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spark lands in water after geo-fence kicks in
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kowal63
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I lost my Spark taking shots of Maine ship... I checked to make sure it was unlocked (airport)..all was good...took pics....bringing it back in the geo fence (airport) kicks in....closest it would come is 25 foot to the end of the Fish Pier...i watched her go in...she was good lil sparky ...why would a geo restriction kick in mid flight?.....had 16 sats prior to takeoff

geo fence issue

geo fence issue
2018-7-12
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Kingram
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For your next Drone-https://www.ebay.com/itm/Water-F ... t-New-/302685058851
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LouisP
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I would think that i should not have let you take off in the first place.  Did you tell it that you had authorization to fly there ( Unlock) or did it just let you take off with the normal warning?    If you did "unlock" and it would not let you fly back into the zone then that is a software problem.   You were just a tiny bit over a mile from the end of a runway I am surprised it let you take off at all.
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kowal63
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LouisP Posted at 2018-7-12 17:11
I would think that i should not have let you take off in the first place.  Did you tell it that you had authorization to fly there ( Unlock) or did it just let you take off with the normal warning?    If you did "unlock" and it would not let you fly back into the zone then that is a software problem.   You were just a tiny bit over a mile from the end of a runway I am surprised it let you take off at all.

I did an unlock online.....i live on an island with a small unmanned airport...so (ANY) time i fly i have to do an unlock...it will not allow me to take off without doing an unlock first which i did....some how it locked up in flight....i had 16 sats prior to takeoff too....not right...
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Carmenvail
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Hey check this video out its the same situation, I think you will find after you leave the TFR and then re enter it this stands a chance of happening  
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Carmenvail
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kowal63 Posted at 2018-7-12 17:44
I did an unlock online.....i live on an island with a small unmanned airport...so (ANY) time i fly i have to do an unlock...it will not allow me to take off without doing an unlock first which i did....some how it locked up in flight....i had 16 sats prior to takeoff too....not right...

no not right at all
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S-e-ven
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http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/upload/

I think that will be an interesting case, so let the cloud review it for you!
Upload the flight record, post the weblink, lets see, what happened there.

Just now, I would say it is a DJI problem.
If you had authorisation to start IN the geofence area,  this should not go away during a flight from the that location to outside the fence.
But: just my2c
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Mirek6
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kowal,

This is a known bug in DJI firmware/software. When you get stuck "on the other side" of geo-fence (be it security geo-fence like airports or your own max flight distance geo-fence).

In the past month I saw 2 "geo-fence from the other side" cases. Yours is third. For the reference - the 2 cases I mentioned:

In these two cases I saw, pilots were able to get the drone fly through geo-fence in the direction of the starting point by hitting RTH button. Otherwise the drone would not respond to their commands of moving forward towards home point - stuck on the other side of geo-fence.

As S-e-ven requested - please upload your logs and provide us link so we can confirm what happened.

Perhaps this is warranty replacement case for DJI. But we need to see your logs to make final recommendation for you.

Mirek
2018-7-13
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kowal63
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I did upload my flight record...as you can see in the picture above...the geo zone...the spark was 25 feet off the end of pier....the closest it would come....
I tried everything RTH...Sport Mode....it just hovered there until the battery died.....this was in no way my fault....I have a mavic pro also....every time i fly on the small island i live on i have to do an unlock....it is nothing new to me....having a geo-fence lock up after takeoff never happened before....i had 16 sats at takeoff...i uploaded my flight record to the link above that S-e-ven created...thanks Mirek
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Mirek6
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kowal63 Posted at 2018-7-13 06:45
I did upload my flight record...as you can see in the picture above...the geo zone...the spark was 25 feet off the end of pier....the closest it would come....
I tried everything RTH...Sport Mode....it just hovered there until the battery died.....this was in no way my fault....I have a mavic pro also....every time i fly on the small island i live on i have to do an unlock....it is nothing new to me....having a geo-fence lock up after takeoff never happened before....i had 16 sats at takeoff...i uploaded my flight record to the link above that S-e-ven created...thanks Mirek

You need to provide us with the link - otherwise we cannot find it.
Upload to phantom site as per S-e-ven. This will open your flight log with a map in the browser.
Copy the address of this web site and pate it here so we can open it ourselves.

