.

Payloads

General Payload Information

  • What is the max wind speed I can fly in while having a steady payload?

With WISPR Drones, you can fly in 50 MPH wind gusts and your payload will remain steady while capturing reliable data and photos. While our drones can tolerate heavy winds, we suggest flying in the most stable weather conditions possible for maximum performance and stability.

  • When flying in high winds, especially strong gusts, be very cautious and aware of the drone’s stability. If at any time you feel uncomfortable flying in higher winds, you should return to launch and land the drone.

What should I do if the lever on my dove tail mount feels loose?

This can be fixed by tightening the nut on the lever. If this cannot be accomplished contact WISPR to have this replaced. Having a loose dove tail mount could lead to erratic flight, poor streaming from the payload, or even loss of the payload.

A close-up reveals the carbon fiber structure and attached components of WISPR, an American-made drone.

Dove Tail Mount Beneath the Battery Tray of the Ranger Pro

Sony A7R

When picking the Sony A7R in the payload setting dropdown of Wispr Ground Control or in the survey, configurations will change to the default settings WISPR has set for that payload. Changing this may result in mission configurations that do not match ideal values for the mission you wish to conduct. These values may be a changed as needed when planning a new mission.

My pictures are blurry when taking pictures manually or running a mission. How can I make future pictures clearer?

  • Make sure that there are no smudges on the camera lens that would cause a glare.
  • If taken pictures appear blurry, be sure the lighting outside is allowing the camera to Auto Focus. Presence of a heavy overcast can have an impact on this.
    – If pictures look good after a mission but somewhat blurry on zoom-in, be sure you are running the mission at the correct flight speed. The default configuration for the mission speed on photogrammetry missions is 5 m/s. This can be adjusted at any time, but can also cause picture quality to drop as a result. Find the speed that produces the best results for you and adhere to it, unless other factors require you to make changes.

What if the camera feed displays the camera going in and out of mass data storage mode?

Unplug the multi-port cable (top USB-C cable plugged into the side of the camera). Unplug the drone and repower it. Once powered on and Control has loaded the parameters, plug the multi-port cable back into the port.

The camera takes multiple pictures when pressing the camera button on the controller. How can I fix this?

This is a setting that can be changed. Navigate to Menu Settings → Shoot Mode → Drive Mode → Change to Single Shooting.

What if I get a “Battery Exhausted” pop-up on my Sony A7R? What should I do?

  • If the camera is manually triggered over an extended period of time (3-5 minutes), the camera will overheat.

This indicates your camera has become overheated, and needs to cool down. You can prevent this by:

  • Replacing the battery with a dummy battery, which will prevent this while letting you do continuous flights.
  • Decreasing the number of continuous pictures by having flight plans planned accordingly.

The following message appears on the camera screen: “The operation and safety of this battery cannot be guaranteed”

When this message appears, it suggests the Dummy Battery in your camera is degrading. While this should have no effect on the operation of the camera, it will produce this message dialog that the user must clear before use. For a replacement Dummy Battery, contact Customer Support.

An older picture is displayed in the video feed. How can I connect the live stream?

  • Press the Auto Focus (AF) button.
  • Press the “take picture” button on the Sony Camera.
  • Take a picture using the physical button on the top right of your controller. The Auto Focus button should be tried before using this method.
  • Note that it may take a couple of tries with each of these respective methods, a bit of patience is sometimes required. Try 5-10 times at least for each one. Generally, one of these solutions will resolve the issue.

If the camera feed isn’t appearing, what should I do?

  • Verify that the camera is receiving power and is powered on.
  • Take a picture using the physical camera trigger button on the top right of your controller.
  • Examine the connectors and ribbon of the HDMI ribbon cable for any significant damage that might effect data transmission.
    – Check the ports and connectors of your HDMI ribbon to make sure there are are no loose connections. All connectors should be snug when plugged into the HDMI ports.
  • Leave the HDMI ribbon unplugged from the front mini-HDMI port of the drone until the drone has finished booting, and then plug the HDMI back into the camera
    – If drone is already powered on, unplug the HDMI cable and plug it back in.
  • Take a picture manually using the button on the camera itself. Be sure to do this several times if necessary and give it some patience, as generally this step is a reliable way to return the camera feed.
  • If all of these look good, you should close out of WISPR Ground Control and reboot the drone. The camera feed should appear after the next bootup.
  • Be sure that QGroundControl isn’t open in the backgrond, as it will fight over the port to display the feed with WISPRGroundControl.

