Microsoft Announces Next Generation UltraCam: UltraCam Eagle
From its User Group meeting at the ASPRS 2011 conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Microsoft’s Photogrammetry division announced the UltraCam Eagle, a new generation of its award-winning UltraCam digital photogrammetric aerial camera systems.
This latest model in the widely adopted line of UltraCam digital aerial sensors builds on the UltraCam legacy of reliable and economical solutions for producing image data of exceptional quality, but bests traditional “large-format” cameras to set a new “ultra-large” industry standard for across-track image footprint capacity. The UltraCam Eagle features a PAN image footprint of more than 20,000 pixels across the flight strip.
In addition to the ultra-large image footprint, the UltraCam Eagle includes enhanced electronics for improved frame rate and less noise (72 dB signal-to-noise ratio for high image dynamic) when compared to previous UltraCam systems, and completely new high-resolution, high-performance lenses and state-of-the art CCD technology (@ 5.2 µm pixel size) for sharp images with a high image dynamic range. The UltraCam Eagle is the first multi-cone photogrammetric camera to offer exchangeable lens system with 80mm (standard) and 210mm (tele for high altitude flights) and includes new filters with curved characteristics to flatten out vignetting, enabling the lens system to operate at its best Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) performance for maximum image sharpness and contrast.
This newest generation of UltraCam boasts a new housing concept with everything integrated into a modular sensor head, including the new UltraNav embedded flight management and direct georeferencing system from Applanix, and in-flight exchangeable, solid state storage for high reliability and minimal ground time. Compared to previous UltraCam systems, the smaller physical footprint of the UltraCam system makes it quicker and easier to install, require less aircraft space, and weigh less for more efficient aircraft fuel consumption.
In keeping with the UltraCam upgrade path, Microsoft emphasized in it announcement that existing UltraCam customers with previous generation UltraCam systems can receive trade-in credit for those models when upgrading to the UltraCam Eagle and announced that its Photogrammetry subsidiary, Vexcel Imaging, has already contracted with Weser Airborne Sensing, GmbH (Germany), GEOCART Herten (Germany), and Keystone Aerial Surveys (USA) for UltraCam Eagle systems. Separate announcements on those sales can be found on the UltraCam web site at www.iFlyUltraCam.com.