Plan File Format

Plan files are stored in JSON file format and contain mission items and (optional) geo-fence and rally-points. Below you can see the top level format of a Plan file

This is "near-minimal" - a plan must contain at least one mission item. The plan fence and rally points are also used in modes when no mission is running.

{
    "fileType": "Plan",
    "geoFence": {
        "circles": [
        ],
        "polygons": [
        ],
        "version": 2
    },
    "groundStation": "QGroundControl",
    "mission": {
    },
    "rallyPoints": {
        "points": [
        ],
        "version": 2
    },
    "version": 1
}

The main fields are:

Key Description
version The version for this file. Current version is 1.
fileType Must be "Plan".
groundStation The name of the ground station which created this file (here QGroundControl)
mission The mission associated with this flight plan.
geoFence (Optional) Geofence information for this plan.
rallyPoints (Optional) Rally/Safe point information for this plan

Mission Object

The structure of the mission object is shown below. The items field contains a comma-separated list of mission items (it must contain at least one mission item, as shown below). The list may be a mix of both SimpleItem and ComplexItem objects.

    "mission": {
        "cruiseSpeed": 15,
        "firmwareType": 12,
        "hoverSpeed": 5,
        "items": [
            {
                "AMSLAltAboveTerrain": null,
                "Altitude": 50,
                "AltitudeMode": 0,
                "autoContinue": true,
                "command": 22,
                "doJumpId": 1,
                "frame": 3,
                "params": [
                    15,
                    0,
                    0,
                    null,
                    47.3985099,
                    8.5451002,
                    50
                ],
                "type": "SimpleItem"
            }
        ],
        "plannedHomePosition": [
            47.3977419,
            8.545594,
            487.989
        ],
        "vehicleType": 2,
        "version": 2
    },

The following values are required:

Key Description
version The version for the mission object. Current version is 2.
firmwareType The firmware type for which this mission was created. This is one of the MAV_AUTOPILOT enum values.
vehicleType The vehicle type for which this mission was created. This is one of the MAV_TYPE enum values.
cruiseSpeed The default forward speed for Fixed wing or VTOL vehicles (i.e. when moving between waypoints).
hoverSpeed The default forward speed for multi-rotor vehicles.
items The list of mission item objects associated with the mission . The list may contain either/both SimpleItem and ComplexItem objects.
plannedHomePosition The planned home position is shown on the map and used for mission planning when no vehicle is connected. The array values shown above are (from top): latitude, longitude and AMSL altitude.

The format of the simple and complex items is given below.

SimpleItem - Simple Mission Item

A simple item represents a single MAVLink MISSION_ITEM command.

            {
                "AMSLAltAboveTerrain": null,
                "Altitude": 50,
                "AltitudeMode": 0,
                "autoContinue": true,
                "command": 22,
                "doJumpId": 1,
                "frame": 3,
                "params": [
                    15,
                    0,
                    0,
                    null,
                    47.3985099,
                    8.5451002,
                    50
                ],
                "type": "SimpleItem"
            }

The field mapping is shown below.

Key Description
type SimpleItem for a simple item
AMSLAltAboveTerrain Altitude value shown to the user.
Altitude
AltitudeMode
autoContinue MISSION_ITEM.autoContinue
command The command (MAV_CMD) for this mission item - see MISSION_ITEM.command.
doJumpId The target id for the current mission item in DO_JUMP commands. These are auto-numbered from 1.
frame MAV_FRAME (see MISSION_ITEM.frame)
params MISSION_ITEM.param1,2,3,4,x,y,z (values depends on the particular MAV_CMD).

Complex Mission Item

A complex item is a higher level encapsulation of multiple MISSION_ITEM objects treated as a single entity.

There are currently three types of complex mission items:

Survey - Complex Mission Item

The object definition for a Survey complex mission item is given below.