After taking off, the camera is going into mass storage (geotagging mode). The camera is dumping the data once the flight is over (going back into mass storage mode), but the images aren’t being geotagged. What could be the problem?

  • After taking pictures, once the drone has landed, give it time to move the data to the pictures saved on the SD card.
    – Once landed, you should see it enter mass storage mode. It is now moving the data onto the pictures on the SD card. Always wait for it to finish this process to ensure you get the data captured with the pictures.
  • Check that your SD card is inserted into the Camera Controller completely.
  • Verify that your SD card has the pictures on it
  • If the pictures are not on the SD card in the Camera Controller you should:
    – Try clearing and reformatting the Micro SD card
    – Check for any damage to the Micro SD card. If any damage can be seen, replace the Micro SD card.
    – Check your camera settings and be sure mass storage is selected.
  • Reformat the SD Card through the Sony camera.
  • Reformat the MicroSD Card through the Camera Controller.

When I try to capture an image with the physical or touch buttons, the camera begins to focus but does not a take a picture. What is the solution?

This is currently associated with two possible causes. The first is that the camera will not capture photos if the SD card is in slot 2 (top slot) rather than slot 1 (bottom slot).

The second reason is correlated with a function of the Sony A7R that will refuse to capture an image if the lens is unable to achieve satisfactory focus. On rare occurrences this has been linked with locking up the touch buttons.

  • To get the capture buttons to work properly, adjust the content in the frame of the camera shot. If an object is too close, an object in the distance rests under distortive lighting, or rests at an angle that distorts the way the camera focuses, the camera may reject capture commands.
  • Sometimes when this happens, the touch buttons may be unresponsive and the camera is able to capture a photo, then a reboot of WISPR Ground Control will be required. This should reset the initialization of camera controls and the touch buttons should be responsive again.

Pictures are not being saved on the SD card in my A7R correctly. How do I resolve this?

Format the SD card through the camera settings. To do this, go to media in your camera menu. You will see the option to format. Rotate the roll-wheel, and select enter by pressing the center button of the roll-wheel to begin formatting. You will receive a message that the card has been successfully formatted when it is complete.

The digital screen of the American-made drone - WISPR displays a warning message offering options to either perform a full format or cancel.

SD Card Formatting Prompt

The American-made drone's digital display screen, WISPR, shows a progress bar with a message

In Progress

The screen of the American-made drone's digital device flashed the message

Completion

Pictures are somewhat blurry when at maximum zoom. This is making it difficult to process data through Pix4D. What should I do?

If using Pix4D to process your data, it’s optimal to use Pix4DMapper, which supports the Sony A7R IV. Pix4DMapper is designed to process pictures, and should produce good data.

  • Ensure the shutter speed i at 1/1000, This will fix any kind of bluriness in the pictures. If there is an overcast, the shutter speed should be set to 1/800. If there is any help needed please contact support and they will make sure your shutter speed is set correctly.

My gimbal will not tilt by using the roll-wheel. What could be the problem?

Solutions:

  • Ensure the gimbal is receiving power.
  • Verify the SBUS cable is fully plugged in and no wires feel loose.
  • Make sure the SBUS cable is plugged in correctly. The wires from left to right should be Black/Red/White, as seen below:

A red and white cable is plugged into the 'sbus' connection port, situated below the '- + s' switch on an American-made WISPR drone.

SBUS Cable Into Quick Attach

On a textured dark surface, two drum tuning keys and a drumstick keyring were implemented for use on the WISPR, an American-made drone.

SBUS Cable Into Port On the Right Side of the Drone

My gimbal pitch doesn’t adjust while running a mission. How can I resolve this?

Solutions:

  • Try to take a picture with the Capture button on your Smart Controller (soft touch buttons).
  • Watch the Camera Controller while taking a picture with the soft buttons. You should see a white flash every time you take a picture.
  • Check that the Camera Control status light is blue. This means it is in the ready state.
  • Ensure your gimbal pitch is correct under the mission tab when planning your mission. The gimbal pitch selected is the angle the gimble will be set to while running the mission.

