A Crowded Field
There is no shortage of drone options on the market when it comes to the commercial drone industry. From small, cheap drones that are designed for consumers to large and expensive air crafts that are purpose-built for commercial use, there seems to be something for everyone. However, one drone stands out from the rest: the DJI Matrice 300 RTK.
But what makes this amazing tool really stand apart from the rest is the seemingly limitless versatility it has when it comes to specialized payloads. In just a couple of short years, an entire ecosystem of custom-built Matrice 300 RTK payloads and accessories have been developed and released by DJI and third parties alike, each adding to an already impressive menu of capabilities. Two years on, and DJI shows no signs of slowing down. With the recent release of the Zenmuse H20N, DJI has cemented the Matrice 300 RTK as the most versatile drone in the world.
The Most Advanced Lego Set Ever
With an enormous selection of available compatible payloads, and the ability to carry up to three at a time, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK can be configured for almost any use case imaginable, which earns it our designation as the most versatile drone on the market today.
Like the most advanced Lego set ever created, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK can be put together with a variety of accessories to effectively become a large number of different purpose-built machines. Whether your needs are: creating 3D models for construction, mapping terrain in the survey industry, performing live surveillance for law enforcement, or saving lives in search and rescue missions, the sheer number of available cameras, sensors, and accessories available unleash advanced intelligent capabilities that each customizable payload configuration setup provides for your critical missions.
In this article, we will take a look at just some of the many exciting configurations and payloads that make the DJI Matrice 300 RTK the craft of choice for so many professionals.
The H20 Series
The H20 Series is DJI's flagship payload series designed specifically for the Matrice 300 RTK. At the time of the craft's launch in 2020, the H20 series consisted of the Zenmuse H20 and Zenmuse H20T. Recently, this product line has expanded to include the H20N. Let's take a look at the similarities and differences of these impressive payloads.
The Zenmuse H20
As evidenced by the naming convention of the H20, H20T, and H20N, the Zenmuse H20 platform provides the foundation of the three cameras in the series. Don't let the fact that it's the base model fool you into thinking it's not a powerhouse, as the Zenmuse H20 is still one of DJI's most advanced cameras to date.
The H20 is equipped with not one but three state-of-the-art sensors - allowing for exceptional situational awareness in a variety of complex operating environments.
The "H" in H20 refers to hybrid, and the "20" refers to the 20 MP Zoom camera that is the first of three sensors in this single payload. Rounding out the triple sensor solution is a 12 MP Wide Camera and a 1200 m Laser Range Finder. Combining intelligence from multiple sensors provides unprecedented aerial imaging capabilities, sent to a new primary flight display on a dedicated remote controller via secure data transmission.
The powerful zoom camera on the H20 series combines a 20MP 1/1.7" CMOS sensor with a 23x Hybrid Optical Zoom and 200x max zoom capability, with the ability for live mission recording at 4k/30fps.
The wide-angle camera provides an equivalent focal length of 24mm with a field of view of 82.9º, recording to a 12MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor.
The laser rangefinder provides extremely accurate distance data with a maximum detection range of 1200m. Put together, this single payload provides extremely advanced aviation-grade situational awareness, enabling operators to capture consistent results for a variety of use cases and mission strategies.
With the Zenmuse H20's AI Spot Check feature, users can ensure that routine inspections are automated and that they capture consistent results every time. Onboard AI automatically detects the pre-determined subject of interest in subsequent automated missions to ensure consistent framing. The collection of sensors providing onboard AI recognizes changes in the operating environment and operating temperature that could affect the stability of the Matrice 300 RTK and adjust accordingly.
The Zenmuse H20T
The H20T takes the already impressive imaging capabilities of the H20 and adds a high resolution, 640x512 radiometric thermal camera (the "T" stands for thermal). This addition allows industrial inspectors to remotely monitor complex infrastructure and energy equipment, ensuring that their assets are maintaining a proper operating temperature or maintaining an ideal storage temperature. Being able to spot issues proactively before they become a problem can make a huge difference in cost, efficiency, and even safety.
For public safety applications, the addition of thermal imaging allows for the Matrice 300 RTK to easily spot lost subjects at night in a search and rescue mission and track the subject's dynamic location to allow for a swift rescue.
Through advancements in the DJI Pilot app operating on the DJI Smart Controller Enterprise version, location sharing can be automated, as can real-time auto-switching between the various cameras, allowing operators to reference both visual and thermal readings. This is particularly helpful in firefighting scenarios, where dangerous hot spots aren't always apparent to the naked eye.
