While the DJI Matrice 300 RTK has been seen as the king of enterprise drones in the eyes of many, it’s also pretty old, as far as drone years go. DJI gave us the Matrice 300 RTK and the accompanying Zenmuse H20 Series in May 2020. And three years later, DJI brought us an update in the form of a new and improved drone, the DJI Matrice 350 RTK.
The DJI Matrice 350 RTK, or likely M350 RTK for short, takes many of the most-loved features of its predecessor and turns it up a notch, culminating in an even more powerful, high-end enterprise drone for use cases like inspection, mapping, surveying, public safety, and really anything else requiring utmost data accuracy.
It’s designed to carry cameras and sensors from within DJI’s Zenmuse lineup, including zoom cameras, mapping cameras and even a Livox Lidar module. But it can also carry your own custom payloads, say, gas detection systems or speakers.
Among the key highlights of the new M350 RTK:
- An all-new video transmission system
- A more efficient battery system
- An improved payload expansion capabilities
Here’s what you need to know about the new DJI Matrice 350 RTK:
The DJI M350 RTK drone itself
The drone is capability of a lot of power when it’s got a payload attached to it, but the drone is a pretty impressive powerhouse of brute strength on its own. Here are some key specs of the RTK drone:
- 55 minutes of max flight time
- Payload capacity of 2.7 kg
- Intelligent features: Waypoint, Mapping, Oblique, Linear Flight, Terrain Follow, Smart Oblique, PinPoint, Live Mission Recording and AI Spot-Check
What’s especially impressive about this drone is that you aren’t limited by payloads to, say, Zenmuse cameras. With this drone, pilots have far more flexibility to put all sorts of payloads on it, making the drone more useful in all sorts of applications.
DJI O3 Enterprise Transmission
DJI has been leaning heavily on its DJI O3 Enterprise Transmission, which appears in other recent drone models including the DJI Mavic 3 Pro and its DJI Inspire 3 drones (both of which came out last month). Unsurprisingly, the DJI O3 Enterprise Transmission system is included in this drone, offering a more confident connection than the original Ocusync Enterprise system which — for what it’s worth — was revolutionary at the time. Alas, a lot of improvement has come in the past three years, offering triple-channel 1080p HD live feeds and a max transmission distance of 20 km under the new system.
It’s four-antenna transceiver system can intelligently select the two optimal antennas to transmit signals, while the four antennas receive signals simultaneously.
It also purports to offer improved anti-interference capabilities and optimized transmission stability.
More safety features
This drone has an impressive IP55 rating. While you’re not using this drone for FPV flying, likely, it has an enhanced FPV camera designed to offer improved safety for night flights.
Then, there’s a new arm lock detection function to avoid the risk of unlocked arm sleeves.
And since the drone has six-directional binocular vision system and an infrared sensing system for six-directional awareness, positioning, and obstacle-sensing capabilities, it’s unlikely this thing would even crash.
There’s also an option to add a CSM radar system, which can be purchased separately and mounted on the top of the drone, offering a range of up to 30m for subtle obstacles within the 360° detection range.
The DJI Matrice 350 RTK controller: DJI RC Plus
The drone is designed to be flown with the DJI RC Plus, which has a built-in 7-inch high-bright screen. It allows for functioning in Dual Operator Mode, and it has operating time of up to six hours with a standard WB37 external battery.
It’s IP rating is similar, albeit slightly lesser at IP54, and can operate in temperatures ranging between -20° to 50° C (-4° to 122° F).
Though whether or not you even have to “fly” it is a stretch, as this drone brilliantly flies itself. Tools like Spot Check can be used to automate routine inspections and capture consistent results every time. Another feature called PinPoint can be used to mark an object with a quick tap and have its coordinates calculated and projected to all camera views as an AR icon — which is particularly useful in search and rescue operations.
The controller is also crucial for livestreaming the real-time operation view, breaking through communication barriers for air-to-ground collaborative operation.
Functions like the high-precision PinPoint and cloud-based real-time mapping, the M350 RTK can link the air, ground, and cloud together. Here’s how it works: After the aircraft completes image collection, DJI FlightHub 2 can quickly model the operation site and transmit command information to the aircraft and ground operators. Both the remote controller and FlightHub 2 support point, line, surface drawing, and real-time uploading.
The DJI M350 RTK battery: it could save you money, in a sense
The 55 minutes of maximum flight time the drone’s TB65 battery can offer is certainly impressive (note: that’s the same flight time as the DJI M300’s battery). But what’s more impressive is how much longer this drone’s battery lasts.
The M350 RTK’s new TB65 battery has an 100%-increased battery cycle count. In short, it can be charged up to 400 cycles. And for folks counting pennies, yes, that means it all helps in reduce the cost of each, individual flights.
The drone also has a dual-battery system, and supports battery hot swapping (which means the drone can take multiple flights without powering off entirely, as long as you switch the batteries one after the other).
You might also opt to purchase the new BS65 Intelligent Battery Station, which is marketed as a one-stop solution for battery charging, storage, and transport.
It offers multiple charging mode, so you might choose to charge the battery up to 50% (that’s in Storage Mode), which you would use if you don’t intend to use the battery again for a prolonged period of time. Or Ready-to-Fly Mode quickly charges multiple battery sets to 90% to start operation at any time and extend the battery life.
