DJI’s newest drone is going all in on thermal an RGB sensors — a crucial component for use-cases like using drones for thermal inspections. DJI today launched the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, improving on the Mavic 2 Enterprise which launched in 2018.
With the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, DJI improved customer workflows, improved the thermal and RGB cameras, and included centimeter-level positioning accuracy through its RTK module.
This drone has two cameras: a visual camera and a thermal camera. (It’s a similar setup to the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual, which was designed in partnership with FLIR and is yet another drone in the Mavic 2 Enterprise family that launched at the end of 2018).
Because while the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced can certainly capture HD images and 4K videos, the focus here is on the thermal camera (you can switch between visual, thermal, or split-view feeds). Here’s what you can expect
Thermal camera: HD 640 × 512 px thermal resolution with a a 30Hz frame rate. Allows ±2°C temperature measurement accuracy. 16 x thermal zoom.
Visual camera: 48MP with a 1/2” CMOS sensor. 32 x digital zoom.
The drone also has other features like ‘Spot Meter,’ which displays the average temperature of an object; and ‘Area Measurement,’ which displays the average, lowest, and highest temperature, as well as the corresponding locations of each area. That could be useful for helping inspectors determine if a particular object is overheating.
The drone can fly up to 31 minutes and a top speed of 72 km/h (45 mph).
RTK, which stands for “real-time kinematic,” is a reference to a satellite navigation technique that can enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite-based positioning systems such as GPS. RTK is a must-have for use-cases like precision mapping that require centimeter-level precision.
With the new DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, customers can add on a DJI RTK Module. With it, operators can create up to 240 waypoints to conduct automated, detailed inspection missions in complex environments.
Given “Enterprise” in the drone’s name, this is not just any drone you can pick up off the shelf at Best Buy. The drone is focused on enterprise use cases that require 1. thermal sensors and 2. centimeter-level positioning accuracy
Industrial inspections: In understanding how customers used the initial DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise, DJI’s Christina Zhang said the team at DJI was initially surprised to learn how many customers were using the drone for industrial inspections, “where better accuracy and higher resolutions for thermal and visual sensors were critical features to perform a job well,” she said. “Thanks to new key upgrades…inspection professionals will be able to pinpoint defects and anomalies with better detail and perform operations and maintenance more effectively.”
First responders and firefighters: Drones with thermal sensors have been useful in locating humans (bodies produce heat) as well as in studying fires to analyze the hottest spots (indicating where it might be safer or less safe to enter a building).
“First responders and firefighters will be able to quickly locate victims, identify hot spots, and screen for fire risks to draft targeted rescue plans while keeping personnel safe,” Zhang said.
With the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, DJI is paying special attention to data security, especially important in recent years after the Chinese drone maker (alongside many other Chinese tech companies) has found itself in hot water over reports (whether unfounded or founded) that data collected on its drones was not secure.
Some U.S. lawmakers are concerned that DJI is sending sensitive drone data to the Chinese government .much of the uproar started after a memo from the U.S. Army directed all personnel to cease use of DJI drones over security concerns. Then, a spring 2019 note from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security titled “Chinese Manufactured Unmanned Aircraft Systems” indicated that it had “strong concerns” that Chinese-made drones were stealing data.
While DJI denies that’s the case, its latest Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced takes another step in proving to customers its drones are secure.
Local Data Mode: When operated with the DJI Pilot App, the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced features Local Data Mode as one way to protect data. When activated, Local Data Mode will stop the DJI App from sending or receiving any data over the internet. The radio link between the aircraft and remote controller features AES-256 encryption.
Onboard data storage: The Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced incorporates 24 GB of onboard data storage and password protection, which DJI says protects the data even if the drone is physically compromised.
DJI AirSense: The drone incorporates DJI’s AirSense system, which is a technology that receives ADS-B signals from airplanes and helicopters to warn drone pilots of other air traffic nearby.
Discreet Mode: This disables the LED navigation lights.
Obstacle sensing: The drone has 6-directional obstacle sensing.
Self-heating batteries: This allows the drone to operate in cold weather conditions as low as -10° C (14° F).
Spotlight: This add-on accessory entails a brightness of 2,400 lumens aids operations at night and during low-light or complex daytime conditions like fog and smoke.
Speaker: This add-on accessory has a maximum projection of 100 decibels (1-meter distance), and is able to store multiple voice recordings and play clips on loop.
Beacon: With the add-on beacon, a bright flashing strobe is visible 3 miles away.
Ocusync 2.0: This provides a more stable connection between the drone and its remote controller up to a distance of 6.2 miles.The system features interference resistance and auto-switching capabilities that support both 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands with the capability to use different frequencies for uplink and downlink data streams.
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