These scenarios make the H20T's ability to monitor the situation through optics and thermals critical for saving lives.
The Zenmuse H20
The newest member of the H20 family is the H20N, with the "N" standing for Night Vision. Somehow, DJI found room for even more cameras in this payload. DJI added an additional thermal camera and upgraded low light sensors for a total of five different sensors- Dual 640x512 thermal cameras, a night vision wide-angle camera, a night vision zoom camera, and the laser rangefinder.
The H20N payload alone would make the M300 RTK a contender for the most versatile drone in the world. But when it comes to this drone's capabilities, we're just getting started. Let's take a look at some of the other tools available for this aircraft.
The FLIR Vue TZ20-R
The radiometric FLIR VUE TZ20-R thermal-zoom drone payload is the latest from thermal industry leaders FLIR. Made in the USA, the TZ20-R features two FLIR Boson® thermal cameras that offer an unmatched 20× zoom capability.
This allows utility, roofing, solar farm, and other industrial inspectors to obtain control of inspections, identify objects of interest with enhanced clarity, and take accurate radiometric temperature measurements - all from a safe standoff distance. The TZ20-R is changing the game for how industries inspect and obtain data and is sure to enhance in-flight safety for operators.
One thing to note is that the TZ20-R does not have an integrated visual camera. While this isn't an issue for many use cases, the flexibility of the M300 RTK allows for adding an optical camera by mounting the H20 with a dual payload mound and flying with both payloads simultaneously.
The Z15 Spotlight
The Wingsland Z15 is a powerful and versatile 3-axis stabilized gimbal spotlight. With an operating range of up to 150 m, it's perfect for lighting up space at night or in lowlight conditions.
There are three modes - Always on, Flashing, and SOS - which can be used in different environments and applications. The built-in air-cooling system prevents the spotlight from overheating by constantly dissipating heat. This means that the Wingsland Z15 is always protected against overheating, and the system will automatically adjust if necessary.
So whether you're a firefighter, emergency responder, or law enforcement officer, the Wingsland Z15 is an excellent choice for bringing light to the night.
In an emergency, every second counts. That's why drones have long been recognized for their ability to quickly deliver critical supplies to difficult-to-reach locations. The Dropmaster payload drop system for Matrice 300 is custom designed and built in the USA to meet the rigorous standards of first responder agencies.
This drop system operates entirely independently from the DJI control system, providing accurate and immediate payload placement to the target. Whether it's delivering food, water, or first aid materials, the Dropmaster can help save lives in a time of need.
The Matrice 300 RTK - An Agricultural Drone?
Most of the M300 use cases we've discussed in this article have been in the public safety and industrial inspection arenas. But another area where this craft really shines is agriculture. With multispectral sensors like the Micasense RedEdge-P, farmers can use the Matrice 300 RTK to streamline and optimize their farming operations.
Traditionally, farmers would have spent hours trekking across an entire field, scrutinizing it for issues.
Thanks to the many uses of drones in agriculture, farmers can get a bird's eye view of their fields much quicker and more efficiently than ever before while also providing far more accurate crop monitoring information.
This is due in large part to the use of multispectral cameras.
What Is Multispectral Imaging?
Plants reflect a wide range of wavelengths of light. While humans can only see light reflected on the visible spectrum, drones with specialized sensors such as the MicaSense RedEdge-P can capture multispectral pictures that reveal light that is otherwise invisible to our eyes when monitoring crops.
Compared to unhealthy vegetation, healthy plants reflect more of certain wavelengths of light. These variances are invisible to the naked eye. Still, multispectral sensors on drones enable them to detect up to five distinct spectral bands (near-infrared, red edge, green, blue) reflected from plant life.
Using a multispectral camera like the RedEdge-P with the Matrice 300 RTK, farmers can see nutrient shortages or diseases in their crops before they become severe enough to be seen with the naked eye
This proactive approach makes the difference between preventing a season-long crop health catastrophe or dealing with its consequences.
Believe it or not, this is only but a fraction of the payloads available for the Matrice 300 RTK. From loudspeakers to radar units, parachutes, and more, the M300 RTK is one platform for which innovation is never far away.
As you can tell, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK is a very versatile drone, and it can seem overwhelming. But Dronefly offers free, in-person custom-tailored training at your location with each purchase of an M300 RTK to ensure that you know how to operate your drone quickly, safely, and efficiently.
We will work with you to develop a custom training plan that fits your needs and schedule. Our team of certified drone experts is available to answer any questions you may have about the Matrice 300 RTK.
So don't hesitate to contact us today to get started!