Lead'Air, Inc. Announces a New Nine Camera Oblique Imaging System

by | Oct 22, 2015

Lead Air, Inc., the manufacturer of Track'Air aerial survey products, is unveiling a new nine camera MIDAS system with 1 vertical camera and 8 oblique cameras covering a true 360 degrees. Instead of the classic 4 oblique camera arrangement facing forward, backward, left and right, the new OCTOBLIQUE MIDAS adds 4 additional oblique cameras which fill the gaps between the 4 original cameras, thus doubling the amount of oblique photos collected, without an increase in flying time. The OCTOBLIQUE'S 4 additional cameras deliver full coverage into the 4 corners which are not seen by customary 4 oblique camera configurations. With 8 cameras spaced at 45 degrees from each other instead of 4 cameras spaced at 90 degrees, the OCTOBLIQUE looks in all directions around the airplane and generates twice as many oblique views as any other system and leaves no angular blind spots uncovered.

The addition of four cameras was made possible by a new patented ground breaking fully stabilized camera suspension system. This innovative system allows the 8 cameras to move freely, soaring at a very short distance above the aircraft camera port, without the need for a bulky old-fashioned circular mount. Instead of using very costly medium format cameras, Lead'Air uses economical off the shelf, full frame, top of the line SLR bodies from Nikon and Canon. These cameras are entirely reengineered and rebuilt in our facility. They are reassembled using the best available lenses into true metric mapping cameras which are each delivered with an official calibration certificate.

JP Barriere, the President of Lead Air Inc, describes the new OCTOBLIQUE system as a disruptive technical advancement which will rapidly set new standards in the oblique aerial photo business. Instead of increasing, at high cost, the sensor size of the 4 oblique cameras, we have increased the overall capture extents of the entire system. This allows the OCTOBLIQUE system to be flown with less lateral overlap, therefore less photo lines and less operational costs. Where a 4 cameras oblique system, regardless of its sensor size, requires 60% or more lateral overlap to insure coverage between high buildings, 30% lateral overlap is enough for an 8 camera oblique system, which in turn brings a corresponding reduction of the operational costs.

Joe Bima, the President of Stellacore Solutions, LLC who has been instrumental in the development and testing of the OCTOBLIQUE system, adds that with 5 viewing directions only, some features miss optimum coverage.
With 9 viewing directions not only is optimum coverage of such features achieved, but there is the benefit that all features result in a more robust information rich coverage/capture. The 9 viewing directions achieve a truer, more robust “aerial captured reality” of the world. While true that with the 9 viewing directions we can achieve a more robust high-fidelity solution, what we aim at, is an improved “captured reality” which can be achieved thanks to a capture system such as the OCTOBLIQUE which offers a truer, more robust representation of the world. The 9 viewing directions offer a more information rich capture of the world than 5 viewing directions at no additional flying cost which I believe is one very significant point. It is this greater information rich capture that the end market and applications can/will benefit from. There will be more information that more accurately represents the world to extract better data in virtual inspection applications, virtual reality applications, 3D modeling, etc.

Greg Montgomery, director of DatAir Inc. flight missions, of Williams Aerial & Mapping, Inc, who conducted the airborne trials of the OCTOBLIQUE, concludes that a 9 Cam system not only offers a more robust “aerial captured reality” of the world at half the cost of others expensive 5 camera oblique systems, with no added flying, but the vastly improved coverage allows a significant reduction of our flying time. Thanks to the reduction on lateral overlap requirements, we can now save up to 30% of our flying costs. With oblique projects which can double or even triple the amount of photo lines compared to traditional vertical mapping project, the benefit of operating 9 camera oblique systems is essential for our aerial operation.

About Lead'Air, Inc.

Lead'Air Inc. was grounded in 2001 in Kissimmee Florida. In 2010, Lead'Air had completely taken over the design and manufacturing of the Track'Air systems which were originally produced in The Netherlands for twenty years.

Employing 40 experienced engineers and technicians, Lead'Air specializes in customized aerial survey systems for helicopters and airplanes. More than 50% of Lead'Air designs and products are custom-made for special survey applications. The rest of Lead'Air's production includes the well-known Track'Air line of flight management systems which have been used worldwide by hundreds of survey organizations since 1994 and the very successful MIDAS oblique camera system of which over one hundred units have been sold since 2005. With the addition of the OCTOBLIQUE MIDAS system, Lead'Air once again demonstrates its energy and capacity for innovation, leading the market with state of the art products which often redefine the standards. Find out more at www.trackair.com

About Stellacore Solutions, LLC

Stellacore Solutions LLC, based in Aurora, Colorado, provides professional software products and consulting services addressing a variety of system technologies including aerial (vertical and oblique) with a focus on integration, calibration, and processing for optical, laser, inertial and positioning sensing systems. Stellacore Solutions LLC provides cross platform solutions scaled to 64bit multi-core/multi-socket systems for leading edge throughput capabilities. Find out more at www.stellacoresolutions.com

About Williams Aerial & Mapping, Inc.

Williams Aerial & Mapping, Inc. is a full service photogrammetric mapping and geospatial data firm with a long history of aerial film and digital data acquisition, as well as LiDAR and video collection. Its global operations include an array of cameras and scanners and a large fleet of aircraft with trained crews that are leased to customers around the world. Williams has completed a wide variety of projects for government agencies and private corporations. A team of certified photogrammetrists process data in-house. Find out more at www.w-a-m.com.


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