AEROmetrex operates 2 state-of-the-art digital large format mapping
cameras Microsoft Vexcel UltraCam X and UltraCam D. With more than 750,000
large-format images captured over several continents, our digital cameras
have proven to be very reliable and convinced many of our customers
of its exceptional geometric and radiometric quality. We have developed
our own calibration procedures and photo quality assurance for optimum
Microsoft Vexcel UltraCam camera control
The photo flight parameters from the flight planning are loaded
in the flight management system of the UltraCam digital camera.
There are 2 terminals: one is for the pilot and the second is
for the camera operator.
The camera operator is managing the navigation by selecting
the flight lines from his terminal.
It also ensures that the photography is exposed correctly
thanks to the real-time viewing.
GPS and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)
In order to trigger the camera at the planned position, our cameras
are linked to the IGI’s CCNS - AEROcontrol flight management system.
AEROcontrol is a GPS/IMU system for the precise determination of
position and attitude of an airborne sensor.
The AEROcontrol system consists of a fibre-optic gyro based
Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU-IId) and a computer with an integrated
12-channel L1/L2 GPS receiver. Once post-processed, the recorded
data is used for setting up the stereo-models in a photogrammetric
Microsoft Vexcel UltraCam X
This 21st century state-of-the-art digital large format frame
camera with 14,430 pixels across track and 9,420 pixels along
track (216 Megapixel). It has the best stereo base of all digital
aerial cameras. It has some added features and benefits compared
to the UCD model.
The new lens system delivers superior sharpness, a 1:3 pan-to-colour
ratio for stunning colour and colour-infrared (CIR) image quality
and negligible image vignetting.
It has the “best in class” data generation at 3 Gigabit per
second. The removable data storage units allow for unlimited
storage capacity for longer missions and minimal ground time.
The distributed parallel sensing is achieved with a set of 8
optical cones to assemble a large format digital image in natural
colour with false colour infrared.
There are 13 CCDs arrays (9 pan, 4 colour) with 7.2 μm pixel
size. Each CCD array feeds signals into its own compact and
proprietary electronics set-up and data path. The “Master Cone”
provides a single image coordinate system and the control of
geometric accuracy. The camera is installed on a gyro-stabilised
mount SOMAG GSM 3000 that provides near vertical photography.
The gyro mount compensates for the roll, pitch, and yaw movements
of the aircraft.
Microsoft UltraCam X computing and storage unit
There are 14 CPUs for computation of interim data products for
in-the-air image quality assessment.
The system processes raw images onboard and in real-time
to compute quick views and histograms.
The Data Units (DX) are exchangeable data units and can store
4,700 images. It also allows as many low-cost data units to
be brought on board if needed.
Microsoft Vexcel UltraCam D
The first generation Vexcel digital camera has 11,500 pixels
across track and 7,500 pixels along track with a physical pixel
size of 9 µm. Colour capture in 4 channels multi-spectral with RGB
This camera (Serial 47) has shown in many projects its incredible
geometric performance. The camera is installed on its Somag
GSM 3000 gyro-stabilised mount and controlled via IGI AEROcontrol
and CNSS navigation system.
Microsoft Vexcel UltraCam D storage unit
The Data Storage and Processing Unit (SCU) of the UCD camera
has an in-flight storage capacity up to 1 terabyte allowing to collect
about 1,850 uncompressed images.
The storage and computing configuration is in a parallel
arrangement with multiple CPUs and disks.
The redundancy is possible with dual disks containing mirror
images of the data.
UltraCam CCD sensor head and lenses
The UltraCam sensor head consists of 8 independent camera cones,
4 of them contributing to the large format panchromatic image. These
4 cones are equipped with 9 CCD sensors in their 4 focal planes.
The focal plane of the so called “Master Cone” carries 4
CCDs. In the UltraCam X, the 7.2 µm CCD sensors caused a redesign
of the optical system which is able to resolve 70 lp/mm of the
CCD pixel grid.
The LINOS/Rodenstock high performance optical lenses with
a focal length of 100 mm for the panchromatic cones and 33 mm
for the multi-spectral cones supports a pan sharpening ratio
For more about Microsoft UltraCam digital aerial mapping systems,
please visit UltraCam's website.