Just How Weather Resistant is the Matrice 300 RTK?

Everything You Need to Know About the Weather Resistance of the M300 RTK

By Toby Knisely Toby Knisely
May 22, 2020

It’s a fact that drone pilots are all too familiar with: mother nature has a will of her own and weather can change at a moment's notice. Sometimes duty calls when conditions are not optimal for flying. And sometimes missions simply can’t wait for the weather to clear. 

We’ve designed the Matrice 300 RTK (M300 RTK) to offer unparalleled performance and stability, even in the most challenging of conditions and circumstances. 

When put to the test in an independent laboratory environment, the M300 RTK achieves an IP45 rating. We want to unpack what this rating entails, what technological improvements we made to achieve this rating, and what exactly this means for operators and pilots who need a rugged and reliable drone platform.

Demystifying Ingress Protection Ratings

IP45 Icon 500x600To empower consumers and protect against vague marketing terms like “water resistant,” the International Electrotechnical Commission developed the Ingress Protection (IP) rating system to give granularity to different degrees of electronic enclosure resistance. 

IP ratings consist of two numbers which respectively refer to protection from solids and liquids. Numbers range from 0-6 for solids, and 0-9 for moisture, with higher values corresponding with greater levels of protection.

For example, an IP00 rating refers to no protection against solids and moisture, an IP11 rating refers to protection against ingress of solids >50mm and dripping water, and an IP68 rating refers to dust-tight and protection against continual submersion in water. 

What Does IP Testing Look Like?

The IP certification process is meticulous and precise. The M300 RTK’s test consisted of placing the drone on a turntable and spraying it with water at 12.5L/min through a nozzle 6.3mm wide from a distance of 3m. The table rotated at 1 r/min and the test lasted 3 minutes, and afterwards the drone was assessed for any ingress of moisture. 

spray test 2

Independent certification from Centre Testing International Group Co., Ltd. within a laboratory environment has rated the M300 RTK at IP45 which means it is: 

Protected against objects >1.0 mm, and water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm (0.49 in)) against the enclosure from any direction 

While these tests were performed in a laboratory setting, which are difficult to correlate directly to specific environmental conditions, the M300 RTK's IP45 rating suggests that critical, short-duration missions won't be interrupted by light and medium rain. 

How Did We Achieve IP45: Smart and Tough Design

Part of why the M300 RTK can achieve this level of protection can be explained by the extensive changes we made to enable its new intelligence features.

To unlock Smart Pin & Track, Smart Inspection, AI Spot Check, and more, the M300 RTK packs more processing power than any other DJI drones, including the Mavic series. Computers can get really hot, and to account for the heat generated by the M300 RTK’s onboard CPUs, we had to develop an elegant solution for heat management. 

All sensitive internals, including the Flight Controller, onboard CPUs, OcuSync system, ESCs, and vision system for FlightAutonomy, and more, have been consolidated in the main body of the M300 RTK, which is sealed from the external environment. 

Any waste heat produced that doesn’t dissipate through the lower vent will rise to the top of the drone where it is transferred to a metal plate. As the plate warms, the heat is dissipated by incoming, rushing air brought by cooling fans. At the same time, this metal plate separates the avionics housed in the main body of the drone from the external environment and prevents the ingress of solids and liquids.

heat dissipation

This unusual development path, where added computing power demands a reimagined heat management system, which in turn impacts weather rating, ultimately results in a platform that is smarter and tougher than any before it. 

Stability in the Wind

Turbulence and wind speeds up to 15m/s or 33.5mph won’t trouble the M300 RTK thanks to its inverted propellor design, its powerful motors, and its optimized FC and ESC algorithms. 

Inspection missions that require a stable foundation to capture a clear shot can rely on the M300 RTK to deliver even in breezy conditions. 

To maximize pilot situational awareness in windy conditions, on-board detection of wind speed and direction is displayed to the pilot’s remote control on their Primary Flight Display. Click here to learn more about DJI's Primary Flight Display. 

A Healthy Drone is a Safe Drone

Fleet in the Rain

To ensure optimal performance, especially in extreme environments and weather, it’s important to maintain your M300 RTK just like you would a car. With its integrated Health Management System, your M300 RTK can track its mileage and display the status of all systems. Our newly introduced Maintenance Program will ensure your drone will receive the professional care and service it needs to perform to its potential. 

To learn more about the Maintenance Plan, click here

Use Your Best Judgement

The M300 RTK is redefining industry standards for drone stability and reliability. 

More than any of its predecessors, the M300 RTK is resistant to moisture, wind, and extreme temperatures, allowing for missions to be conducted even in unpredictable weather. 

At the same time, we would like to remind pilots to use their best judgment whenever flying, that IP ratings may deteriorate over time, and that the M300 RTK should not be operated in conditions or precipitation greater than those stated by its certification. 

For any questions, please refer to the M300 RTK Disclaimer and Safety Guidelines to check detailed specs on performance.

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Toby Knisely
About the Author Toby Knisely

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