DJI has launched the Phantom 4 RTK for mapping customers. The Phantom 4 RTK was designed for industrial users for high-precision mapping, 2D mapping – orthomosaic, aerial inspections and other data acquisition aerial drone photography. While the Phantom 4 RTK shares a similar camera and form size, it also adds a RTK positioning module, a new TimeSync system, a purpose-built mapping app and more.
DJI are claiming centimetre-accurate data while requiring fewer ground control points. The Phantom 4 RTK and Pro batteries are the same, cross compatible and have the same capacity, giving the same flight times.
The RTK Module
A new RTK module located on the top of the drone, is integrated directly into the Phantom 4 RTK, providing real-time, centimetre-level positioning data for improved absolute accuracy on image metadata. Sitting just beneath the RTK receiver is a redundant GNSS module, installed to maintain flight stability in signal-poor regions such as dense cities.
Combining both modules, the Phantom 4 RTK is able to optimize flight safety while ensuring the most precise data is captured for complex surveying, mapping and inspection workflows.
Fit the Phantom 4 RTK to any workflow, with the ability to connect this positioning system to the D-RTK 2 Mobile Station, NTRIP (Network Transport of RTCM via Internet Protocol) using a 4G dongle or WiFi hotspot, or store the satellite observation data to be used for Post Processed Kinematics (PPK).
Gather Accurate Data with TimeSync
To take full advantage of the Phantom 4 RTK’s positioning modules, the new TimeSync system was created to continually align the flight controller, camera and RTK module. Additionally, TimeSync ensures each photo uses the most accurate metadata and fixes the positioning data to the center of the CMOS – optimizing the results from photogrammetric methods and letting the image achieve centimeter-level positioning data.
The New Phantom 4 RTK Controller
The Phantom 4 RTK’s remote controller has multiple changes that add more versatility and features for industrial users. This includes a Micro-SD card slot, a built-in speaker and hot-swappable batteries. Additionally, users can use the remote controller to connect to the internet for Network RTK with a 4G Dongle. Lastly, the new GS RTK App is pre-installed in each remote controller, letting controller start data acquisition missions right out of the box. You cannot control the Phantom 4 RTK with a Phantom 4 Advanced or Pro controller.
The 20 Megapixel Camera
While the Phantom 4 RTK and Phantom 4 Pro/Advanced share the same 1-inch, 20 megapixel CMOS sensor, the Phantom 4 RTK has improved the capabilities of the camera for mapping through a new lens distortion recording process. Each Phantom 4 RTK camera goes through a calibration process that measures the distortions of the lens, and records the corresponding OPEN-CV parameters. The camera allows users to output the original images without distortion correction as well as the OPEN-CV distortion parameters in the XMP file for post-processing.
The mechanical shutter makes mapping missions or regular data capture seamless as the Phantom 4 RTK can move while taking pictures without the risk of rolling shutter blur. Due to the high resolution, the Phantom 4 RTK can achieve a Ground Sample Distance (GSD) of 2.74 cm at 100 meters flight altitude. To ensure each Phantom 4 RTK offers unparalleled accuracy, every single camera lens goes through a rigorous calibration process where radial and tangential lens distortions are measured. The distortion parameters gathered are saved into each image’s metadata, letting post-processing software adjust uniquely for every user.
New Flight Planning App
A new GS RTK app allows pilots to intelligently control their Phantom 4 RTK, with two planning modes – Photogrammetry and Waypoint Flight – alongside a more traditional flight mode. The planning modes let pilots select the drone’s flight path while adjusting overlap rate, altitude, speed, camera parameters and more, offering an automated mapping or inspection workflow.
The GS RTK app has been built with its users in mind and therefore has a range of features built for specific mapping or inspection workflows. The app has implemented direct loading of KML area files for in-office flight planning, a new shutter priority mode to keep exposure consistent across all photos and a strong wind alarm to warn pilots of adverse conditions.
Compatibility with D-RTK 2 Mobile Station
The Phantom 4 RTK missions can connect with the D-RTK 2 Mobile Station – providing real-time differential data to the drone and forming an accurate surveying solution. The Mobile Station’s rugged design and OcuSync 2.0 transmission system ensures you can gain centimeter-level accurate data with your Phantom 4 RTK in any condition.