Screenshot of WISPR, an American-made drone software interface, displaying various sliders and input fields for camera settings, with a focus on the

Location of Gimbal Pitch During Mission Planning

What if my Gimbal Pitch isn’t set to the angle I would like when planning a survey?

You may change the Gimbal Pitch to a custom angle once you’ve selected “Done with Polygon” and have the polygon the size you would like it, you may now change the gimbal pitch under the mission tab, selecting the correct pitch you would like to run the mission at.

  • The Gimbal Pitch will default to 90 degrees when running a survey with a camera payload selected, if you do not input a custom gimbal pitch.
    – See Gimbal Pitch in the image above.

What should I do if running a structure scan and get a “Critical: PreArm: GPS 1 failing configuration checks.” and the .TXT file doesnt save after running the structure scan?

  • Bring your drone home, reboot and plan the mission again. This should reset all on the drone and you should not have a problem gathering the .TXT file.
    – This is caused by the GPS dropping out due to interfernce resulting in corruption of the log. Be mindful how close you are running your structure scan to the structure itself and surrouning structures/power lines.

WIRIS Enterprise

What should I do if my WIRIS camera does not have camera control?

  • First make sure that your WIRIS Camera is receiving power and is powered on.
  • Open WISPR Ground Control and select the Wispr button in the top left. You should be taken to the General tab. Under payload be sure WIRIS is selected from the drop down menu.
  • Verify that your Camera Controller is powered and a blue LED light is shining from it.
  • Press the Capture button on the WISPR Ground Control screen, and see if the Camera Controller receives the command. To confirm this, after giving the command you will see the blue LED on the Camera Controller blink white, and then return to blue.
  • Check to make sure you see that no cables are loose, cut, or that any wires slid out of the connectors going from the I/O ports to the gimbal.
    – If you try all of these steps and still do not have camera control, please visit Report a Problem to get a replacement wire harness or have your payload returned for service.

To help you get started using the WIRIS Enterprise with the WISPR Ranger Pro, check out the video linked below:

WIRIS Enterprise Quick Start for the Ranger Pro

Companion Computer

How can I update my companion computer to the newest version of the OS?

  • To update your companion computer, power up your drone and navigate to the Wispr Air OS by typing 172.16.1.1 in your address bar.
  • Once there, select the ≡ → Wi-Fi, and put in your Wi-Fi credentials to connect the Wispr OS to your WIFI SSID. You will receive a “Connected to your Wi-Fi [SSID Name]” confirmation.
  • Select the ≡, Update, and then in the dialogue box select Update again. This process could take up to a few minutes for the update to complete. DO NOT UNPLUG WHILE UPDATING, AS THIS WILL CAUSE CORRUPTION OF THE IMAGE ON THE CARD IN THE COMPANION COMPUTER.
  • Once updated you will get a “Successfully Updated” message. Reboot your drone, and your companion computer is updated. This can be verified by going to 172.16.1.1 and checking that the version number at the top has updated to a never version number than seen before.

What if I cannot connect to the Prism but I am able to connect to the OS and Flight Controller?

  • Ensure you have Drone Mode set to Antenna Scraping and the CPE Static LAN Address/DHCP Fallback IP set to 192.168.3.9. This verifies you have the correct information configured under System Management → Settings inside of the OS. Performing these steps will allow you to connect to the Prism GUI in another tab while being connected to the Wispr OS.
    – If either of these values are changed, reboot the drone in order for this to take save and take effect. Once rebooted, connect back to the Wispr OS (172.16.1.1) and now you should be able to access the Prism GUI (192.168.3.1). If the Prism GUI can not be accessed, return to the System Management → Settings in Wispr OS and verify that the changes made in the DHCP Fallback IP saved to 192.168.3.9. If not, repeat the above steps once more.

Screenshot of the American-made drone settings interface, WISPR, which offers options for mode selection, resetting changes, IP address configuration, and timezone setting.

Drone Mode and CPE Static LAN Address/DHCP Fallback IP Configuration

You will now be able to log into the Prism’s GUI at the address 192.168.3.1.

  • The home GUI of the Prism will look like this. Once you reach this page you are now connected to the Prism and ready to run a survey.

The dark blue homepage of

Prism GUI Home Screen

I have the Prism connected to my companion computer. The Flash Drive connected to the companion computer is not saving data after a survey is complete. What is the issue?

