The Best Tool Is The One You Have With You
In many commercial industries, working professionals are out in the field, away from their office or basecamp. They have to anticipate their needs, and bring along with them the equipment required to achieve their objectives. This is a bit of a balancing act, as it's impractical to bring every tool for every scenario; while at the same time, not having what you need can lead to setbacks, costly delays and even compromised safety.
The Swiss Army Knife is the perfect embodiment of having a single tool that can achieve many different tasks. With a knife, screwdriver, can opener and more, its versatility and compactness makes it a far more preferable option to many than carrying around one of everything.
If only there was an aircraft in the commercial drone industry that captured that same spirit of versatility. Well, with the ever growing assortment of compatible payloads and accessories available, the DJI M300 has become that drone.
A Step Above Most Modern Aviation Systems
Almost every drone is evaluated based on a variety of key characteristics, and the Matrice 300 RTK would easily top any list based on these criteria. Looking at the specs of the M300, any drone enthusiast can see this is one powerful tool.
With an improved flying performance that is due to a redesigned propulsion system tuned for powerful, stable flight, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK boasts a maximum flight time of 55 minutes and a maximum speed of 23 m/s, as well as resistance to a wind speed of up to 15 m/s.
An improved transmission system offers a 15-kilometer operational range for more reliable flight and exciting features like advanced AI smart track functionality and intelligent obstacle avoidance.
The DJI Matrice 300 RTK is a cutting-edge beast of an aerial workhorse that offers unrivaled reliability among modern aviation systems and some of the most exciting features previously thought to exist only in next-generation aircraft.
Versatility Is Everything
But it's the seemingly unlimited versatility when it comes to specific payloads that sets it apart from the competition. Within just a few years DJI and third parties have created a whole ecosystem of Matrice 300 RTK payloads and accessories, each building on top of an already incredible range of capabilities. As shown by the recent release of the Zenmuse H20N, DJI's latest Matrice 300 RTK payload, the company is not slowing down.
A Flying Swiss Army Knife
It is possible to configure the DJI Matrice 300 RTK for practically any use case imaginable, thanks to not only the enormous selection of compatible payloads, but also the ability to carry up to three at a time; earning it our title as the most versatile drone on the market today.
The DJI Matrice 300 RTK, like a Swiss Army Knife, can be used to tackle a vast number of different use cases due to the variety of specialty tools available. Whether you're building 3D models for construction, surveying terrain, catching criminals in the act with live camera surveillance, or saving lives in search and rescue operations, the multitude of cameras, sensors, and accessories available unlocks advanced intelligent capabilities that each customizable payload configuration setup provides for your critical missions.
Let's examine some of the payloads and accessories that have made the Matrice 300 RTK the drone of choice for so many experts.
The H20 Collection
DJI's flagship payload series, the H20 family, is built exclusively for the Matrice 300 RTK. The Zenmuse H20 and Zenmuse H20T were the only two models in the H20 series at the time of the craft's release in 2020. The H20N has recently been added to this product line. Though all three look relatively similar, they have drastically different capabilities and use cases.
The DJI Zenmuse H20
The Zenmuse H20 platform, as indicated by the H20, H20T, and H20N naming convention, serves as the foundation for the three cameras in the series. Don't let the fact that it's the entry-level model deceive you; the Zenmuse H20 is still one of DJI's most capable cameras to date. The H20 is designed for superior situational awareness in a variety of complicated operational conditions, leveraging three state-of-the-art sensors.
The "H" in H20 is for hybrid, and the "20" stands for the first of three sensors in this payload, a 20 MP Zoom camera. A 12 MP Wide Camera in addition to a 1200 m Laser Range Finder complete the triple sensor package.
The intelligence from various sensors is combined to deliver exceptional aerial imaging capabilities, which are sent via secure data transmission to a new primary flight display on a dedicated remote controller.
