- Predictions for the drone industry for 2023;
- DJI Dock expected to arrive on UK shores in Q2, as drive towards automated drone ops and routine BVLOS flights accelerates;
- Will 2023 be the year for the long-awaited DJI Inspire 3?
- Arrival of first units of DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral;
- Extended compatibility of the DJI RC Plus controller will provide DJI M300 RTK operators with an enhanced and weatherproof RC;
- Holders of PfCO will need to transition to a GVC by the end of the year.
2023 is set to be another exciting and groundbreaking year for the drone industry.
Highlights include the scheduled arrival of the DJI Dock drone in a box solution, which represents another significant milestone in automated UAS deployment and a possible acceleration towards routine BVLOS operations.
And will the long-awaited DJI Inspire 3 finally hit the shelves, following much speculation of its imminent release?
heliguy™ takes a look at what the next 12 months could hold.
The DJI Dock is expected to arrive in the UK in Q2 of 2023, following its official unveiling last year.
This drone-in-a-box solution is designed to facilitate remote monitoring and autonomous deployment, thanks to its 24/7 operational functionality and centralised data-management and flight planning capabilities.
The weather-proof docking station is used in conjunction with the DJI M30 (Dock) drone, and automatically charges up the aircraft to prepare it for its next mission.
The ultimate goal of the DJI Dock is to accelerate the industry's move towards unmanned drone missions - across multiple industry verticals - to enable reliable and repeatable on-demand data collection, in a planned or impromptu capacity. And while fully-fledged routine BVLOS operations are still a way off (to realise the Dock's true potential), the proposed release of the DJI Dock means that 2023 could be a significant building block in moving towards an autonomous future.
As a DJI Dock partner, heliguy™ will help organisations integrate the DJI Dock drone in a box solution into their workflows, offering end-to-end support and consultancy.
Using our years of industry experience, in-house technical capabilities, and training ecosystem, including an Operational Safety Case (OSC) consultancy, we'll facilitate each programme's adoption and deployment of this drone in a box solution. This includes helping organisations move towards BVLOS operations.
UK Drone Superhighway
As part of the move towards routine BVLOS drone operations, plans to create a drone superhighway across southern and central England are set to gather pace in 2023.
At the start of this year, the project received a £5million funding boost, which will help accelerate the roll-out of technology which detects and identifies drones to allow them to safely share the airspace with crewed aviation.
The project aims to create a corridor in the airspace above Reading, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Coventry and Rugby that can be used to transport cargo and other supplies.
DJI Inspire 3
Rumours of an Inspire 3 are nothing new - so could 2023 be the year that this eagerly-anticipated drone is finally released?
After all, more than six years have passed since the Inspire 2 (pictured below) was unveiled in November 2016, so a new iteration feels long overdue.
Leaked images of an Inspire 3 did the rounds on the internet last year, fueling further speculation that it is a matter of when, rather than if, the Inspire 3 will land.
But for the time being, at least, DJI remain tight-lipped, leaving those on the outside to continue the guessing games.
Even still, the thought of an Inspire 3 is a tantalising prospect, with a solution that would no doubt break new ground for aerial filmmakers, especially considering the way drone innovation has accelerated since 2016.
And there is every chance that it could be used with the Zenmuse X9 - first introduced with the DJI Ronin 4D cinema camera - which has the capability to capture 8k at 75fps.
DJI RC Plus - M300 RTK Compatibility
DJI has said that the current plans are to enable this functionality in Q2 of 2023.
This will come as welcome news to M300 operators, as the RC Plus has some key upgrades and enhancements compared to the drone's current Smart Controller Enterprise, including larger and brighter screen, longer runtime - thanks to the ability to hot-swap batteries or be charged during use via its top 65W USB-C port - and is DJI's first weatherproof remote controller (IP54 rating).
DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral
Towards the end of last year, DJI released the Mavic 3 Multispectral, which features an RGB camera with a multispectral camera.
The first batch of units are expected to arrive at heliguy™ in the next week or so, so we'll start to see this new platform being deployed in the field for agriculture, land management and forestry.
Operations will be aided by the DJI SmartFarm platform, with support coming in Q2 of 2023. SmartFarm provides end-to-end service support for agricultural applications, such as data display, device management, field sharing, team collaborations, and measurement tools.
Other DJI Release Rumours
Other DJI release rumours are doing the rounds online, with suggestions that DJI is looking to expand its portfolio of first-person view (FPV) drone products with a new version of FPV Goggles, called Goggles SE, and the next generation of the Motion Controller, entitled DJI RC Motion 2.
Time will tell if this is the case.
Drone Training And Regulations
By the end of this year, any remote pilot who holds an NQE qualification (PfCO) needs to have completed the transition to a General Visual Line of Sight Certificate. Any remote pilot who renews an existing Operational Authorisation with an NQE certificate is reminded that this will not be valid after December 31, 2023, unless they have a GVC.
heliguy™ runs a PfCO to GVC conversion course to help operators with this process.
We would also encourage the drone community to engage in any public consultations released by the CAA over the course of the year - providing vital feedback to help shape the future of the industry.