Let us upload. Let us view. Let Us Drone. After many frustrating hours of trying to view and share my DJI flight logs with DJI Assistant 2, I decided to check out Airdata UAV after hearing a lot of positive feedback from the drone community. Not only am I thrilled that I started using Airdata UAV to view and share my flight logs (it's straightforward and intuitive), but I fell in love with many of the other features the software has to offer, which I now use regularly.
When I started using Airdata UAV, I failed to find a walkthrough that was all-encompassing, which was my motivation for creating this post. Below, you'll find that I do my best to be comprehensive while providing my feedback on highlights of the software.
Some of the features you see during this tutorial may not be available with the free account. To learn about what features are available at each subscription tier, you will need to visit the upgrade page at Airdata UAV.
*This is not a sponsored post, and the thoughts expressed are my own. The crew at Airdata UAV were kind enough to offer a discount for readers of Let Us Drone. Coupon details are at the bottom of this post.
What is Airdata UAV?
Airdata UAV is a cloud drone management system that was founded in 2015 with the mission of providing pilots with crash-prevention information.
The features of Airdata UAV have expanded dramatically since the companies inception, and pilots are now able to get a comprehensive look at the behavior of their drone(s). From reviewing and sharing their latest flight logs, to keeping maintenance records, to creating reports, the features of Airdata UAV are rich and complete.
My top 5 favorite Airdata UAV features
Before I give you a complete walkthrough of the software, I'd like to share my top five favorite features that make Airdata UAV genuinely remarkable. These five features are why I spent many hours creating this monster of a post. Spoiler alert…it was worth it!
1- Flight logs are easy to sync and view.
2- Flight logs are simple to share and download.
3- Organized drones, batteries, and pilots.
4- Convenient maintenance records and reminders.
5- Templates for ease of creating reports.
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I'm going to walk you through all of the features that Airdata UAV has to offer, but if you'd like to follow along, you'll need to first create a free account.
After you've done that you will have access to the main dashboard where we can explore what Airdata UAV has to offer. The image below is what the main dashboard looks like.
How to upload flight logs to Airdata UAV
Have you ever been frustrated by the process of transferring your drone flight logs to your computer? You have to connect either the drone or your mobile device to your computer with a USB cable, then stumble your way through a process that isn't all that intuitive if transferring flight logs isn't on your daily to-do list.
With Airdata UAV, transferring your flight logs is incredibly easy. You have two options to upload the flight logs; you can upload them manually or have them be automatically uploaded.
Manual flight log upload
You can choose individual or select flights that you would like to upload and drag and drop them in an “upload” box on the Airdata UAV site. The following is a list of apps and software that you can retrieve the flight logs from:
- DJI GO (iOS or Android)
- DJI GS Pro (iOS)
- DJI DAT
- Pix4D Capture
Included on the Airdata UAV site are instructions for manually uploading flight logs from the above-listed programs.
Automatic flight log upload
The easiest and most convenient way to upload flight logs to Airdata UAV is to have them automatically uploaded. Airdata UAV has made a way for you to have your flight logs automatically uploaded if you are using one of the following programs:
- DJI GO/ DJI Pilot/ Crystalsky/ HD Sync
- Maps Made Easy
- Ultimate Flight
You will need to go through the process of getting a token to verify that you would like to give Airdata UAV permission to retrieve your flight logs from the app you are using. Once verified, there is no need to plug your drone or phone into the computer as you can upload the flight logs to the cloud with one tap. You can even set it up to where the flights are automatically synced daily, which I'll demonstrate below.
Each app has slightly different upload and verification methods, so refer to the Airdata UAV site for app-specific instructions.
Since DJI GO 4 is the most common app used for flying your DJI drone, I'll go ahead and show you how easy it is to automatically upload flight logs from DJI GO 4 to Airdata UAV. There are two ways to do this.
Option #1 for automatically uploading flight logs from GO 4 to Airdata UAV
The first way we can automatically upload flight logs from DJI GO 4 to Airdata UAV is via the HD Sync app.
Step 1: Download the HD Sync app (available for iOS and Android).
Step #2: Open the Airdata UAV HD Sync app and enter your DJI GO username and password, and click “verify DJI login”.
Step #3: After your DJI login credentials have been verified, click on the “Airdata token” link for instructions on how to get the token from the Airdata UAV website. Insert the token and tap “verify token”.