  • The Prism and Flash Drive must be connected to the companion computer USB Port before powering on the drone, in order to collect data correctly.
  • Verify that the Flight controller (FC) is connected.
    – You can do this by entering into the Wispr OS at the address 172.16.1.1. If the FC is connected, you will see an icon reading “FC” with 2 arrows, blinking green (one pointing up, one down). This means you are connected to the flight controller using telemetry.

The American-made drone's data display screenshot shows metrics for speed, altitude, direction, and distance with a

– Check your Flash Drive format, as it needs to be formatted into the FAT32 format. If your Flash Drive is larger than 32GB you will need to use a program (if you are using a windows computer) to format it to FAT32. Windows only allows up to 32GB and smaller to format to FAT32. Wispr suggest using this Program and following the steps to format your Flash Drive to FAT32, if you are using a SanDisk Flash Drive (We send all of our companion computers with SanDisk Flash Drives)

  • If you are using another brand other than SanDisk, there are other programs available online that will allow you to format them. We suggest using the SanDisk Flash Drive sent by Wispr to ensure data captures correctly.
  • Check that you are able to access the Prism GUI Homepage at the address 192.168.3.1. If you cannot connect to this you will not gather data.
  • See below to check possible issues

– Go to the Wispr OS (172.16.1.1) under System Management → Settings. Check the fallback DHCP is set to 192.168.3.9. If not change to that IP and reboot the drone for that to take effect.

– Check the USB C cable for any damage. If plugged in correctly, the STAT button should be blinking green to let you know you are getting power.

– Check that your Prism IP default is 192.168.3.1. You can check this by plugging the Prism USB cable directly into your computer and accessing that IP address in the address bar.

  • If you are unable to connect directly through your computer using that IP address, either the IP is set to a different IP address than the default or your USB-C cable is not working properly.

LiDAR

When recording base data with your RTK base, start logging 15-20 minutes before a LiDAR mission flight on a known point. Ensure the recording continues 15-20 minutes after the mission to have the necessary data for PPK processing the LiDAR data.

Lidar Offsets for LiDAR Payloads

  • AA450 LiDAR should be X = 0, Y = -0.104 and Z = 0.432 If creating or uploading offset files
  • RESEPI XT32 should be Right = 0, Forward = -0.104 and Up = 0.457 If creating or uploading offset files

Why is my LiDAR Calibration button not showing up although I have a LiDAR selected as a payload?

The LiDAR calibration button will not show up until the drone is armed and launched. Once it is armed and lauched you will now see the button greyed out on the left side of the fly view screen action bar. You must be at minium 150 feet in the air before the button will become pressable. Once pressed you may now use the slider to begin the calibration.

What should I do If my AA450 LiDAR is constanly beeping after being booted?

This means your license has expired. You may contact Support Report a Problem to have a new liscense emailed to you, which will never expire.

Is the hot-swap protocol for LiDAR payloads the same as other operations that involve hot-swapping?

Not entirely. When performing hot-swaps while using any Inertial Labs or RESEPI LiDAR payload (such as the Avia Livox or RESEPI Hesai XT32), the time from when the LiDAR begins recording data to the time the LiDAR stops recording data, we suggest you should not exceed 50 minutes total time.

When surveying with LiDAR, what coordinate datum should you use when using a PPK base?

When surveying with LiDAR, WGS84 must be used on the PPK base. After you are done processing the LiDAR data it can be converted to NAD83 or any other state plane for review.

What speed will the drone RTL at after completing a LiDAR mission?

If a LiDAR payload is selected in WISPR Ground Control, once the mission is complete the drone will RTL at a set speed of 10m/s, which is the default RTL speed for a LiDAR mission.

How do I post process data with Inertial Labs LiDAR?

The monument coordinates, provided by a surveyor, includes the offset of the pole or pole/quick release. This is so they can provide the coordinates of the point (scribed X, survey nail or monument). PCMaster requires the ellipsoidal height at the base antenna phase center. The distance between the bottom of the base and the units phase center is unique per model and is most of the time published on the unit or in the technical documents. The total offset between the phase center of the antenna and the monument will need to be added to the ellipsoidal height in PCMaster when prompted to modify or accept the latitude, longitude and ellipsoidal height.

