What the Matrice 300 RTK Brings to Commercial Drone Operations
There are a lot of articles and blogs out there that describe in detail all the features of the M300 drone and the line of new payloads that are available on this platform. Instead of just echoing this, I would like to briefly outline in a practical way what these new features and payloads can offer our clients in the field.
Probably the most widely heralded feature of the M300 is the extended battery life. Boasting up to 55 minutes of flight time (it is closer to 30-40 minutes depending on flight conditions and payload) with hot swappable batteries means that you spend less time landing, changing battery packs and reinitiating the drone as compared to the M210 (previous version). Though our day-rates will not change dramatically with this updated platform, the increase in efficiency during commercial drone operations is a direct value increase to our clients.
We went with the Zenmuse H20T camera as our primary payload. Though there are many features of note with this unit, the primary benefit from UAV Imaging’s perspective is the integrated zoom and thermal camera giving us the ability to streamline our inspection operations without having to land the drone to swap out payloads. Like the extended flight time, this is not a direct cost saving on our day rates for these services, but it translates to greater efficiency and an added value return for our clients.
The P1 payload is the first offering by DJI that is specifically designed for photogrammetry and promises to be a game changer when it is released later this year. I plan to do a detailed blog about this system once we received our unit, but for now I will mention that the near doubling of megapixels and increased flight time of the M300 makes larger areas much easier to map and will increase the ground sampling rate and image quality of our 3D models dramatically.
The L1 is another first for DJI as it offers lidar capabilities that seamlessly integrates with the M300 drone platform. We hope to be able to offer this service to our clients once this payload is released later in the year. I will likely discuss this in greater detail once we get some hand-on experience with this unit.
All in all, the M300 is a major step forward in commercial/enterprise drone hardware and represents a major increase in efficiency of our drone operations and return on investment for our clients.