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Revisiting the DJI Matrice 300 RTK – Is it still the best drone for Public Safety?

Last updated on

March 10, 2022


    10 minute read

    Drone technology has grown rapidly in recent years, with several new releases from top commercial manufacturers such as Parrot, Autel, Sesnsefly, and more. Yet even two years on from its launch, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK has still remained at the top of its class. With impressive features such as a 55-minute flight time, IP45 rating, and 15km flight radius, this drone blows its competition out of the water.

    But what sets the M300 apart more than anything is its payload capacity and versatility. Drones such as the Matrice 300 RTK are no longer one and done solution, they’re now the vehicle for a multitude of payloads suited for any mission. With the potential to carry up to 3 payloads simultaneously and a maximum payload capacity of 2.7kg, the M300 gives you the freedom to mix and match payloads for your mission requirements.

    In this blog we’ll take you through the range of payloads that makes this drone a powerful tool for your operations.

    Zenmuse H20T

    If you’ve heard of the DJI Matrice 300 RTK then you’ve probably heard of the H20T. This payload is commonly understood to be the complete solution for public safety operations. A multi-sensor payload, it features a 20MP zoom camera, 12MP wide-angle camera, 640 x 512px thermal camera, and a 1200m laser range finder.

    Paired with the AI smart features of the M300 RTK, this payload enables a host of new mission capabilities. Even more impressively, the payload’s 200x maximum zoom allows operators to observe and read license plates or investigate ongoings from around 1km away.

    DJI H20t

    The Smart Tracking feature allows you to select a target for the camera to follow, this can be a person, car, or moving object, allowing the pilot to focus on their flight path. When following a suspect or target, they can often disappear behind objects such as vans or buildings, taking them out of view for the surveilling pilot.

    However, the M300 RTK & H20T’s AI will calculate the velocity that a tracked suspect is traveling. If a subject has disappeared behind an obstruction, the camera will continue to pan at the estimated speed and direction of the target until locks on again once they’ve reemerged.

    Wingsland Z15

    The Wingsland Z15 is a bright, 3-axis stabilized gimbal with a high-powered beam. Thanks to its high luminance and long operating range, the Z15 provides operators with crucial visibility in lowlight conditions across various mission types.

    Powered by DJI Skyport technology and controlled through the DJI pilot app, this payload can be paired with the M300 RTK and the M200 Series and paired with other payloads such as the H20T and Z30 cameras.

    Wingsland Z15 Gimbal Spotlight Floodlight Effect

    LiDAR & Photogrammetry

    Now we move into some of the less explored payload options for public safety, specifically LiDAR and Photogrammetry.

    LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a system of remote sensing that uses pulses of laser to measure an object’s variable distances from the earth’s surface.

    LiDAR requires no external light when in use making it effective both in the day and in low/no-light situations. LiDAR equipped drones could easily be deployed to map road-traffic accidents at night and map the location in a single pass of the site, providing fast on-site data and insight. Using these detailed point cloud maps and models enables more precise investigation at a later date, allowing faster clean up of crime scenes.

    DJI Zenmuse L1

    This turn-key payload integrates seamlessly with the DJI Matrice 300 RTK, providing a simple to use and accessible LiDAR option for those who already own or are considering an M300 RTK. The L1 also has an integrated RGB camera that allows the point cloud maps to be colourised, providing even more insight.

    L1 data

    Image collected in lowlight by DJI Zenmuse L1 (Credit: DJI)


    The Hovermap from Emesent is the world’s leading autonomous SLAM based LiDAR payload. To unpack what that means, Hovermap can provide autonomous flight using its SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping) software and LiDAR sensor to paint a detailed 3D picture of its environment, enabling it to fly in hazardous or previously inaccessible environments.

    The Hovermap payload is also incredibly versatile, capable of being mounted to drones, vehicles a backpack and many others. This means that pretty much, no matter the environment, Hovermap is able to map there.

    Hovermap colorised data

    Credit: Hovermap


    Simply put, the science of photogrammetry is using photos to measure something. When you fly your drone over the required terrain, the drone’s camera takes a large number of images, most of which overlap each other by about 80%. These images can be processed to provide highly accurate 2d and 3D maps for investigation and review.

    The more images an operator can collect, the better your finished 3D maps will be, allowing you to better measure depth and distance.

    Drones, public safety & emergency response: 5 use cases | Pix4D

    Credit: PiX4D

    DJI Zenmuse P1

    Designed for photogrammetry flight missions, the Zenmuse P1 takes efficiency and accuracy to a whole new level. With its easy integration and setup, you’ll be collecting high-quality & accurate aerial images in under 5 minutes.

    The Zenmuse P1 also supports 24/35/50mm lenses DJI DL mounts, giving flexibility on the heights that you can fly at to capture data.

    RTK License

    Real-time kinematic (RTK) is a GPS correction technology technique that provides real-time corrections to something like a drone as it’s capturing images from a site. In Lehmann’s terms this means the drone can capture better data as it’s more accurately aware of its geographical location. Where a drone will traditionally be accurate to a few metres, RTK allows the drone to achieve sub-centimetre-level accuracy.

    This is especially important for mapping RTAs, as it’s essential to know how far a car has skidded/travelled after initial fault or impact. RTK also provides protection from radio frequency and electromagnetic frequency, meaning that the drone has more consistency in its data collection.

    While drones such as the DJI Matrice 300 RTK come with built-in RTK modules, many operators are unaware that similar to there mobile data, RTK network access isn’t enabled unless you’ve purchased a compatible SIM card and contract. There are a number of contracts available based on monthly usage, but there’s also a free 14-day trial if you’re the try before you buy sort.

    (Find the trail HERE

    Ready to find out more?

    Get in touch with our business development manager to find out more about any of the products mentioned above. Just fill in your details and leave a comment with your interested payload and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible!


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