Mirek
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kowal63
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spark geofence error
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S-e-ven
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 06:54
You need to provide us with the link - otherwise we cannot find it.
Upload to phantom site as per S-e-ven. This will open your flight log with a map in the browser.
Copy the address of this web site and pate it here so we can open it ourselves.

Ou, another thing to test?
"When you get stuck "on the other side" of geo-fence (be it security geo-fence like airports or your own max flight distance geo-fence)."
Maybe I misunderstand:
Flying it away, setting a geofence closer to homepoint,perhaps, for testing
That should let it autoland?
I would  expect it to autofly into the fenced circle
Like it is auto descending, after resetting max flight heigh to.lower as actual flight height
And RTH may get it home, still?
Interesting.
I had just one time a flight that stopped at nfz  geofence.
But it went back to me without a problem, no autolanding
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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-7-13 07:04
Ou, another thing to test?
"When you get stuck "on the other side" of geo-fence (be it security geo-fence like airports or your own max flight distance geo-fence)."
Maybe I misunderstand:

S-e-ven:

See: https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=152623
  • Pilot set max flight distance to 100m.
  • Drone went into ATTI and got pushed beyond 100 m geo-fence by wind.
  • When drone regained GPS it started RTH sequence since the signal was lost.
  • It stopped at 100 meters – on the other side of geo-fence.
  • Pilot hit RTH (signal was back) and drone flew through geo-fence successfully.

See: https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=155446
  • Pilot somehow managed to get through airport geofence so the drone was on the other side of geo-fence than pilot.
  • Once there – drone was not responsive to stick commands – could not fly back home through geo-fence.
  • Pilot hit RTH and drone exited geo-fence successfully.

Yes – experiments like you suggested would be good, but I think we have enough data to conclude DJI design error.

Mirek
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Mirek6
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Kowal,

Wow! wow! wow! What a fight!

Let me re-enact last 3.5 minutes of your Spark's life:
9m 59 sec – Return home warning – battery low
  
10m 2 sec – you stop flying.
  
10m 9 sec – drone starts automatic RTH sequence tripped by low battery power. This is correct action.
  
10m 12 sec – automatic heading alignment in the direction of home point is completed – drone starts flying back but skims along geo-fence unable to penetrate it. It is not flying in the direction it is pointing to (home point) but rather along the geo-fence getting closer to home.
  
This is bad but consistent with behaviour observed in case https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=152623
  
You are not providing any stick input – just waiting for Spark to do its job.
  
  
11m 21 sec – Spark is near closest point to home on the other side of the fence – its further progress along the fence would only take it further away. So it stops.
  
11m 22 sec – You switch to Sport mode thus cancelling RTH (which was useless anyways) but you do not touch sticks. Nothing happens since nothing can happen.
  
11m 24 sec – Spark initiates auto-landing due to critical battery level. Altitude 45 metres. You are not touching your sticks.
  
11m 28 sec – You start turning camera down – but still no directional input for drone.
  
11m 33 sec – Finally you decide to take control and start flying Spark – you cannot get through geo-fence – your actions are chaotic – Spark is going down.
  
11m 41 sec – You give up. Spark is 17 metres above water and landing with speed about 1 m/s.
  
11m 46 sec – You direct Spark to fly up. It obeys. You do it for half a second only and than watch in horror as Spark continues is journey down.
  
  
Few more chaotic stick movements follow but Spark is pretty much stuck and going down.
  
  
12 m 11 sec – 5 metres above water. You attempt to raise the elevation and you succeed. Battery is down to 6%
  
13 m 22 sec – You got Spark 53 metres up, you are facing roughly good direction and you are trying like crazy to fly home. Geo-fence stops you. Battery level is 0%. Doom is almost inevitable.
  
