Imagine if you combined the capabilities of a flagship commercial flight system like the DJI Matrice 300 with the portability and agility of the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, and then added in a little bit of flare fromthe Mavic 3.
Well, that’s what the engineers at DJI not only imagined, but actually managed to accomplish.
DJI recently introduced during a live event their newest and probably most technologically advanced drone to date, the DJI Matrice 30 Series. In this article I’ll tell you all you need to know about this cutting-edge drone.
Before we go into the specs and features, let’s talk about the target clientele for this drone first.
The DJI Matrice 30 is aimed primarily at the public safety industry, search and rescue workers and energy/transportation companies for their regular inspections.
It’s aimed at specialists and heavy-duty professionals rather than hobbyists and its main selling point (although everything in the spec sheet is a selling point) is that it’s not only extremely capable, but also portable. In the words of the Chinese drone giant DJI: “The Matrice 30 holds unprecedented power that fits in a backpack.”
They also claimed that the Matrice 30 Series is a “new generation of commercial drones”, which means we can expect the kind of tech introduced in this drone to be the norm from now on.
You might notice that the Matrice 30 is highly similar to its “older brother” the DJI Matrice 300 (even the name is a dead giveaway). That’s because the new Matrice 30 Series is an upgrade of what is already a good drone.
The Matrice 300 is a very capable drone and can perform a variety of complex tasks like search & rescue, inspections etc… But the new DJI Matrice 30 can do all of those things, with way more agility and efficiency. It fills the gap for users who want a drone as powerful as the Matrice 300, and with more features than the Mavic 2 enterprise advanced.
DJI’s claim that the new Matrice 30 is a new generation of drones is not an exaggeration. This drone features cutting-edge drone technology and remarkable engineering that allows the Matrice 30 to circumvent many problems that plagued its predecessors.
There are actually two versions in the Matrice 30, the standard one and the Matrice 30T, which is the same drone but with a thermal camera.
The Matrice 30 has three cameras; including a wide-angle, a hybrid zoom camera and an FPV camera which has a resolution of 1920x1080 with 161 degree Field of View.
The wide camera has a 12 megapixels sensor with a 24mm equivalent focal length. While the hybrid zoom camera has a ½” 48mp sensor.
Camera-wise, I think the new Matrice 30 is just amazing. Especially with its powerful hybrid 200x Zoom.
One of the challenges of the DJI engineering team when they created this drone was to make it light and compact yet still weatherproof. It takes a lot of weight to make a drone weatherproof, and since they wanted to keep the Matrice 30 it took a lot of work to make this possible.
Well, what they managed to accomplish with the 3.7kg weight of the drone is nothing short of impressive, because the Matrice 30 is IP55 rated. That means you can fly in basically any kind of conditions; rain, snow, wind, scorching heat and freezing cold.
It can fly in 7-scale wind and it has been demonstrated in many videos to be able to fly with no problem in strong rain. It's a cut above its predecessor the Matrice 300, because while the M300 could take a barrage of water, flying it in heavy snow or rain was just not possible.
Another highly efficient design feature of the Matrice 30 is that it has no landing gear to install before flight and no payload to connect, unlike many industrial drones. That’s because the camera and the gimbal system are fully integrated into the drone.
There are just no components to attach before you launch, you simply insert the batteries, you unfold the arms that lock into place, you power it along with the remote controller and you launch.
Tests show that from case to flight, the Matrice 30 can be in the air in as little as 52 seconds! For a drone used in search & rescue as well as emergency situations, that’s an impressive feat. Time is of the essence in those situations after all.
DJI claims that the new Matrice 30 can withstand extremely harsh environments. It’s not an empty claim because it seems the safety tech on this drone does more than enough to back that claim up.
With Dual-vision and ToF sensors that appear on 6 sides of the drone, you can be sure it’ll always be on the lookout for any moving objects closing in. The built-in ADS-B receiver provides timely warnings of any incoming crewed aircraft nearby.
It also has a myriad of redundancy and backup systems in place, ensuring the continuation of flight missions even when unexpected situations come up.
The four-antenna OcuSYnc 3 transmission system with LTE link support backup allows it to retain connection in complex terrains and working conditions.
And as if all the above wasn’t enough, the three-propeller emergency landing feature of the M300 RTK has made its way to the Matrice 30.
I can go on and on about the sheer amount of safety measures put into place, but the DJI have already done that by releasing an official document of the safety specs. You can check it here.
The DJI Matrice 30 is powered by two Lithium Ion batteries with a total power of 131.6 Wh. They provide a 41 minutes flight time in total.
The drone also supports hot-swapping the batteries, and with the newly designed locking mechanism, there is virtually no way to accidentally disconnect both batteries while you’re hot swapping.
The two batteries can be charged to 90% in just 30 minutes. They’re self-heating and can support at least 400 charging cycles.
All of this means that with just 4 batteries, you can potentially fly all day or all night. DJI claims that this makes the Matrice 30 the fastest and easiest high-performance DJI Enterprise drone to set up.
Before we move on to two other elements of DJI’s new launch, here is a recap of the specs on the Matrice 30 / 30T:
The new DJI Matrice 30 comes with the new flagship enterprise controller from DJI, which features six quick-action buttons, a seven-inch display, and an internal battery plus a removal one.
Not only that, but the new RC has a battery life of six hours, is water and heat resistant, and can also be charged on the spot. This new RC Plus will replace the enterprise version of DJI’s Smart Controller.
That’s right. As if this new launch wasn’t already impressive, the DJI Matrice 30 can be bought with a robotic landing dock.
The DJI Dock is another addition to the ecosystem of the Matrice 30. It allows for fully automatic and programmable drone flights for the Matrice 30 Series. According to DJI, it “widens the horizons” for automated drone flights. I can see a lot of use cases for this in the future, especially in military and border security.
It works in a simple way, the drone can be programmed for a specific route. It’ll take off from the dock and complete its round. Once it is complete, the drone will return to the Dock and charge automatically, where its fast-charging and battery cooling system will allow it to take off again in 25 minutes.
I think the legality of this procedure is highly in question, as the FAA requires visual Line of Sight for rones. But the FAA themselves have started to become lenient, and are giving permission for companies and law enforcement more and more.
As you can already tell, the impressive package of the Matrice series comes with a proportionate price tag – The Matrice 30 is priced at $10,000 which is the same as its predecessor Matrix 300RTK, while the Matrice 30T is priced at $14,000.
Both drones are expected to be available for purchase starting this Q4.