LiDAR Processing Software Installation

Install the processing software for post-processing the LiDAR data you’ve collected. Follow these steps:

1. Ensure that your computer meets the following requirements:

  • Intel Core i7, Ryzen 7, or better.
  • 32 GB RAM.
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or better (minimum 4GB of Digital RAM).
  • Windows OS.
  • Download and install the required processing software to post process data.
  • Inertial Labs has updated the workflow of the programs PCMaster and PCPainter. Please refer to the provided link to download the new versions of PCMaster and PCPainter.
  • The download links are accessible at the following location:Downloads | PCMaster and PCPainter

2. Data Processing Walkthrough:

Where can the RESEPI User Manual be found?

  • For detailed information on proper RESEPI procedures, please visit the link below. This will allow you access to the RESEPI User Manual, which offers comprehensive guidance and instructions.
    RESEPI User Manual

If the RESEPI XT32 is not showing a green button on the GNSS on the side of the LiDAR unit, what should I do?

  • Connect to the RESEPI Access Point and navigate to the GUI through 192.168.12.1
  • Scroll until you see Record Without GNSS”
  • On the dropdown switch this to off as seen below and your GNSS button should now be green.

Screenshot of WISPR, an American-made drone software interface with tabs for drones, payloads, and software. It features settings for GNSS, lidar operations, and project management.

On the USB thumb drive provided by RESEPI, there exists a folder specifically named boresight folder. Is it necessary to retain this folder on the USB thumb drive?

Yes. The boresight folder contains crucial calibration information and the corresponding data that is utilized. It is very important this folder remains intact, as it serves as the sole backup for the distinct unit’s settings embedded within the firmware. Refrain from making any alterations to the files contained within this folder.

Please note that Windows 11 should not be used when processing LiDAR data. Windows 11 can skew the time of the data as well as the data itself. Avoid using this when you process your data. Windows 10 is suggested.

 

How do you use a geoid rather than WGS-84 Ellipsoid?

To use a geoid rather than WGS-84 Ellipsoid, you must select the geoid prior to opening the ppk.pcmp file generated after a data capture. It must be selected before any processing of the data. Follow these steps below:

  • Open a new PCMasterGL window, not by double clicking on the ppk.pcmp file.
  • Select the desired geoid model under the “Geoids” menu item.
  • Select the “Open Project” menu item and navigate to the ppk.pcmp file that is auto-generated after a data-capture.
  • Select the ppk.pcmp file and it will now process the data with the geoid model.

To add a geoid that is not available on the list, follow the steps below:

  • Close any open windows of PCMasterGL.
  • Go to Waypoint Geoids to find and download the geoid corresponding to the correct location of the data capture in .bmp and .wpg format.
  • Navigate to the file location where PCMasterGL is downloaded on the PC. Open the Geoids folder located at PCMasterGL/resources/Geoids
  • Once the geoid is downloaded, there will be a .bmp and .wpg file. Place both files in the Geoids folder opened in step 2.
  • Open a new PCMasterGL window, and the new geoid should be in the list.

Where should I download geoids from?

This link to the Geoid via the Novatel list should be used to download your geoid: Waypoint Geoids

Where is RTK data from pictures taken stored?

The RTK data from pictures taken during a mission are stored on the txt file. The data is not stored on the actual pictures themselves.

What is the difference in the RESEPI PCMaster and the RESEPI PCMasterPro? Which should I use?

  • PCMasterProGL combines PCMasterGL, PCPainterGL, and Batch Processor. The software has been thoroughly tested by the Inertial Labs Development and Product Release Team but is still formally being distributed as a beta release due to the size and complexity of the release. If a feature is not functioning properly, please let us know.
  • Please note that as of now, PCMasterGL, PCPainterGL, and Batch Processor will no longer be supported for further updates as future updates will be contained within the merged software release in PCMasterProGL.
  • If you have an active PCMaster or PCPainter license within your local license manager, then PCMasterPro will utilize the same key. No changes are required in the windows system.

To view the Quick Start Video Please Visit How to Process RESEPI Data with PCMasterPro

 

UGCS EchoSounder Bathymetry

What software and other setup is necessary to fly with the UGCS Echo Sounder?

You will need to download two pieces of software – UGCS and UGCS custom payload monitor, which you can find at these links: UgCS | Downloads, Support & Downloads. Be sure to download the latest versions available.

