The October/November digital issue of Geoinformatics magazine features an article from Hamish Grierson of Blom UK that tells about the challenges his organization faced in enabling simultaneous data capture using their LiDAR system and UltraCam digital aerial sensor in the same aircraft. Complexities included cutting a second hole in the fuselage of the aircraft, room to accommodate two systems and flight planning for dual capture. The net result for Blom, according to Grierson, is reduced flying time, reduced costs, and the opportunity to offer multiple data sets created from data of the same age.
A good read, especially if your organization has considered flying LiDAR and an UltraCam side by side. With that in mind, remember that the UltraCamLp and the new UltraCam Eagle both feature highly integrated system architectures with the computer and solid state storage systems built right into the sensor head so they require less space in the aircraft and add less weight. What’s more, the UltraCam Eagle also embeds the UltraNav GNSS hardware (from UltraCam partner, Applanix) into the sensor head, an option that is also available for all UltraCam models but the UltraCamD.
Lastly, I will just add that if simultaneous data capture of this sort isn’t an option for your organization, remember that multi-ray photogrammetry extends the capability of photogrammetry for applications currently served through LiDAR scanning. In combination with multi-cone frame-based digital cameras, such as the UltraCam, it allows an automated point-cloud and digital surface model (DSM) generation from digital images through robust dense matching and leads to higher point densities at lower collection costs when compared to LiDAR scanning. A digital terrain model can be processed by applying filtering and classification comparable to the filtering of LiDAR data for the DSM. For more information about the benefits of photogrammetry compared to LiDAR, check out this article written for Professional Surveyor Magazine by Michael Gruber and Alexander Wiechert, Chief Scientist and Business Director (respectively) for the Microsoft UltraCam team.
– Jerry Skaw, Marketing Manager