Step #4: Next, you get to choose how many flights you'd like to upload. It is very imperative that you sync the flight logs in the GO app first before you sync them here (refer to the images below on how to do that). Lastly, tap “sync now” to have the flights begin uploading to Airdata UAV.
Option #2 for automatically uploading flight logs from GO 4 to Airdata UAV
An even more convenient way to upload your DJI GO 4 flight logs to Airdata AUV is to set up periodic automatic uploads. Let's go ahead and see what that looks like below.
Step #1: Click on “my account,” which is on the top menu of the Airdata UAV website.
Step #2: Click on “DJI login” under the flight retrieval section on the left-hand side.
Step #3: Now you'll need to click on “Add a new DJI login”.
Step #4: When you've successfully logged in with your DJI credentials, Airdata UAV will ask if you'd like to sync the flight logs. Click “ok” to have all of the flight logs begin syncing.
As you can see in the description, “flights will automatically synchronize daily when you view your flight list. Otherwise, automatic synchronization will occur weekly”.
The ease of uploading flight logs is honestly one of my favorite features of Airdata UAV. It was the frustration of attempting to upload the flight logs with DJI Assistant 2 that led me to search for a more efficient process. I had heard about Airdata UAV from a few others, so I decided to check it out for myself. Airdata UAV's system of uploading flight logs is second to none, and I am thoroughly impressed with their software.
How to view flight logs with Airdata UAV
I think we can all agree that the most important thing we can do while flying is to ensure the safety of those around us, our personal safety, and the safety of our drones.
A variety of external and internal factors play a part in ensuring safe flight operations. Some of those factors are our environment, aircraft and remote controller status, and battery information. With Airdata UAV, we can analyze our flights to determine what caused errors, why the battery life was significantly decreased during a flight, what the wind was like, and more.
I'm going to walk you through selecting and analyzing a flight. We'll choose one of my recent flights as an example. For the sake of time, I won't go through every piece of data we can analyze (there are a ton), but I'll show you the highlights.
Select the “my logs” tab in the top menu bar after you have synced your flight logs with Airdata UAV, and you will see a list of recent flight logs on the left-hand side of the screen. I chose one of my past flights, and you can see it displayed in the center of the screen.
Every piece of data that you could possibly want about the flight you currently have selected will be available in the center of the screen, pictured below. There are five tabs on the left side that you can scroll through, and some top menu tabs you can select from which change depending on which left-hand tab you currently have selected.
Under the general tab, you get an overview of the flight with a glance at information like the total flight time, takeoff and landing percentages, time and date of the flight, max speed/altitude/distance, battery temp, and more.
You can choose between map and satellite views when viewing your flight tracks.
When I have the general tab selected, the top menu tab that I find to be extremely valuable is the notification tab. This is where you can get a play-by-play walkthrough of the flight, with notifications and errors included.
The next tab down is the power tab, where we can view the efficiency of the aircraft, battery cells, see a cell graph, review volts/amps, and view the battery info for that flight.
If you suspect that your drone isn't achieving acclaimed flights times or your flight times aren't as long as they used to be, this is the section for you to review.
We then come to the sensors section, where we get an overview of the GPS and compass signal strength. If you are getting a lot of interference or are having poor signal problems, this is the section to analyze.
The map will show you the exact location where signals were weak or lost, which really helps in determining what the cause of the weak signal was.
Under the controls tab, we get to see our ruder response times. This is the time it takes for the aircraft to respond to our commands. As you can see, there is a graph to show you how quick your rudder response times are, and if those response times are good or bad. Response times can be affected by environmental factors such as turbulence or air density.
We also see the right and left rudder response times. If the drone turns one way a lot quicker than the other, it could be due to environmental factors, but this could also be an indication that the propellors are worn out and need to be replaced.
I find it incredibly useful to review every piece of weather information I could possibly want. We get a snapshot of what the ground weather was like for that flight, along with in-flight wind readings, a kp index (measures geometric disruption), and more.
I especially find the wind map useful, which shows us what direction the wind was blowing, what the wind speed was at, your distance from the home point, and current altitude at any given time during the flight.
Wind map information is useful when cross-comparing data to determine the cause of errors or unusual drone behavior.