Additionally, though not explicitly required, it is recommended to download Notepad++ for the process involved in the next step. You can download that here, choosing the latest option: Downloads | Notepad++

Next, in the file explorer of your PC, navigate to This PC → Windows (C:) → Program Files (x86) → UgCS → bin

  • Once there, locate the file named vsm-ardupilot.conf. This file contains lines that need to be edited in order for the UGCS software, drone, and SkyHub to communicate with the UGCS Payload Monitor.
  • Right click the file, and select “Edit with Notepad++” or Notepad.
  • The image below shows which lines need to be edited in both blue text as well as red dashes beside the line number, and how the file should look when you’ve made your changes.
  • You can also find a video of the steps being performed here: 5 VSM Ardupilot configuration. Be sure to remove the # symbols for the changes to take effect.
  • When you’re finished, be sure to click the save icon in the top left of the screen. You may now close the file.

A screenshot of WISPR's American-made drone vehicle configuration settings displayed as lines of code in a text editor.

  • Before opening the UGCS software, verify your controller’s hotspot tethering is enabled, you are connected to it on the PC that that will be running UGCS, the drone is powered on, and all cables are plugged in properly.

WISPR's American-made drone showcases a digital display of telemetry data including battery level, GPS, and altitude metrics, superimposed on a map of Tennessee.

Successful connection to UGCS with live telemetry data

Screenshot of the WISPR interface for an American-made drone control app detailing power, record, and settings buttons along with mobile-drone connection instructions.

Successful connection to UGCS Payload Monitor with edited file

What should my line spacing be when planning a Bathymetry Mission?

For planning bathymetry surveys line spacing needs to be 4x the estimated depth of the pond or lake you are surveying.

Which speed should I fly with the UGSC Echo Sounder?

Maximum speed should be 0.8. – 0.9 m/s. To collect high-quality data 0.7 – 0.8 m/s

Mission and manual flight speeds should be set to 0.8 m/s automatically when selecting the EchoSounder payload. Remember that when the EchoSounder is no longer selected, the flight speeds will remain the same, so it will be necessary to adjust them before takeoff when using a different payload.

How do I maximize data precision with the UGCS Echo Sounder?

Echo Sounder should be fully submerged. You have too many spikes and gaps in the data. But I should tell you that the depth match on check lines is just perfect. That means that your approach with slightly submerged echosounder in case of calm water may allow to increase the speed of survey. Maybe you may experiment with just a slightly deeper echo sounder.

Should I use a single or double grid mission type?

It’s almost useless to make a double-grid with an echo sounder unless you are trying to find some object on the bottom

Non-RTK Post-processing.

Data should be processed for the depth, not for elevation.

How do I import NMEA0183 into Hydromagic?

When you import NMEA0183 into Hydromagic, select SDXDR sentence to import both hi and low frequency data

The dropdown menu for

What rangefinder is used for the EchoSounder?

The Ainsten US-D1 radar altimeter has been introduced as the new rangefinder for the EchoSounder replacing the pre existing rangefinder. This rangefinder should be smooth and have no sudden movement.

  • When the EchoSounder is selected as the payload, the rangefinder will only be used in Auto mode.
Operations

Flight Modes

  • Loiter – Loiter Mode automatically attempts to maintain the current location, heading and altitude. The user will manually control these aspects of flight with the joysticks, but when the sticks are released, the vehicle will slow to a stop and hold position. The drone should ALWAYS be flown in loiter mode if flying manually. This is mapped to the A button on Wispr controllers.
    – Wispr Ground Control automatically sets the flight mode to loiter when booted.
  • Altitude Hold – When Altitude Hold mode is selected, the throttle automatically controls the current altitude. The drone will remain steady at its current altitude using the barometer, but will drift in potentially any direction, as it is not reading from the GPS in this mode. The joysticks on the controller should be used to maintain position to the best of your ability. Altitude hold should ONLY be used in an emergency situation such as a failed GPS, or if the drone is losing stability in flight. This is mapped to the B button on Wispr controllers.
  • Land – Automatically attempts to descend the drone directly below its current position, land, and disarm. To prevent crashes, it is strongly urged that the user does not adjust position of the drone when attempting to land. This is mapped to the C button on Wispr controllers.
  • Return To Launch (RTL) – The drone will ascend to the designated altitude before orienting itself toward home, and when positioned above the launch location will lower itself to the ground before disarming upon touchdown. This is mapped to the D button on Wispr controllers.
  • Auto Flight Mode – This mode is exactly what it sounds like- automatic. This mode comes into play when conducting missions, and directs the drone to carry out the instructions written in the mission that has been planned. The drone will fully complete the sequence and return to launch unless interrupted.
  • Guided Flight Mode – Guided flight mode is a lesser used mode that is only applicable for a few functions of flight. This mode functions similarly to Auto flight mode, but applies to smaller sequences that might be performed one or more times in a flight, as well as before conducting a mission. This mode is active when performing a LiDAR calibration, a bridge scan, or a go-to sequence.

