DJI’s Matrice 300 Has a Whopping 55 Minutes of Flight Time, Special Features for Inspection and Public Safety Applications
BY Zacc Dukowitz12 May 2020
Alongside the M300, DJI also rolled out the Zenmuse H20 camera series. Both the M300 and the H20 series are focused on heavy duty commercial drone applications, with inspections and public safety at the top of the list.
On the professional drone front, the M300 represents a significant step up from the M200 V2.
One of its biggest upgrades is an impressive 55 minutes of flight time (the M200 V2 has 38). The improved flight time edges the M300 a little closer to the 70 minute flight time on Impossible Aerospace’s public safety drone, the Impossible US-1. This is probably a conscious move, since DJI is positioning the M300 to compete directly with IA and other public safety-focused drones.
In addition to a longer flight time, the new Matrice can support up to three payloads at once. It’s compatible with the two new Zenmuse H20 cameras, both of which have optical and thermal sensors, making it a good option for a variety of commercial applications.
Big Upgrades from the M200
Over the last few years, the Matrice 200 series has become a go-to option for commercial and public safety operators who want something tougher and higher-end than a prosumer model without a huge price tag.
The M300 takes this popular commercial platform and upgrades just about everything.
Flight time, payload capability, and sense and avoid technology are all much more robust in the new Matrice, not to mention that it’s tougher (we have a list of its toughness-related features below) and comes with application-specific features to support both public safety and inspection use cases.
M300 Key Specs & Features
- Price: About $8,800 (M200 V2 costs about $6,700)
- Max Flight Time: 55 minutes (M200 V2 has 38 minutes)
- Obstacle Avoidance: Six obstacle avoidance sensors for improved safety while flying (M200 V2 has three sensors)
- Transmission Range: 9.3 miles (M200 V2 range is 5 miles)
The Matrice 300 is super tough, and offers some impressive new features that will surely come in handy for those doing commercial work in places with extreme temperature swings.
Here are some of the features that make the M300 so tough:
- Cold proof. Since batteries can become unreliable in cold conditions, the M300 has a self-heating battery.
- Temperature swings. The M300 has an operating temperature of -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heavier payload. The M300 can carry up to six pounds (double the M200 V2’s payload) and up to three different payloads at the same time.
- Rain and dust proof. The M300 has a weather sealing rating of IP45, which means it can sustain rain and dust while in the air (the M200 V2 is rated at IP43).
- Wind resistance and speed. The M300 can go up to 51 miles an air, and has wind resistance of up to 49 feet/second.
- Smart features for tricky situations. The M300 has several features to allow for flying safely in challenging circumstances, including an anti-collision beacon, sensors that can detect obstacles up to 98 feet away, and AirSense, which is now standard on DJI drones that weigh over .55 pounds (ADS-B receiver that picks up signals from manned aircraft and alerts the drone pilot of their location).
Custom Features for Inspection and Public Safety Applications
If you watch DJI’s promotional video for the M300 (shown above) it’s clear that two of its biggest target markets are public safety agencies and inspectors.
This solution sets an entirely new standard for industrial UAV solutions, significantly enhancing operations across public safety, law enforcement, energy, surveying and mapping as well as critical infrastructure inspections.
– Christina Zhang, Senior Director, Corporate Strategy at DJI
But the usefulness of the M300 for public safety and inspections doesn’t stop with the features listed above. DJI has actually included features that support each of these applications—read on to learn more.
Drones have become a powerful tool for visual inspections over the last several years, allowing inspectors to avoid potentially dangerous situations and helping companies realize significant savings in the process.
Here are the inspection-focused features that come with the M300:
- Live Mission Recording. Record mission actions such as aircraft movement, gimbal orientation, photo shooting, and zoom level to create sample mission files for future automated inspections.
- AI Spot Check. Automate routine inspections and capture consistent results every time. Onboard AI recognizes the subject of interest and identifies it in subsequent automated missions to ensure consistent framing.
- Real-Time Auto-Switching. Real-time auto-switching between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz4 enables more reliable flight near high-interference environments, which could come in useful for certain types of tower inspections.
Public Safety Features
The public safety sector is already one of the biggest adopters of the Matrice. A recent report from Bard Center for the Study of the Drone found that of 1,578 known public safety drone programs, 226 (14%) used a Matrice (the Matrice was 4th on the list of top drone models used, preceded by the DJI Phantom, Inspire, and Mavic, in that order).
The M300 will help DJI further its presence in public safety, with these extra features that can help support public safety use cases:
- Pinpoint. Mark an object in camera or map view with a quick tap, and advanced sensor fusion algorithms will immediately calculate its coordinates, which are projected to all camera views as an AR icon. The location of the subject is automatically shared with another remote controller, or to online platforms such as DJI FlightHub9.
- Smart Track. Identify and follow moving subjects like people, vehicles, and boats with the Smart Track function, where auto-zoom is applied for steady tracking and viewing. The subject’s dynamic location is continuously acquired and shared to another remote controller or to DJI FlightHub9.
- Dual Control. Either operator can now obtain control of the aircraft or payload with a single tap. This creates new possibilities for mission strategies as well as higher flexibility during operations.
An illustration of how Dual Control can help support police officers
H20 Camera Series
The M300 is compatible with both of the cameras in the new Zenmuse H20 series, the H20 and the H20T, which were clearly made with heavy-duty commercial work in mind.
The Zenmuse H20 comes with three different cameras in one. Here are its key specs:
- A 20-megapixel and 23x zoom camera
- A 12MP wide-angle camera
- A laser rangefinder that can extend to 3,937 feet
If you’re thinking that it might be hard to operate three different cameras at once, don’t worry—DJI has included a one-click capture feature in both the H20 and H20T to make things easy on you.
This feature can be used to get images from all three cameras at the same time, without having to switch around between cameras.
The Zenmuse H20T takes the H20’s set up and adds a radiometric thermal camera to it:
Learn more about the Zenmuse H20 series on DJI’s website.
Excited about the M300? Share your thoughts in this thread on the UAV Coach community forum.