Adelaide-based aerial mapping company AEROmetrex has flown its 12th annual capture of the Metro Adelaide area in a record 2 days (10 flying hours), utilizing a very-large-format 260-Megapixel Ultracam Eagle camera.

The camera was manufactured by Vexcel Imaging GmbH, a Microsoft company, based in Austria. Each photograph from the Ultracam Eagle camera is almost a gigabyte in size. The camera is another major evolutionary improvement in state-of-the-art aerial mapping camera technology, offering a swath width of 2 kilometres at the resolution of 10cm pixels. The camera is mounted on a gyro-stabilised mount to provide near-vertical, perfectly aligned imagery in both natural colour and near infra-red simultaneously.

Adelaide oval captured with Ultracam Eagle by AEROmetrex

Adelaide oval captured with Ultracam Eagle by AEROmetrex

AEROmetrex’s Metro Adelaide Orthophotography programme is widely used by State and Local Governments as well as private sector firms engaged in engineering, urban design, telecommunications and real estate. In addition, the raw source imagery is used to generate a very wide range of other data products for Geographic Information Systems, including digital terrain models, slope and aspect maps and remote sensing studies.

The aerial imagery coverage extends from Sellicks Beach in the south to beyond Gawler in the north, and from the coastline to the Hills Face Zone in the east. It comprises a total of 2,450km2 at a resolution 20x better than the best commercially available satellite imagery.

Each photograph is precisely located to better than 5cm in XY&Z coordinates using airborne GPS and IMU, a technology also used in guided missiles. Photographs are also re-projected by computer algorithms to remove all scale distortions caused by terrain, tip or tilt of the camera, meaning they can be used as an accurate photo-based map. Finally the images are mosaicked together like a giant jigsaw puzzle using sophisticated computer software to make the final finished orthophoto mosaic.