DJI Mavic 3 Thermal (M3T) Flight Guidelines

Flight guidelines for inspecting solar farms with a DJI M3T.



The DJI Mavic 3 Thermal (M3T) drone with its 640×512 resolution thermal camera and 9.1 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.



Drone: DJI Mavic 3 Thermal (M3T)
Camera: Installed
Computer: Smart Controller
Flight Planning Software: DJI Pilot 2

Type of Inspection

Raptor Overview

Raptor Standard

Raptor Comprehensive

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
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 9.1mm Lens
373 ± 125 ft (113.0 ± 38.0 m)
136 ± 12 ft (41.5 ± 3.5 m)
74 ± 12 ft (22.5 ± 3.5 m)


Sensor Heading

For both IR and RGB inspection-level imagery sets, sensor heading must remain fixed throughout the flight. For example, if flying a fixed-tilt, ground mount site with panels facing south, the sensor should face North throughout the flight. Datasets, where sensor heading alternates with each flight pass (sensor faces North one flight pass and South on the next flight pass), will warrant a reflight.

Mapping Missions

Please note that in the mapping mission mode, the M3T will default to always having the camera face the direction of flight. If the pilot pauses the mission and adjusts the heading when they resume the mission, the drone will immediately want to correct the pilot’s input and turn the drone to face the direction of travel. This is a significant difference between the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, as the M2EA will wait until the drone reaches the next waypoint to automatically adjust the drone heading. Due to this, we currently recommend using Waypoint Mission for Raptor Maps inspections using the M3T.


Image Capture

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



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.

More to come!