The H20 series' powerful zoom camera is made up of a 20MP 1/1.7" CMOS sensor and a 23x Hybrid Optical Zoom paired with live mission recording at 4k/30fps.
The wide angle camera has a 24mm equivalent focal length and an 82.9º field of vision, and records to a 12MP 1/2.3" sensor CMOS camera.
With a maximum detection range of 1200m, the laser rangefinder gives exceptionally accurate distance data.
With all of these imaging capabilities combined, The Zenmuse H20 delivers enhanced aviation-grade situational awareness, allowing operators to capture reliable outcomes for a wide range of use cases and mission plans.
Additionally, users can automate routine inspections and record consistent outcomes every time with the Zenmuse H20's AI Spot Check feature. To ensure consistent framing, onboard AI detects the pre-determined subject of interest in subsequent automated missions. The Matrice 300 RTK's stability is automatically adjusted for changes in the operating environment and operating temperature.
The DJI Zenmuse H20T
The H20T adds a high-resolution 640x512 radiometric thermal camera to the H20's already remarkable imaging capabilities (the "T" stands for thermal).
This feature enables industrial inspectors to remotely monitor complicated infrastructure and energy equipment, guaranteeing that their assets are functioning at optimal temperatures. Abnormal temperatures or anomalies, which usually indicate a problem, are easy to spot.
Being able to get these types of warning signs as they occur can save a lot of money, time, and potential danger, as opposed to becoming aware of the problem after the damage has been done.
The addition of thermal imaging to the Matrice 300 RTK allows it to quickly locate lost individuals at night in a search and rescue mission, as well as track the subject's dynamic location to allow for a quick rescue.
Location sharing and real-time auto switching between visual and thermal information can be automated using the DJI Pilot software running on the DJI Smart Controller Enterprise version. This is particularly useful in firefighting situations, where dangerous hot areas aren't always visible to the human eye alone. The H20T's capacity to monitor the situation both visually and thermally is crucial for saving lives.
The DJI Zenmuse H20N
The H20N is the newest addition to the H20 family, with the "N" standing for Night Vision.
DJI managed to squeeze in another thermal camera and updated low-light sensors, bringing the total number of sensors to an incredible five: dual 640x512 thermal cameras, a night vision wide angle camera, a night vision zoom camera, and the laser rangefinder.
To give a detailed description on the amount of technology the H20N has is beyond the scope of this article, so be sure to check out our dedicated H20N breakdown to learn more!
The M300 RTK's H20N payload alone makes it a candidate for the most versatile drone. But we're only scratching the surface of this drone's capabilities. Let's look at some of the other tools that are available for the DJI Matrice 300 RTK.
The Teledyne FLIR Vue TZ20-R
Teledyne FLIR's radiometric VUE TZ20-R thermal-zoom drone payload is one of the company's newest offering. The TZ20-R is made in the United States and combines two FLIR Boson® thermal cameras with an unrivaled 20x zoom capability.
This allows utility, roofing, solar farm, and other industrial inspectors to streamline inspections, identify objects of interest with greater clarity, and collect accurate radiometric temperature measurements - all while remaining at a safe standoff distance.
The TZ20-R is revolutionizing how industries inspect and gather data, and it will undoubtedly improve flight safety for operators.
Dual Thermal Camera FLIR Vue TZ20-R (60Hz)
One thing to keep in mind is that the TZ20-R lacks an integrated visual camera. While this isn't a problem in most circumstances, the M300 RTK's flexibility allows for the installation of a visual camera by mounting the H20 on a dual payload mount and flying with both payloads simultaneously.
For the most part, drones are used as intelligence gathering tools. They collect information and relay it to the pilots, and anybody else who would find it useful, back on the ground. But in some cases, it's necessary for the drone to not only be able to gather information, but to relay information as well.
Two-way communication is critical, particularly in a public safety emergency situation. The ability to let a lost person know that help is on the way, or to broadcast a warning to a crowd of people, can be invaluable. This is where a loudspeaker can be a tool that adds an incredible amount of capability and versatility to the M300.
