DJI M300 with Zenmuse H20T Flight Guidelines

Flight guidelines for inspecting solar farms with a DJI M300 series drone and Zenmuse H20T

The DJI M300 series drone with a Zenmuse H20T with 640x512 resolution and 13.5 mm lens can meet the data requirements quickly and efficiently. It is possible to collect 70% front lap and 20% side lap thermal and RGB imagery.

Equipment

Drone: DJI M300 series
Camera: DJI Zenmuse H20T
Computer: Smart Controller
Flight Planning Software: DJI Pilot

Camera Settings

Camera Model: DJI Zenmuse H20T
Palette: White Hot
Magnification: 1x
Photo Mode: Radiometric JPEG

Flight Mission Planning Settings

Basic:

Shooting Angle: Perpendicular to Main Path
Capture Mode: Capture at Equal Time Interval
Flight Control Mode: Inside Mode
Speed: Set shutter interval to 2.0 SEC
Height: See table below

Type of Inspection Raptor Overview Raptor Standard Raptor Comprehensive
Description Ideal for rapid drone flights and string-level outages Ideal for annual preventative maintenance IEC TS 62446-3 thermography standards for Absolute Temperature Accuracy
Smallest visible features Module Diode, Hot Spot, and Cell Diode, Hot Spot, and Cell
Ground sample distance 15.0 ± 5.0 cm/pixel 5.5 ± 0.5 cm/pixel 3.0 ± 0.5 cm/pixel
Maximum speed 30 mph 12 mph 7 mph
Altitude with 13.5mm lens 555 ± 185 ft (169.0 ± 56.5 m) 203 ± 18 ft (62.0 ± 5.5 m) 111 ± 18 ft (33.5 ± 5.5 m)

Note: Altitude is calculated from panels, not from ground. Check local laws and regulations to determine maximum allowable altitude.

Prior to flying, check available irradiance using a meter. This video explains how.

Image Capture

Front Overlap Ratio: 70%
Side Overlap Ratio: 20%
File Format: RJPG

Obliques

Note: Obliques / High flys are required as part of the flight. For information about how to correctly fly and take oblique images, please see Capturing Oblique Images

Data Example

The long edge of the solar row aligns with the long edge of the image.

The following animation is a great example of Standard-level imagery collected with a ground sampling distance (GSD) of 5.5 cm/pixel with good overlaps.

Video

The following video has step by step instructions of how to setup a flight plan using DJI Pilot. (GS Pro coming soon!)