{
                "TransectStyleComplexItem": {
                    ...
                },
                "angle": 0,
                "complexItemType": "survey",
                "entryLocation": 0,
                "flyAlternateTransects": false,
                "polygon": [
                    [
                        -37.75170619863631,
                        144.98414811224316
                    ],
                    ...
                    [
                        -37.75170619863631,
                        144.99457681259048
                    ]
                ],
                "type": "ComplexItem",
                "version": 4
            },

Complex items have these values associated with them:

Key Description
version The version number for this survey definition. Current version is 3.
type ComplexItem (this is a complex item).
complexItemType survey
TransectStyleComplexItem The common base definition for Survey and CorridorScan complex items.
angle The angle for the transect paths (degrees).
entryLocation ?
flyAlternateTransects If true, the vehicle will skip every other transect and then come back at the end and fly these alternates. This can be used for fixed wing aircraft whn the turnaround would be too acute for the vehicle to make the turn.
polygon The polygon array which represents the polygonal survey area. Each point is a latitude, longitude pair for a polygon vertex.

Corridor Scan

The object definition for a CorridorScan complex mission item is given below.

            {
                "CorridorWidth": 50,
                "EntryPoint": 0,
                "TransectStyleComplexItem": {
                    ...
                    },
                },
                "complexItemType": "CorridorScan",
                "polyline": [
                    [
                        -37.75234887156983,
                        144.9893624624168
                    ],
                    ...
                    [
                        -37.75491914850321,
                        144.9893624624168
                    ]
                ],
                "type": "ComplexItem",
                "version": 2
            },
Key Description
version The version for this CorridorScan definition. Current version is 3.
type ComplexItem (this is a complex item).
complexItemType CorridorScan
CorridorWidth ?
EntryPoint ?
TransectStyleComplexItem The common base definition for Survey and CorridorScan complex items.
polyline ?

Structure Scan

The object definition for a StructureScan complex mission item is given below.

            {
                "Altitude": 50,
                "CameraCalc": {
                    "AdjustedFootprintFrontal": 25,
                    "AdjustedFootprintSide": 25,
                    "CameraName": "Manual (no camera specs)",
                    "DistanceToSurface": 10,
                    "DistanceToSurfaceRelative": true,
                    "version": 1
                },
                "Layers": 1,
                "StructureHeight": 25,
                "altitudeRelative": true,
                "complexItemType": "StructureScan",
                "polygon": [
                    [
                        -37.753184359536355,
                        144.98879374063998
                    ],
                    ...
                    [
                        -37.75408368012594,
                        144.98879374063998
                    ]
                ],
                "type": "ComplexItem",
                "version": 2
            }
Key Description
version The version for this StructureScan definition. Current version is 2.
type ComplexItem (this is a complex item).
complexItemType StructureScan
Altitude ?
CameraCalc ?
Layers ?
StructureHeight ?
altitudeRelative true: altitude is relative to home, false: altitude is AMSL.
polygon ?

TransectStyleComplexItem

TransectStyleComplexItem contains the common base definition for survey and CorridorScan complex items.

                "TransectStyleComplexItem": {
                    "CameraCalc": {
                        ...
                    },
                    "CameraTriggerInTurnAround": true,
                    "FollowTerrain": false,
                    "HoverAndCapture": false,
                    "Items": [
                        ...
                    ],
                    "Refly90Degrees": false,
                    "TurnAroundDistance": 10,
                    "VisualTransectPoints": [
                        [
                            -37.75161626657736,
                            144.98414811224316
                        ],
                        ...
                        [
                            -37.75565155437309,
                            144.99438539496475
                        ]
                    ],
                    "version": 1
                },
Key Description
version The version for this TransectStyleComplexItem definition. Current version is 1.
CameraCalc ?
CameraTriggerInTurnAround ? (boolean)
FollowTerrain ? (boolean)
HoverAndCapture ? (boolean)
Items ?
Refly90Degrees ? (boolean)
TurnAroundDistance The distance to fly past the polygon edge prior to turning for the next transect.
VisualTransectPoints ?
CameraCalc

The CameraCalc contains camera information used for a survey, corridor or structure scan.