Using the DJI Payload SDK, this loudspeaker is easily integrated with the M300, and boasts three distinct modes of operation- text to voice, the ability to play a pre-recorded audio file, and of course real time voice transmission.
The loudspeaker can produce a maximum volume of 130 decibels, making it extremely clear in loud environments. It's loud enough to be heard from almost 1,000 feet away in ideal situations. That's the equivalent of more than three football fields!
This is an immensely powerful tool that can be used in a variety of situations, from search and rescue operations to law enforcement and crowd control.
Wingsland Z15 Spotlight Gimbal
The Wingsland Z15 is a 3-axis stabilized gimbal spotlight that is powerful and multifunctional. It's ideal for lighting up a large space at night or in lowlight settings, with a range of up to 150 meters.
Always on, Flashing, and SOS are the three modes that can be employed in various contexts and applications. By constantly dissipating heat, the built-in air-cooling mechanism keeps the spotlight from overheating. This means that the Wingsland Z15 is able to operate for long periods of time, and the system will regulate itself as needed to prevent overheating.
The Wingsland Z15 is a terrific choice for providing light to the night, whether you're a fireman, emergency responder, or law enforcement officer.
The Matrice 300 Dropmaster Payload Drop System
Every second matters in an emergency circumstance. That's why drones have long been praised for their capacity to carry vital supplies to hard-to-reach regions.
The Dropmaster Matrice 300 payload drop system is uniquely designed and constructed in the United States to suit the stringent requirements of first response agencies. This drop method is fully independent of the DJI control system, allowing for precise and fast payload placement at the target. The Dropmaster can assist in saving lives in a crisis by distributing food, water, radios, first-aid supplies and more.
Is the Matrice 300 RTK a Drone for Agriculture?
The majority of the M300 use cases we've examined so far in this post have been in the areas of public safety and industrial inspection. However, agriculture is another place where this craft shines brightly. Using multispectral sensors like the Micasense RedEdge-P, farmers can use the Matrice 300 RTK to streamline and optimize their farming operations.
Farmers used to spend hours walking across an entire field, looking for signs of problems with their crops or livestock. Now they can acquire a bird's eye view of their land far faster and more efficiently than ever before; as well as provide significantly more precise crop monitoring information, thanks to the multiple uses of drones in agriculture.
This is all possible thanks to the use of multispectral cameras.
What Is Multispectral Imaging and How Does It Work?
Plants reflect a wide spectrum of light wavelengths. When monitoring crops, drones equipped with specialty sensors like the MicaSense RedEdge-P can record multispectral images that reveal light that is normally invisible to our eyes.
Healthy vegetation reflects more specific wavelengths of light than sick vegetation. These differences are undetectable to the naked eye, but multispectral sensors fitted on drones can detect up to five separate spectral bands reflected from plant life (near-infrared, red edge, green, and blue).
Farmers can detect nutrient shortages or diseases in their crops using a multispectral camera like the RedEdge-P with the Matrice 300 RTK before they grow serious enough to be visible with the naked eye.
This preventative strategy can mean the difference between averting a season-long crop health disaster, or dealing with the consequences of one.
The Final Word
This article only covers a small portion of the payloads available for the Matrice 300 RTK. The M300 is one platform where innovation is never far away, from loudspeakers to radar units, parachutes, and more.
With so many options available, finding the right Matrice 300 configuration can seem a bit daunting. Our drone experts are here to help! Simply reach out to our team of UAS Solution Consultants via email, phone or chat, to discuss your specific needs and they will help find the right package for you.
Additionally, for a limited time with the purchase of any M300 RTK, DSLRPros provides free, in-person drone training at your site to ensure that you know how to operate your craft swiftly, safely, and efficiently. Let us collaborate with you to create a training plan that is tailored to your specific needs and schedule.
Contact us today!