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Aerial Surveys Implements New Vexcel Digital Mapping Camera

Aerial Surveys has recently acquired a new Vexcel UltraCam large format digital mapping camera system. The UltraCamL, soon to be upgraded to the UltraCamLp, offers the superior radiometric and geometric accuracies with a broad dynamic range.

This exciting new system is now fully operational with the new advanced UltraMap image processing and automated aerial triangulation software from Vexcel.

Based on the UltraCamL, the UltraCamLp features the same advanced technical specifications but boasts an even larger format collection at 92 megapixels (11,704 x 7,920 pixels pan) compared to the UltraCamL 64 megapixel format, making it a very efficient, quality mapping camera system for the NZ market and ideal for smaller aircraft and local projects that require a rapid response. This image format capability is made possible through new electronics and a smaller CCD array of just 6 μm.

Meanwhile, like the UtraCamL, the UltraCamLp features a 1:2.2 pan sharpen ratio and collects RGB and NIR in parallel, all with forward motion compensation by TDI, allowing it to deliver brilliant true-color and color-infrared (CIR) image quality with unmatched radiometric range, and making it ideal for smaller large-scale and photogrammetric projects, high-resolution (true) orthophoto production, multi-ray photogrammetry, corridor mapping, and lidar integration. It also takes advantage of the computing and storage subsystems introduced with the UltraCamX large format sensor system that include removable storage units for longer flight missions and reduced ground time but utilized solid state devices for higher integration.

The new digital camera system offers numerous benefits including:

  • Superior radiometric quality and larger dynamic range (improved usability of imagery). This offers the potential to capture imagery in less favourable conditions than film based missions creating a longer flying season.

  • Lower noise level (no granularity) in the imagery

  • No artefacts in imagery from dust or scratches experienced in film based photography

  • Increased image overlap capability to improve quality and productivity without increased capture costs. Removal of mismatches of tie points for AT and DEM production.

  • Efficiency in image processing immediately after capture creating better delivery times (no film processing, scanning etc)

  • Offers CIR imagery simultaneously from a single flight as a result of red, green, blue and near infrared channels being captured

  • DTM mapping from the same single flight using every second frame

  • With the high dynamic range of the PAN images processing time is improved as well as accuracy. The high density PAN images also enable the use of Multi-Ray photogrammetry, a new application providing automated digital surface modelling and “true ortho” production (not lean for above ground features)

  • Better image interpretation and contrast in shadows

  • Electronic forward motion compensation enabling faster flying speeds

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