Lastly, we come to the media section where the pictures and thumbnails of videos we took will appear. It's important to note that only a preview of the photo and video thumbnails will be shown, as the full resolution media is stored on the SD card. You can also see the exact location where pictures and videos were taken on the map.
In my opinion, the most beneficial part of this media section is being able to upload media to this flight log.
If you want to have someone help you analyze your flight log to find out why you are receiving a particular error or notification, taking screenshots of those specific errors will be helpful. Upload those screenshots here, and along with the other data you choose to share, they will be better equipped to help you analyze the log.
How to share flight logs using Airdata UAV
If you would like to have other people help you analyze your flight log or figure out what is causing a particular problem, you will need to share the log with them.
Sharing flight logs using Airdata UAV is incredibly easy to do. To share a flight log with someone, you will need to first go to your flight logs list.
Select the flight log you would like to share from the list on the left-hand side. Once the flight log is front and center on the screen, tap the share icon in the top righthand corner.
Clicking on the share icon will bring up a page where you can choose what information you would like to share. I strongly recommend that you don't include any personal information when sharing the log. After you have selected which information you would like to share, click on “create a unique sharing link” at the bottom.
Airdata UAV will create a unique URL that you can copy and paste wherever you'd like for others to view. You can also see a list of flight logs that you have shared under “my shares”.
If you have an enterprise account with Airdata UAV you can share multiple flights simultaneously by selecting them from the list on the left-hand side and under the “actions” drop-down menu you can click “sent flights to” and enter the email of the recipient.
How to download flight logs with Airdata UAV
To download a flight log to your computer you will need to first select it by going to the “my logs” tab, then to “flights”. Click on the flight you want to download to bring it to the center screen.
Underneath the map, of the flight you will see where it lets you download the file in the following formats: KML, GPX, CSV, and original.
KML and GPX are file types that will only be available to view if you have Google Earth.
A CSV (common-separated value) file can be opened in a program such as Excel or Google Sheets. This is the most common way to download a flight log as it is easy to decipher when opened. Below is a picture of a flight that was downloaded in the CSV format.
The original file will be downloaded as a .txt file and will look like gibberish if you don't have a program to view it. Here is what a .txt file looks like.
We cannot select and download multiple flights simultaneously at this time, but I recently saw a correspondence from Airdata UAV stating that this feature was “on the road map”.
How to view battery logs with Airdata UAV
Now that I've walked you through the process of analyzing and sharing drone flight logs let's learn how to view helpful battery information.
When you select the “batteries” tab on the top menu, a list of batteries you have flown with will be displayed on the left-hand side. You can delete old batteries that you no longer use to declutter this list if you'd like. Think of this area like a battery garage.
Choose which battery you would like to see stats for from the list on the left. This will bring up an overview of that batteries information, such as the type, model, when it was used last, what it's overall battery life is, the serial number, and more. You can also edit the battery details if they are incorrect for whatever reason by clicking on “edit battery details” above the picture of the battery.
In the usage tab, you get a snapshot of helpful information on that particular battery, like how many flights have been logged using that battery, the total air time, average flight time, how many times that battery has been charged, along with other data.
I love the flight history tab due to the immense value it adds in reviewing the overall health and history of the battery.
As you can see in the picture below, a list of every flight logged for that battery will be displayed. The overall battery life, takeoff charge, landing charge, air time, and charge counter will be shown next to each flight.
Having detailed battery information at your disposal will assist you in finding behavioral or notification trends. You can click on any of the flights that were logged with that battery to view in-depth as I demonstrated in the above section.
If you fly with Litchi or another app besides DJI GO/GO 4, those apps may use an encrypted serial number to represent that battery, instead of the actual serial number printed on the battery. The “merge” section allows you to combine the information of two different batteries listed if you are sure that they are indeed the same battery, but are just being shown as different batteries due to differing serial numbers.
As a way to keep records clean and organized for a particular battery, you can upload them in the “documents” tab. Examples of records you may want to keep are receipts, manuals, warranties, repairs, or maintenance records.
The service tab gives you a glance of what recommended service is due. The maintenance section which we will get into below shows you the maintenance that is due for all of your equipment, but this service status section is just for the battery you have selected.
Maintaining your DJI batteries is incredibly essential, and I highly recommend that you check out this post I wrote on battery maintenance.
