Waterproof, industrial-grade and ready to fly in all sorts of conditions, DJI's Matrice 200 series drones have just launched. Capable of carrying twin high-grade cameras in addition to the built-in FPV camera, they're aimed at enterprise-level industrial inspection, mapping and surveying, and search and rescue applications in challenging weather.

DJI used this year's Mobile World Congress to unveil its new enterprise-grade Matrice 200 series drones, with a focus on aerial inspection and data collection. As an industrial tool, they're IP43 rated as waterproof and happy to fly in the rain. They also fly in sub-zero temperatures, with a heating system that kicks in to keep the batteries and sensors warm when it's freezing outside.

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A suite of 20 sensor units includes dual inertial measurement units (IMUs) for redundancy, plus an ADS-B receiver, which keeps the drone and its pilots informed about any manned aircraft activity in the area. With just the inbuilt FPV camera, total flight time is a meaty 38 minutes, but attaching a payload beneath lowers that to around 35 minutes when you're running two TB55 batteries.

The Matrice 200 offers a single lower gimbal for a larger camera, such as the Zenmuse X4S, X5S, the XT thermal imaging camera that's accurate to 0.5° C (0.9° F), and the Z30 aerial zoom camera, that lets you view millimeter-level images from up to 40 m (131 ft) away.

One step up is the Matrice 210, which lets you swap out that single lower gimbal for either a double gimbal carrying two cameras below, or a single gimbal on top of the airframe to check out the underside of bridges and other structures.

The Matrice 210 RTK is for applications that require the maximum possible precision, and includes a built-in RTK (real-time kinetic) positioning system that can deliver centimeter-level precision. Like the standard 210, the RTK can carry a choice of upper, lower or dual lower gimbals.

All will eventually work with DJI's upcoming Flighthub software, which takes data and images from the drones and streams it all back to the office, letting a supervisor oversee aerial operations from a number of drones in real time.

These are chunky old birds at 3.8 kg (8.4 lb) before up to 2 kg (4.4 lb) of payload is added, but this adds stability in windy skies, as we're finding out on our flight tests of the lightweight DJI Mavic right now.

The Matrice 200 series is available for pre-order now and will ship from Q2 this year.

Source: DJI Matrice 200 series

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