It has some nifty, smart features. For example, when the battery station is connected to DJI RC Plus, the DJI Pilot 2 app displays the battery status and health information. And you can also set the number of self-discharge days you want — as well as update the firmware, export logs, and access other quick operations — with one tap.
And on a practical level, the battery station is designed with 360°-movement wheels for more convenient transportation.
What can the DJI Matrice 350 RTK carry?
The drone is capable of carrying up to three payloads at one time, with a combined maximum weight of 2.7 kg. That’s useful for operation scenarios such as public safety, inspection, and mapping, who might need to tote multiple types of cameras or other sensors in the air.
Folks seeking multiple types of gimbals have all sorts of choices between the single downward gimbal, dual downward gimbals, and single upward gimbal — all of which are supported by M350 RTK (for an extra cost, of course).
The M350 RTK also has an E-Port open interface, which is essential for carrying your own payload (more on that later).
DJI has its own lineup of cameras called the Zenmuse. Unlike competitor drones like the Sony Airpeak S1 which was built to fly Sony’s existing, well-revered lineup of cameras, DJI operates the opposite direction. It built cameras and sensors for its drones, which came first in the company’s history. That doesn’t make its cameras and sensors necessarily any lesser (particularly for industrial applications).
Here are a few of the Zenmuse cameras that M350 RTK is designed to carry.
- Zenmuse H20 Series: These cameras are known for their four-sensor system (a zoom camera, wide camera, thermal camera, and laser rangefinder).
- Zenmuse H20N: It integrates starlight sensors into its zoom and wide-angle cameras. Pair this with dual zoom thermal cameras and a laser rangefinder to become a versatile, hybrid payload.
- Zenmuse P1: This integrates a full-frame sensor with interchangeable fixed-focus lenses on a 3-axis stabilized gimbal. It’s designed for photogrammetry flight missions.
- Zenmuse L1: This payload powerhouse integrates a Livox Lidar module, a high-accuracy IMU, and a mapping camera. When used with the flight platform, it forms a complete solution that gives you real-time 3D data to deliver highly accurate, reconstructed models.
What about carrying my own custom payloads?
The Matrice 350 RTK can do that too. It’s actually designed to easily carry third-party payloads. That can include custom, non-DJI affiliated systems like gas detectors, loudspeakers, computing modules and multispectral sensors.
To use your own custom payload, expect to use the DJI Payload SDK. Payload SDK supports E-Port, SkyPort V2, and DJI X-Port, which can reduce the payload development lifecycle and maximize the potential of the payloads in more diverse scenarios. E-Port supports Payload SDK V3 and later versions, and is compatible with third-party Payload SDK payloads of the Matrice 30 Series.
What is the DJI Matrice 350 RTK for?
This isn’t a drone for any hobby pilot. It’s also not a camera drone for photographers. This is a powerhouse drone for enterprise applications. That might include:
High-Precision Mapping: The M350 RTK supports Waypoint, Mapping, Oblique, and Linear Flight missions. Terrain Follow or Smart Oblique can be used for efficient data collection and, when combined with DJI Terra, HD 2D and 3D digital results can be quickly achieved for high-precision and high-efficiency mapping operations.
Automated Precision Inspection: Use the Live Mission Recording, feature to generate and store flight route files that can be used at any time to create automated operations and reduce the time and effort needed for make repetitive inspections. When using AI Spot-Check,the M350 RTK supports automatic framing and manual adjustment of subjects to improve the accuracy of repeated shooting and the quality of inspection operation.
DJI Matrice 350 RTK vs Matrice 300 RTK
How does the DJI Matrice 350 RTK compare to its predecessor, the Matrice 300 RTK? Here’s a comparison of the two drones:
|Matrice 300 RTK||DJI Matrice 350 RTK|
|Max flight time (no payload)||55 minutes||55 minutes|
|Max payload capacity||2.7 kg||2.7 kg|
|Max transmission distance||15 km||20 km|
|Transmission system||Ocusync Enterprise||DJI O3 Enterprise|
|Battery||TB60 battery||TB65 battery|
What does a higher IP rating mean?
IP ratings stand for “Ingress Protection,” which is a standardized system to rate items (often electronics) using two digits. The first digit (which ranges from 0 to 6) indicates the level of protection against solid objects such as dust, while the second digit (which ranges from 0 to 9) indicates the level of protection against water. While both drones offer the same protection against water, the new 350 offers even greater protection against dust.
The Matrice 350 RTK also joins the same family as the DJI Matrice 30 drone, which launched in March 2022 as a powerful, enterprise-grade drone that’s small and light enough to fit in a backpack. Unlike the M350, that lightweight drone is far more akin to a Mavic than any other design, with just a 3.7 kg take-off weight.
How much does DJI M350 RTK cost, and how do I get one?
The good news: DJI M350 RTK is available for purchase today.
The bad news: DJI isn’t super transparent about pricing. To acquire one, you’ll have to go through an approved DJI Enterprise Dealers. TheDroneGirl recommends B&H Photo for enterprise deals, as it strikes a balance between small business but established powerhouse. There’s free shipping and easy customer service, ranging from online chats to humans on the phone who actually answer when you call.
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