Flight Part 1 - Flight Modes

Flight Modes

Astro offers several flight modes with varying levels of assistance to the pilot.

Flight mode can be changed via the buttons on the Pilot Pro/Herelink or the AMC app on the handset/PC. See the documentation for the equipment you're using to become familiar with the buttons/switches involved.

Manual Mode may be necessary to react to emergency situations. Pilots should be proficient in Manual Mode. Position, Altitude, and Return Mode are assistive only and are not a replacement for pilot skill and preparedness.

Always neutralize the control input sticks on the pilot handset when switching between control modes to prevent unexpected aircraft movement.

Pilot-controlled Modes

In Position Mode, when the sticks are centered, the aircraft will maintain its position over a point on the ground and maintain altitude, correcting for disturbances.

In Position Mode, the pitch/roll stick commands the speed of the drone relative to the ground. The further upward the pitch/roll stick, the faster Astro will fly forward. When the pitch/roll stick is pulled downward, Astro will fly backward. Similarly, the pitch/roll stick will move the drone in the left and right directions when moved to the left and right.

The throttle stick commands vertical speed. The further upward the throttle stick, the faster Astro will climb. Conversely, the lower the throttle stick position, the faster Astro will descend. Deflecting the throttle stick left and right controls the yaw rate, with the speed of rotation proportional to stick deflection.

Position Mode requires a strong GPS signal. If a weak signal is present, Astro will not enter Position Mode.

If the signal deteriorates, such as near buildings or under dense tree cover, the aircraft will automatically revert to Altitude mode.

Flight using Position Mode in areas of degraded GPS signal, such as near buildings or under dense tree cover, is not recommended. The automatic reversion to Altitude Mode can cause unexpected, abrupt changes in flight behavior.

Autonomous Modes

Return Mode commands Astro to climb to the Return Altitude, fly back to the Home Point in a straight line, and land. Return Mode requires GPS.

Return Altitude is set by the pilot at AMC > Vehicle Setup > Safety. Please note that if Astro is above the Return Altitude when Return Mode is initiated, it will maintain altitude instead of dropping to the return altitude.

The Home Point is set to the GPS coordinates where Astro is armed. Home Point is reset every time Astro is armed.

By default, Return Mode is activated automatically by some Failsafes.

Before every flight, think through the path the aircraft will take if Return Mode is activated, and adjust settings to arrange for safe behavior.

For example, activating Return Mode while flying under an obstacle lower than the Return Altitude will cause a collision when the aircraft attempts to climb to Return Altitude. In some cases, it may be possible to set a lower Return Altitude, and in other cases, it may not be possible to use Return Mode.

It is possible to change from Return to Position Mode by moving the sticks, except if Return Mode was activated by the low battery failsafe. In that case, press another flight mode button to change out of Return Mode.

In most cases, RTL mode will travel to the predetermined RTL altitude, travel over the home point, and automatically descend to land. However, if the aircraft is close to the home point, the behavior will be slightly different in order to save time and reduce the amount of distance Astro will need to move.

  • If Astro is directly over the home point at the time of RTL, it will land without gaining altitude regardless of its current altitude.

  • If Astro is within a few meters of the home point, it will move directly above the home point and begin landing.

  • If Astro is within 20m altitude and less than 20m ground distance from the home point, it will go to 20m altitude, move over the home point, and land.

  • If Astro is between 20-35m altitude and less than 20m ground distance from the home point, it will maintain altitude, move over home point, and land.

  • If Astro is more than 35m altitude or more than 20m ground distance from the home point, it will go to the set RTL altitude, move over the home point, and land.

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