13m 31 sec – forced landing due to no power left.
  
  
Your Spark sinks while your right thumb is on full throttle forward in your direction but Spark is being stopped by geo-fence.
  
  
This was extremely well done and good fight. Congratulations!
  
I suspect that had you hit RTH again while Spark was stuck at the fence - it would have flown through it as was in case of 62+. However, I do not know for sure since 62+ case was slightly different - his geo-fence was not enforced airport geo-fence but rather geo-fence he set himself by setting max flight distance in DJI GO App. I strongly suspect that behaviour would be the same (that is - success) but I am not sure.

  
If you have warranty I would be very surprised if DJI would not honor it.
  
This is very clearly DJI design error which prevented you from safe landing despite quite heroic efforts.
DJI allowed you to operate within restricted space and yet, once you flew out, they did not allow you to come back. Very, very clear error on DJI part.
  
  
Good luck and please keep us posted on your success with DJI.
  
  
Mirek


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kowal63
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 08:27
Kowal,

Wow! wow! wow! What a fight!

absolutely...I have a Mavic Pro to....i always have to do an unlock to fly on the island that i live on....i cannot take off otherwise.....you can imagine the panic i was in when it hit the geofence on the way back....i had some stunning images of the ship "State of Maine"on it....i was heartbroken to lose those as well as spark.....i did all i could...thanks Mirek6
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S-e-ven
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 07:42
S-e-ven:

See: https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=152623

Good to know, that active starting RTH will get it "over" the fence.

I had the Idea to start with RC, only, with setting 30m geofence in app before.
Connecting the phone at the RC-s 50m geofence will start app with 30m fence, Spark should somehow react on it.
But probably yes, you have enough prove allready.
But I may do it anyway, next time I fly.

And thinking on it, it may logical that the fence is the fence, doesnt matter from which direction the spark comes: Till here and not further.

The findings that a RTH will cross it anyway is a good one!
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S-e-ven
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 08:27
Kowal,

Wow! wow! wow! What a fight!

I don't think so, honestly:

"I suspect that had you hit RTH again while Spark was stuck at the fence - it would have flown through it as was in case of 62+. However, I do not know for sure since 62+ case was slightly different - his geo-fence was not enforced airport geo-fence but rather geo-fence he set himself by setting max flight distance in DJI GO App."

The airfields geofence is a area, not to fly in at all.
so no RC input reactions
RTH just gave only one way out, automated, a safety behavior.

The App fence is a area, not to fly further away from RC
I actually think calling it just a range limit, is naming it better, as me calling it ( geo)fence.
Thus may explain that if at it, RTH would go through.
Distance from inside or outside to the "not further as here" should be the same.
Question:
In your 100m distance case did the pilot try to fly it further away, again?
Before hitting RTH?


Do we have a pilot living near a NFZ , who has permition to start his bird inside and flies it outside, just not over water, please?

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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-7-13 09:21
I don't think so, honestly:

"I suspect that had you hit RTH again while Spark was stuck at the fence - it would have flown through it as was in case of 62+. However, I do not know for sure since 62+ case was slightly different - his geo-fence was not enforced airport geo-fence but rather geo-fence he set himself by setting max flight distance in DJI GO App."

S-e-ven,

Your thinking is very logical but truth is that we know what we know and the rest is just speculation (could be educated speculation but nevertheless speculation).
These three case have similarities but they all are slightly different.

All are about crossing boundary (geo-fence) from the other side – away from home point but flying towards home point.
Two cases were solved by hitting RTH. Third case failed but RTH was not pressed so we do not know if it would have succeeded.

This is where similarities end.

Case 1:
  • User sets max distance.
  • Spark flying towards home point during failsafe RTH stops at the max distance (flying outside in).
  • User does not try to fly away or do anything at all. He just hits RTH.
  • Spark crosses the fence and RTH is successful.