                    "CameraCalc": {
                        "AdjustedFootprintFrontal": 272.4,
                        "AdjustedFootprintSide": 409.2,
                        "CameraName": "Sony ILCE-QX1",
                        "DistanceToSurface": 940.6896551724138,
                        "DistanceToSurfaceRelative": true,
                        "FixedOrientation": false,
                        "FocalLength": 16,
                        "FrontalOverlap": 70,
                        "ImageDensity": 25,
                        "ImageHeight": 3632,
                        "ImageWidth": 5456,
                        "Landscape": true,
                        "MinTriggerInterval": 0,
                        "SensorHeight": 15.4,
                        "SensorWidth": 23.2,
                        "SideOverlap": 70,
                        "ValueSetIsDistance": false,
                        "version": 1
                    },
Key Description
version The version for this CameraCalc definition. Current version is 1.
AdjustedFootprintFrontal ?
AdjustedFootprintSide ?
DistanceToSurface ? Units?
DistanceToSurfaceRelative ?
CameraName Name of camera being used (must correspond to one of the cameras known to QGroundControl or: Manual (no camera specs) for manual setup, Custom Camera for a custom setup. The keys listed after this point are not specified for a "Manual" camera definition.
FixedOrientation ? (boolean)
FocalLength Focal length of camera lens in millimeters.
FrontalOverlap Percentage of frontal image overlap.
ImageDensity ?
ImageHeight Image height in px
ImageWidth Image width in px
Landscape true: Camera installed in landscape orientation on vehicle, false: Camera installed in portrait orientation on vehicle.
MinTriggerInterval ?
SensorHeight Sensor height in millimeters.
SensorWidth Sensor width in millimeters.
SideOverlap Percentage of side image overlap.
ValueSetIsDistance ? (boolean)

GeoFence

Geofence information is optional. The plan can contain an arbitrary number of geofences defined in terms of polygons and circles.

The minimal definition is shown below.

    "geoFence": {
        "circles": [
        ],
        "polygons": [
        ],
        "version": 2
    },

The fields are:

Key Description
version The version number for the geofence plan format. The documented version is 2.
circles List containing circle geofence definitions (comma separated).
polygons List containing polygon geofence definitions (comma separated).

Circle Geofence

Each circular geofence is defined in a separate item, as shown below (multiple comma-separated items can be defined). The items define the centre and radius of the circle, and whether or not the specific geofence is activated.

            {
                "circle": {
                    "center": [
                        47.39756763610029,
                        8.544649762407738
                    ],
                    "radius": 319.85
                },
                "inclusion": true,
                "version": 1
            }

The fields are:

Key Description
version The version number for the geofence "circle" plan format. The documented version is 1.
circle The definition of the circle. Includes centre (latitude, longitude) and radisu as shown above.
inclusion Whether or not the geofence is enabled (true) or disabled.

Polygon Geofence

Each polygon geofence is defined in a separate item, as shown below (multiple comma-separated items can be defined). The geofence includes a set of points defined with a clockwise winding (i.e. they must enclose an area).

            {
                "inclusion": true,
                "polygon": [
                    [
                        47.39807773798406,
                        8.543834631785785
                    ],
                    [
                        47.39983519888905,
                        8.550024648373267
                    ],
                    [
                        47.39641100087146,
                        8.54499282423751
                    ],
                    [
                        47.395590322265186,
                        8.539435808992085
                    ]
                ],
                "version": 1
            }
        ],
        "version": 2
    }

The fields are:

Key Description
version The version number for the geofence "polygon" plan format. The documented version is 2.
polygon A list of points for the polygon. Each point contains a latitude and longitude. The points are ordered in a clockwise winding.
inclusion Whether or not the geofence is enabled (true) or disabled.

Rally Points

Rally point information is optional. The plan can contain an arbitrary number of rally points, each of which has a latitude, longitude, and altitude (above home position).

A definition with two points is shown below.


    "rallyPoints": {
        "points": [
            [
                47.39760401,
                8.5509154,
                50
            ],
            [
                47.39902017,
                8.54263274,
                50
            ]
        ],
        "version": 2
    }

The fields are:

Key Description
version The version number for the rally point plan format. The documented version is 2.
points A list of rally points.

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