When you perform maintenance on your battery, you can log it under “perform service” on the righthand side, and this will be saved under the “history” tab.
Because it gets pretty technical, I won't get into each tab of the trends section, but this is helpful to see how the overall health of your battery is, and how the battery is aging.
You can view the battery health, the efficiency of the battery, deviations, and temperature data. I do appreciate that Airdata UAV shows how your battery is performing compared to others, and they provide high and low ranges for crucial metrics.
A virtual drone garage
In the section above, I showed you how Airdata UAV keeps a list of batteries. Well, this section is where we have a list of drones that we use, displayed on the left-hand side.
When you select a drone from the list on the left-hand side, it will be displayed in the center of the screen, and you will be shown an overview of the selected drone. The summary will show you the drones registration number, serial number, when the drone was bought and last used, along with some other helpful information.
The next tab to the right is the “usage” tab which gives you a snapshot of general drone data, such as the total flights on record, total air time, average air time per flight, total mileage, total log time, and the max temperature the drone has reached.
You can click on the max temperature, and it will take you to the flight that temperature was reached. This helps in determining what the cause of the high temp because you can view the weather, warnings, elevation, and more for that flight in the flight log.
You may wonder why you would click on the next tab over, titled “flight history”, instead of going to the “flights”‘ section to view the logs. Well, if you have more than one drone, this is an easy way to view the flights from each drone, separately. Click on any of the flights to be taken to the log where you can analyze to your heart's content.
As mentioned above with the batteries, you can merge two different drones data if they are being displayed as two when, in reality, they are the same drone. Using a third party app like Litchi may cause the serial number to display as an encrypted one, tricking Airdata UAV into thinking there are two different drones. Use the merge tab to combine the data to provide consistency.
Just like with the batteries, you can upload documents for record keeping purposes. Click on the documents tab and upload any receipts, repairs, or other relevant material that you would like to keep track of.
You get an oil change on your car every few thousand miles, don't you? If you're extra responsible, you take the time to put the oil change receipt in your glove box or snap a picture of it and save it electronically.
Airdata UAV provided an “electronic glovebox” where we can store our drones service records. Under this service section, you will find a list of recommended service to be completed at varying intervals with a counter to let you know when an upcoming service should be on your radar.
In the tab to the right, you will find a list of your previously completed maintenance. Completing routine maintenance and keeping a record of it will not only extend the life of your drone, but a prospective buyer would undoubtedly appreciate the record keeping as it demonstrates a responsible drone pilot that cares about his/her equipment.
How to view maintenance records on Airdata UAV
In the above sections, I showed you how to log maintenance for your drones and batteries, and you can also see a history of the maintenance you completed for individual drones and batteries under their respective sections.
In addition to that, Airdata UAV dedicated a section to maintenance records where we can view all of the maintenance completed on all of our equipment. Pretty awesome!
When you select the “maintenance” tab in the top bar, you will see a list on the left which displays “all, batteries, drones, and others”. Refer to the image below where I selected “drones”, and clicked on “Trevors P4 Advance/basic”. That maintenance record that I chose is now displayed in the center of the screen.
The tab to the right titled “flights included in service” will show you a list of flights that were completed within that service period. This information can help determine when and why problems or errors starting occurring.
Creating reports with Airdata UAV
Airdata UAV has provided a section where we can create and store reports to make the process a breeze.
There are currently three report templates that you can choose from: standard flight report, FAA COA (certificate of waiver), and maintenance.
Select one of the templates to begin formulating your report. Depending on which report you are creating you have the option to choose which flights to include/exclude, fields to display, how the data is sorted, and more.
Completed reports will be saved in the “my reports” section, but you can also download them to your computer as CSV or PDF files.
Be alerted by Airdata UAV when there is a problem or maintenance due
Have you ever gotten an email saying that you were signed in on an unknown device? This is basically your email provider saying “hey, you've never signed in on that device before, take action if that wasn't you”.
Just like Google protects my Gmail account, Airdata UAV protects your drone by sending you email alerts when something out of the ordinary is triggered.
As of right now, there are four different trigger types:
- Equipment- You can set triggers if your equipment deviates from its normal operating parameters. For instance, you can create a trigger if the battery exceeds a preset temperature. If the battery exceeds that temperature on a flight, an email will be sent to you with details on the flight.