Case 2:
  • Spark somehow crosses into the restricted airspace (it shouldn’t but it does).
  • Pilot tries to get it out of the restricted space manually – he can not. Spark refuses to cross geofence from inside restricted area to outside.
  • User hits RTH and Spark flies out of restricted space and RTH is successful.

Case 3:
  • Spark flies within restricted space with no problems.
  • User directs Spark out of restricted space.
  • Spark tries to fly back to home point using automatic low-battery RTH. It cannot penetrate restricted space from outside in.
  • User cannot penetrate restricted space from outside in through manual actions.
  • User did not try to hit RTH so we do not know if this would have worked this time.
  • Chances are it would (as in two cases above) or that it wouldn’t because RTH would be trying to fly in, not out.

We have no idea and will not know until somebody tries this scenario again (as you suggested).

Mirek
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S-e-ven
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 09:53
S-e-ven,

Your thinking is very logical but truth is that we know what we know and the rest is just speculation (could be educated speculation but nevertheless speculation).

We need to get DJI to get kowal63 a new Spark, methinks!
Or he could try it on the other side with the mavic, perhaps
Other side meaning : flying from inside to outside where there is no water under it!
Trying to fly back in
Trying with RTH
Having someone waiting on the other side to pick up mavic, if RTH doesnt go in!
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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-7-13 09:11
Good to know, that active starting RTH will get it "over" the fence.

I had the Idea to start with RC, only, with setting 30m geofence in app before.

S-e-ven,

You say: "And thinking on it, it may logical that the fence is the fence, doesnt matter from which direction the spark comes: Till here and not further."

Yes - this is how DJI implemented it (based on the 3 cases we saw). But this is wrong implementation because it defeats the purpose of geo-fence in some, perhaps anomalous, situations. Instead of avoiding dangerous situations it creates dangerous situations.

DJI messed up here - their developers most likely did not foresee such situations.

Even with max limit set by user, Spark should know from which direction it is coming. If away from home point - than stop. If towards home point than fly and do not allow to fly out again.

Same with NFZ - if away - allow. And if you allowed to start within NFZ and your home point is within NFZ, than it is logical that you allow to come back and land.

Mirek

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Mirek6
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kowal63 Posted at 2018-7-13 09:09
absolutely...I have a Mavic Pro to....i always have to do an unlock to fly on the island that i live on....i cannot take off otherwise.....you can imagine the panic i was in when it hit the geofence on the way back....i had some stunning images of the ship "State of Maine"on it....i was heartbroken to lose those as well as spark.....i did all i could...thanks Mirek6

Kowal,

Two things:
  • Contact DJI for a warranty case - you should get new Spark
  • Do us a favour please (in return for our kindness in providing you with analysis of what happened :-)) and try what S-e-ven suggested in post 19 above.


This experiment (if you can do it) would prove 100% DJI programmed behaviour and how to get out of such situation.

Here is experiment:
  • Fly your Mavic from within NFZ
  • Fly out of NFZ (but not over water) and with somebody waiting for your Mavic there just in case
  • Try to fly back in manually (this attempt should fail as it failed with Spark).
  • While Mavic is on NFZ boundary and not able to get in, hit RTH and see if this procedure will allow Mavic to fly into NFZ and land at your home point


Forum would be gratefull :-).

Many thanks.

Mirek
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S-e-ven
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Just 800m south is a spot to try. Or "on the other side" of the NFZ.
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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-7-13 10:14
Just 800m south is a spot to try. Or "on the other side" of the NFZ.

Yeah - vicinity of Buckman Head is closest. Some good spots on north side of the island too.
BTW - Very nice island. Spot for a good vacation :-).

Mirek
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S-e-ven
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 10:02
S-e-ven,

You say: "And thinking on it, it may logical that the fence is the fence, doesnt matter from which direction the spark comes: Till here and not further."

