Originally published at SmartFirefighting.com on June 29, 2017
The aircraft we’ve all been waiting for is finally here!
Despite some production delays, the Matrice 200/210 hit the ground running 2 years ago, quickly becoming the biggest game-changer yet for industrial drones. Let's take a look at what makes it so special.
First off, let’s look at the three different available models in the 200 series. The Matrice 200 flagship model is single-camera, dual-battery, and IP43 weather resistant. The battery system is fully enclosed, which means heat from the battery will help keep the drone warm, and improves performance in cold weather. The drone flies for up to 40 minutes, and also has an on-board FPV camera for looking forward to see where the drone is facing. Available cameras for the main socket are the X4S and X5S – the two daylight cameras that are available for the Inspire 2; the Z30 (30x optical zoom, 6x digital zoom, 180x total) camera; and any of the XT or XT2 thermal imaging cameras.
Step up to the Matrice 210 and you can pick two of those cameras at once, to allow for dual daylight and thermal cameras, or zoom and thermal; in addition to the fixed FPV camera already on board. The 210 also adds an ADS-B IN transponder system, which allows you to receive messages from airplanes with ADS-B transponders – something the FAA has mandated all airplanes to have by 2020. Unfortunately, the drone doesn’t give off an ADS-B OUT signal, so airplanes and air traffic controllers won’t see you, but at least you’ll see them.
210 also comes in an RTK model, which allows you to use extremely accurate RTK GPS coordinates during flight, and to collect centimeter accurate measurements with various types of third-party mapping software.
All three models come with down- and forward-facing obstacle avoidance, as well as upward-facing sensors, allowing you to fly comfortably under a bridge or any other structure without hitting the roof. The 210 and 210 RTK models allow you to top-mount a camera as well, if you need to do inspection while under those structures.
The aircraft’s landing gear also comes off for easy storage and transport, and it comes with a rigid case.
Between weather resistance, dual camera ability, obstacle avoidance, flight time, and the transponder, the M200 series is the aircraft industrial drone pilots have been waiting for.
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