- Pilot Behavior- This section is great if you are running a drone business with a team of pilots. To ensure that your pilots are following regulations and being safe, you can choose to be notified if the pilots operate outside of your preset parameters. An example of this is if the pilot exceeds 400ft in altitude, you can be aware that they are potentially breaking the rules (depending on the specific circumstance, of course).
- Due- It's helpful to have reminders on when maintenance is due, and it gets tough to remember the due dates when you have to keep track of multiple drones/batteries. Use this section to send you emails when necessary maintenance is due.
- Due Soon- The difference between this section and the one above is that you will be notified before the maintenance is due if you set an alert in this section. Not a bad idea if you want to stay ahead of it.
Keep a list of pilots in Airdata UAV
If you run a business with multiple drone pilots, it would be helpful to be able to view each of the flights that every pilot has flown. Airdata UAV has dedicated a section where you can add pilots to your list, and data such as how many hours the pilot has flown, days since they flew last, and how many total flights they have will be displayed here.
Why would I need Airdata UAV?
You may be wondering if you really need to use a drone management system like the one Airdata UAV has to offer. The answer to that is different for everyone, as we are all in different circumstances. Could you get by without using a drone management system? Sure, but the benefits of using one are pretty high, especially since it's free to have an account with Airdata UAV.
I would say that Airdata UAV enables pilots to operate as responsibly and safely as possible by providing a plethora of maintenance schedules and flight analytics, along with many other helpful tools.
We are all in different places of our drone journeys, and thus have different needs for drone management systems. I would strongly recommend that even the brand new pilot try out Airdata UAV, at least with the free account.
What's the difference between the free and paid subscriptions?
It is free to sign up with Airdata UAV. Including the free account, there are currently five tiers, with more options available with each tier increase.
One big difference between the free and paid subscriptions is the number of active flights you can have synced with Airdata UAV. The free account will allow you to have 100 flights synced, and the next tier up will enable you to have 400 flights synced. Climb all of the ways up to the enterprise account and the number of flights you're able to sync is unlimited.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, some of the sections that I walked you through won't be available to someone using a free account. To learn more about what is included with each tier, visit the pricing page on Airdata UAV's website here.
I would recommend that you start with the free account to see if you like what Airdata UAV has to offer, and jump up to a paid plan if you're finding it to be useful.
If you do decide to upgrade to a paid plan, Airdata UAV was kind enough to offer readers of Let Us Drone a 20% discount on any HD 360 plan. Type in the code on the upgrade page to receive the discount.
As to not misspeak, here is a direct quote I receive from Airdata UAV on applying the coupon code: “Our coupons are applied only for the first payment, so while it works for monthly plans, the best value is with the yearly subscriptions. It will also work if you used it on monthly, and then you want to switch to yearly: you can re-apply it when you switch, and the system will automatically credit any unused time of the monthly plan, so there is no double payment.”
Under “my logs”, click on “flights” and select the flight you want to share. Click on the green share icon in the top righthand corner.
You can manually upload flight logs by dragging and dropping them onto the “upload” page, or you can automatically upload them using the HD Sync app. You can also have them upload periodically on their own. Refer to the blog post for detailed instructions on uploading flight logs.
View your flight logs under “my logs” > “flights”.
Go to “my logs” > “batteries”.
Under “my logs” > “maintenance”.
Click on “my logs”, then on “reports” to create a report.
The three report templates currently available are standard flight report, FAA COA report, and maintenance report.
You are emailed (alerted) when the drone/battery operates outside of preset parameters (i.e. battery over 140 degrees).
Yes, you are able to add multiple pilots with some of the paid subscriptions.
Yes, you can review the temperature, wind speed, kp index, humidity, visibility, and more.
At this time you cannot download multiple flights simultaneously, but the crew at Airdata UAV is working on it.
If you have the enterprise account you can share multiple flights.
After using Airdata UAV's software for the first time, I was kicking myself for not checking it out sooner. I have made notes in my iPhone notes app, attempted to keep physical receipts and fumbled my way through other flight log viewers that simply do not compare to Airdata UAV.
If you are looking for a way to keep your drone operations safe and organized, I highly recommend checking out Airdata UAV. They even have a forum which the moderators are regularly active on dedicated to answering questions that people have about the software. Have you used Airdata UAV? If so, what has your experience been?