Mirek, I think that a geofence and a max flight distance away from RC are two different things.
The geofence is protecting the inside from flying into it
The max distance thing is stopping the bird in a max distance from the RC.
Never mind from which direction. I guess the Spark (DJI drones) are just counting "100m is my stop"
If coming from 90 or from 120, never mind: Stop at 100.
You could even get it back in, with moving 10 or more meters over the starting HP and towards the bird and changing the HP to RC. Drone would be in and fly backwards home. But not further as this 10  or more meters from before the outside

But that would not affect the geofence.
Which is a shield around a no fly area.

But anyway, I thinktoo,  it is a bug in the Go4 app.
He had the geofence area unlocked. So it should not make a difference, if you wanna fly INTO it from outside, or out and back in.
I would open a case with DJI, too.
And think, that should get him another Spark
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S-e-ven
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 10:31
Yeah - vicinity of Buckman Head is closest. Some good spots on north side of the island too.
BTW - Very nice island. Spot for a good vacation :-).

the unlucky thing, of this "just 800m south":
He could probably have made it to Buckman head.
Good to know next time
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kowal63
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I have flown my mavic pro and spark many times on the island i live on....i have to do an unlock every time...i know this....the unlocks use to last 3 days....they must have changed it to 24 hours....and it must have expired during mid-flight....the only thing i can think of....i fly in and out of the restricted zone all the time once unlocked...i cannot even takeoff without doing an unlock...so it must have expired from the previous day during mid flight
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Mirek6
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-7-13 10:32
Mirek, I think that a geofence and a max flight distance away from RC are two different things.
The geofence is protecting the inside from flying into it
The max distance thing is stopping the bird in a max distance from the RC.

S-e-ven,

You say: "But that would not affect the geofence."

But it does affect geo-fence around NFZ. In case number 2 the pilot could not fly out of the NFZ after (somehow) it managed to fly in. He only managed to fly out by invoking RTH. Manual attempts failed since Spark was stuck inside NFZ.
What differs case 2 from Kowal's case is that home point in Case 2 was outside of NFZ - not inside. But behaviour was identical from the other side as in max distance case (Case 1).

Mirek
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Mirek6
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kowal63 Posted at 2018-7-13 10:47
I have flown my mavic pro and spark many times on the island i live on....i have to do an unlock every time...i know this....the unlocks use to last 3 days....they must have changed it to 24 hours....and it must have expired during mid-flight....the only thing i can think of....i fly in and out of the restricted zone all the time once unlocked...i cannot even takeoff without doing an unlock...so it must have expired from the previous day during mid flight

Hmmm...

Makes sense. Still bad design on DJI part.

BTW - how does it work? What is the "unlock" procedure you are talking about?
When I fly close to NFZ I simply get a warning that I know about it, accept the risks and need to click on a little acknowledgement box and click continue. It happens every time I fly in a warning zone around NFZ so the expiry period is duration of flight.

How does your procedure work inside NFZ?

Mirek
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S-e-ven
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kowal63 Posted at 2018-7-13 10:47
I have flown my mavic pro and spark many times on the island i live on....i have to do an unlock every time...i know this....the unlocks use to last 3 days....they must have changed it to 24 hours....and it must have expired during mid-flight....the only thing i can think of....i fly in and out of the restricted zone all the time once unlocked...i cannot even takeoff without doing an unlock...so it must have expired from the previous day during mid flight

Ok, do you have the time from unlocking it and does that is about 24h before the event?
But still, I think a DJI mistake.
A unlock, if "in use", mid air, should not lock the bird out.
After a landing, however .....
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S-e-ven
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 11:11
S-e-ven,

You say: "But that would not affect the geofence."

yep, you are right.
The meaning of  "would not affect" was: You could walk as many meters towards the nfc, probably even walk into it, but your bird would never be able to cross it.
But the auto RTH gets the drone only one way: to HP.
Which was probably more or less the direct way out of the nfz zone.

I just don't think, that a NFZ would let a RTH INTO  the NFZ happen.