What mode should be used to land the drone?

  • Land mode should be used. The land command (the C button on the controller packaged with Wispr drones) should be issued 6-15 ft from the ground. The user should always use the land command to land the drone, unless it is not an option due to circumstances such as a safety issue or a crash hazard.
    – If a hazard becomes present during landing that makes land mode unsuitable, the drone may be landed using the joysticks and disarmed by holding the left joystick down and to the left. This is for emergency cases only. Manual landing is reserved for emergency situations such as to avoid injury or destruction of property.
  • Alternatively, the user can always issue an RTL (Return To Launch) command.
    – Note that when an RTL takes place, the drone may possibly land a few feet away from the initial takeoff position. As such, users may need to reposition to land in a level spot or avoid an object on the ground. We never recommend adjusting the position of the drone when it is in an RTL or Land sequence. If you feel you need to reposition for landing, shift to loiter beforehand, and land using land mode when you are happy with your positioning.

If my drone is not flying smoothly, what should I do?

  • Check that the payload, propellers, screws in the drone, screws holding propellers and landing gear are all secure.
  • Verify that no errors are being triggered in Wispr Ground Control.
  • If the compass (GPS) has been bumped or has been damaged in some way, this can also cause the drone to not fly smoothly. In a worst case scenario, a crash could occur if the GPS is not reading correctly.
  • It may be necessary to recalibrate the GPS if the flight characteristics observed appear quite unstable.

Note: if you are flying on a windy day, you will observe some movements that are a result of the drone trying to counteract the wind it is in the path of. The more you fly, the better you will be able to discern if the flight behavior you’re seeing is abnormal, or a result of the drone holding its position.

Ground Control Points

What is a Ground Control Point (GCP)?

  • Ground control points are points on the ground with known coordinates.

What is a Survey Check Point (SCP)?

  • Survey checkpoints are points with known coordinates that are used to validate the accuracy of the survey.

What spacing is recommended for ground control points for your system?

  • Under 1000ft spacing is best practice when setting Ground Control Points (GCP).

How many ground control points are needed?

  • In a 500 Square Kilometer area the best practice is to have at least 20 Ground Control Points on non-vegetated surfaces easy to see from the sky and 5 ground control points on vegetated surfaces visible from the sky per ASPRS 2014, p.A19.

What is the best use of targets for Ground Control Points (GCP)?

  • 1.5ft x 1.5ft square target is best with a visible center point.

Where do ground control points need to be placed?

  • Place ground control points within 100 ft of the edge of the survey area and throughout the center of the survey area as well.

RTK

What is RTK and when should I use it?

  • RTK is a navigation system that offers very precise position accuracy of your drone. The RTK system is always in use on the drone’s GPS, but can be enhanced with a better signal by using a ground station that communicates with satellites and provides real-time location during the flight.
  • RTK can be used when you are in an area where your GPS is picking up a low amount of satellites or you have no GPS at all.
  • RTK can be used with mapping and LiDAR, as it will ensure your drone remains steady horizontally and vertically. This is key in getting accurate results and enhanced positional data down to a centimeter resolution while mapping.
  • RTK is also used with the Camera Controller. The Camera Controller supports writing of GPS/RTK and gimbal angles from your flight controller directly to the EXIF of photos in the camera SD card. RTK will ensure accuracy when pictures are being taken and data is later processed.

How do I set up my RTK system to work with a Wispr drone?

