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The indispensable return home function

27 November 2019 by Adrienn Kerekes 0 Comments

Learn how the automatic Return To Home (RTH) function of DJI drones works and why it is invaluable for every pilot.

The DJI Return to Home setting is a very important safety feature that helps you navigate your drone back to a safe and accessible landing spot. Find out how this technology works and how you can use it in the future!

3 different operating modes

Smart Homecoming
In this mode, the drone returns to the starting point (Home Point). This can be started by touching the RTH button on the remote control or the DJI GO 4 application.

Return home when the battery is low
Once the drone's battery power drops below a certain level, a warning will appear on the DJI GO 4 app and the drone will return to the starting point.

Return home in Emergency mode
This setting will return the drone to the starting point in the event that the connection between the drone and the remote controller is lost.

How does the Return to Home function work?

By detecting signals from 4 or more GPS satellites, DJI drones automatically set the takeoff location as their starting point. While flying, they constantly analyze the GPS coordinates, but they also use their built-in compass to return to the starting point. Anything that can disturb the position of the starting point, the GPS signal or the compass can have a negative effect on the auto-return function.

In order to safely return to the starting point, it is advisable to fly the drone only in an open area where there are no disturbing signals or interference. It is important to update the coordinates of the starting point before each flight! (Remember that many tall buildings in populated areas can interfere with GPS signals. Magnetic fields, high voltage cables, metal structures can also interfere with the drone's built-in compass.)

Preparing the drone for flight

The drone cannot be steered to avoid obstacles during the emergency return. However, if you set a relatively high flight level in the DJI GO 4 application, the drone will rise to the set height before returning to the starting point. By flying higher, the drone will avoid most obstacles. It's a simple and effective way to fly safely.

If the current flight height of the drone exceeds the flight height set in the DJI GO 4 application, the drone will fly home at its current flight height.

While returning to the starting point, the drone's optical sensors are able to recognize and avoid obstacles by increasing altitude. Optical sensors can only detect obstacles with a clearly visible structure and in a well-lit environment. Don't forget that the Mavic Pro , Mavic Air and Spark drones are not equipped with upward facing sensors!

Smart Return functions

Return home in Emergency mode
The drone returns to the starting point along its original flight path. As soon as the connection with the controller is restored, the drone pilot has the opportunity to control the drone again. If the drone operates with other return-to-home (RTH) settings, it will not return to the starting point following the original route, but will choose the shortest flight route.

(Remember that Spark will always choose the shortest path to return in all RTH settings!)

Smart Home setting
When the drone arrives above the starting point, the landing protection function is automatically activated and the downward facing sensors decide whether the area below the drone is suitable for landing. If the area is not suitable, the drone will hover in one place waiting for the pilot's instructions. Please always make sure that the take-off and landing area is always sufficiently lit!

(Remember that the Spark can only recognize the water surface, it cannot recognize flat, even surfaces! It is important that the Inspire 2 does not have the Precision Landing function!)

Returning drones

With the help of the return home function, you can take spectacular aerial shots while ensuring the safe flight of your drone. No matter where your adventures take you, always follow these simple steps to ensure your flight stays safe.

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