Whuch we will never find out, mehinks



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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-7-13 11:22
Ok, do you have the time from unlocking it and does that is about 24h before the event?
But still, I think a DJI mistake.
A unlock, if "in use", mid air, should not lock the bird out.

it does indeed...was just about 24 hours the day before....that is the same thing i was thinking...i cannot even take off where i live with out a onlinel unlock....it is an island with a small airport yellow zone...so i have to do an unlock everytime...unless i leave town.....it must have re-engaged the geozone in midair....why would they write code to do this?.....sad
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kowal63
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 11:19
Hmmm...

Makes sense. Still bad design on DJI part.

you get a prompt that you are in a NFZ...and gives you the option to unlock it...when you agree to the terms...unlock via cell or wifi
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S-e-ven
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Isn't there a option to unlock permanent? With paperwork from the airport, prove or such?

But still, "why would they write code to do this?.....sad" is exactely the point, to open a case with DJI
I am a bit wondering that no Admin showed up here, yet
It a good case for good image.
Aside that the coders probably need to check, if a geozone would reactivate midair and get the pilot in trouble!
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kowal63 Posted at 2018-7-13 11:32
you get a prompt that you are in a NFZ...and gives you the option to unlock it...when you agree to the terms...unlock via cell or wifi

OK - still DJI problem.

The way I understand it from your description, you request unlock via DJI GO App. DJI GO App does something online and updates some databases and accepts that it can let you fly inside NFZ. This is all fine and correct. It also knows that your unlock has an expiry time on it and when this time expires Spark firmware or DJI GO software will not let Spark fly in the NFZ.

The only problem is - as you mentioned - what happens when your permission expires mid-flight. DJI should be smart enough to let you land at your home point inside NFZ or, should be smart enough not to let you take off from NFZ perhaps 30 minutes before your permission expires to avoid situation you ran into.
BTW, what would happen if permission expired while you were inside NFZ but far away from your home point? Would it let you fly in the NFZ back to HP? Would it force AC to land? Would it shut off motors in mid flight? (just kidding here :-)).  

In any case - everything which we say here just confirms strong warranty case.

Mirek   
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-7-13 11:52
Isn't there a option to unlock permanent? With paperwork from the airport, prove or such?

But still, "why would they write code to do this?.....sad" is exactely the point, to open a case with DJI

Admins did not show up yet because they are busy consulting with their lawyers now :-).

Time to call 1-818-235-0789 and open the case (they are open until 5:00pm PST)

Mirek
2018-7-13
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LouisP
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It certainly sounds like a bug in the software.  I am not sure if the unlock expired during flight though.   The software may only check for existence of an unlock on takeoff.  Once in the air if you fly out of the restricted area and then attempt to fly back in, it may not bother to try to check to see if you have unlocked the zone.   Certainly something that DJI needs to look into.  
2018-7-13
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kowal63
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Mirek6 Posted at 2018-7-13 12:01
OK - still DJI problem.

The way I understand it from your description, you request unlock via DJI GO App. DJI GO App does something online and updates some databases and accepts that it can let you fly inside NFZ. This is all fine and correct. It also knows that your unlock has an expiry time on it and when this time expires Spark firmware or DJI GO software will not let Spark fly in the NFZ.

I have never had this problem before...as i said...if i don't do an online unlock i cannot take off.....my guess is if it expired in flight... if in a  NFZ zone it would land wherever it was....a bug for sure...it makes no sense
2018-7-13
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stuka75
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Curious as to why a small unmanned airport would have a Geofence(no fly zone)?
2018-7-13
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kowal63
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stuka75 Posted at 2018-7-13 17:44
Curious as to why a small unmanned airport would have a Geofence(no fly zone)?

there is no control tower there
2018-7-13
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stuka75
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Flight distance : 85660 ft
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NO control tower here, either. Just supposed  to inform airportif I'm going to fly since I'm  within five miles. I would think  you'd be under the same situation. Odd. Anyway hope DJI comes through for you.
2018-7-14
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