DJI has introduced new technology that will see their Zenmuse camera taken to new heights, with the ability to be used for industrial, scientific and commercial use, adapted to a wide variety of applications. Suitable for purposes such as agriculture, research, rescue operations or firefighting, the new release is sure to see DJI recognised as not only a leader of the recreational drone market, but also a formidable competitor in the commercial UAV market.
The new DJI Zenmuse XT2 thermal imaging camera developed in collaboration with FLIR enables drone pilots to image thermal signatures that are invisible to the human eye. The thermal and visual sensors, which can be used in parallel, provide a previously unknown data acquisition and situation image display during rescue missions, disaster relief or industrial inspections.
The new DJI payload software development kit (SDK) allows emerging drone start-ups, developers, sensor and device manufacturers to easily combine custom-made cameras, sensors or other industrial enhancements with the drone. This unfolds the true potential of drone technology for businesses and scientists worldwide.
“The Zenmuse XT2 continues our longstanding partnership with FLIR to create the most powerful thermal imaging solution available on a drone today. This is a significant advancement for public safety professionals who are using drones to save lives and creating new industrial applications across different verticals.”
Jan Gasparic, Head of DJI Enterprise Partnerships
The Zenmuse XT2 Thermal Imaging Camera can instantly evaluate captured data. With a gimbal-stabilized dual-sensor design, it combines FLIR’s advanced radiometric thermal sensor with a 4K viewing camera, allowing drone pilots to inspect visual and thermal imagery mid-flight. The technology will provide unprecedented levels of versatility and image precision in demanding applications, from inspection of industrial equipment to security agency operations.
Built-in intelligent features allow pilots to use FLIR technology to combine visual and thermal imaging data into one image. This allows users to easily identify objects even in challenging situations. The unique DJI “Spotlight Pro” mode allows users to focus on the safe use of flight and the interpretation of the data, while the camera automatically focuses on the target by two intelligent modes: QuickTrack centers the camera on a selected area, while HeatTrack automatically Warmest object in the picture follows. The “Temp Alarm” function evaluates the heat data in real time and warns the pilot when the temperature of an item is outside the limit.
This gives drone pilots access to as much information as possible in critical and often lifesaving scenarios.
In addition, DJI’s new Payload SDK will mean far more extensibility than ever before for the installation and direct integration of DJI cameras, sensors and payloads into DJI’s Matrice 200 Series drones. By opening this layer of DJI core technology to the commercial drone ecosystem, any manufacturer, developer or researcher can create a drone that is tailor-made for just about any particular purpose or industry, using payloads such as air-to-ground communication tools and devices.
“Our new Payload SDK makes it possible for any manufacturer to create a payload specific to their customers’ needs that will work seamlessly with DJI’s aircraft. We believe these two advances will not only strengthen DJI’s leadership in the commercial drone industry, but will also provide a powerful, flexible and standardized platform which customers from different industries can build upon,” Gasparic said.
With the introduction of DJI Skyport, a gimbal port adapter that seamlessly integrates an external payload into DJI drones, DJI reduces levels of complexity. With the DJI Skyport Gimbal Port Adapter, the board and access to APIs, an external sensor or payload can be easily installed and controlled as if it were a DJI Zenmuse camera. The setup connects directly to the drone power supply eliminating the need for external cables and batteries. The Payload SDK also provides access to the drone’s powerful data communication system, allowing operators to communicate directly with the sensor and receive their data in real time.
Michael Ritter, CEO at SLANTRANGE, explained how the addition of the Payload SDK and Skyport is a gamechanger for precision agriculture.
“Until now, we’ve had to attach our sensors to DJI drones with external power cables or batteries, which added complexity and more importantly, increased weight that reduced flight time. The user also had no in-flight sensor information. With DJI’s new Payload SDK and Skyport, our just-announced 3PX provides customers with a ready-to-fly sensor and a complete understanding of its status directly on the drone’s flight control screen. Combined with our patented technology for aerial crop measurement, this ensures that every flight produces accurate and trusted data. For the end user, that means easier, more streamlined workflows and substantially lower operational costs,” he said.
The Zenmuse XT2 is compatible with the DJI Matrice 200 series and the Matrice 600 Pro drones for business. It will initially be available for Android through the DJI Pilot App and later for iOS through the DJI XT Pro App. Its sturdy construction and IP44 certified dust and water protection give it versatility when flying in a variety of environmental conditions, such as rain, snow, smoke or fog. Together with a 12 megapixel viewing camera, it is available with two thermal imaging sensor resolutions, 640 x 512 or 336 x 256, and lenses with 9mm, 13mm, 19mm or 25mm.