  • To connect your RTK system to your drone, you will need to first make sure you have the Portable Wi-Fi hotspot enabled (on the smart controller) which you can find in the Wireless & Networks section.
    – Turn the option on using the toggle switch in settings. To do this you can swipe down from the top of the screen and select the icon on the far right to activate tethering.

At 7:25 pm on a Tuesday, a warning icon illuminated on the smartphone notification bar signaling an alert for USB tethering or hotspot activity linked to WISPR's American-made drone.

Tap the Icon in the Top Right

A notification on the Android system interface of an American-made drone shows

The Option Outlined in Red Will Appear

Screenshot displays activated 'portable wi-fi hotspot' in the smartphone settings menu for tethering an American-made drone using WISPR.

Location of Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot Toggle

Set up your Wi-Fi hotspot with a network name and password then select save. Now you can connect to your tethered Wi-Fi hotspot under your Wi-Fi list.

The WISPR screenshot displays a Wi-Fi hotspot setup for an American-made drone, featuring

Network Name and Password Configuration

  • Open the General Settings tab in Wispr Ground Control and scroll to the bottom to the NTRIP section.
  • Enable the NTRIP server by ticking the box and enter your NTRIP information. Once done, reboot the drone and Wispr Ground Control.
    – You are connected to the RTK base if when clicking the satellite icon in the fly bar you see “3D RTK GPS Lock (Fixed)” informing you that you are now connected to your RTK Base.

WISPR is an American-made drone control interface that displays detailed navigation data like GPS count and lock status, on a map background.

Successful Connection to RTK Base

For a walkthrough video, visit this link: RTK with WISPR Ground Control Quick Start Video

How do I connect my Here+ RTK to the Wispr Drone through Wispr Ground Control?

How much power is supplied from the front XT60 power output port?

  • 24 Volts. Although it is an unregulated 6S voltage, which is 21-26.1 volts.

How often should I get my Drone tuned up?

  • Your drone should be tuned every 200 hours of flight time. You can visit this form Drone Maintenance Booking Form and fill it out to schedule a Drone tune-up.

If one of the cooling fans under the bottom plate stops spinning, is it still ok to fly the drone?

  • No! If a fan stops working, please submit a ticket here: Report a Problem to get the fan replaced. The drone needs all 4 fans to help cool the inside of the drone to prevent overheating. DO NOT fly if you are aware a fan is not working. This could lead to overheating and the drone malfunctioning.

A close-up view of WISPR, an American-made drone, reveals a small black cooling fan nestled amid wires and electronic equipment.

Cooling Fans

What should be done if “Open Drone Id : Operator Location must be set” error is thorwn when updated?

If you are on the newest update (or any update past 1.0.0) and get this message, you should go into settings of the Herelink Controller and check to ensure the Location is enabled. If not, switch this on. This will fix the error and will also fix the GPS not getting a fix.

General FAQs'

General FAQs’

I’ve tried to upload a new version of WGC Flight Firmware through Mission Planner and I get the error “Cannot Read Board”. How can this be fixed?

If you try to load the Custom Flight Firmware onto the drone and you have confirmed everything is connected correctly but you still get this error, check the top right of Mission Planner and ensure the COM port is set to Auto. If it is set to anything else you will not be able to load the Custom Flight Firmware, resulting in this error message.

How do I use the Offline Maps feature and what is its purpose?

Offline maps are a good tool to utilize if you are going to be flying at a later time in an area without Wi-Fi access, but still will need to access maps while flying. Without Wi-Fi, you will not be able to download the maps of the area you are flying in unless previously downloaded through offline maps while connected to a Wi-Fi network to save them.

My gimbal doesn’t adjust to a specific pitch. What is the problem?

  • Verify that your SBUS Cord (Three pronged plug) is plugged into the gimbal and the SBUS plug in on the side of the drone correctly. This will ensure you have SBUS commands over the gimbal.
  • Ensure that you enter the desired gimbal pitch in the fields during mission planning before uploading. Changes made after an upload are not registered unless another upload is performed.
    – For surveys planned with a camera payload equipped, the gimbal pitch is set to 90 by default, which results the in the camera facing straight down in flight.

Need more help or have an issue to report?

Get in touch with us today for inquiries, assistance, or to discuss your needs. Our team is here to help!

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We’re With You All the Way

With world-class training and support, owning a WISPR Systems drone means years of productive and well-supported flying.

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