Long-time UltraCam operator, Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc, recently added two new UltraCam Eagle digital aerial camera systems to their fleet that already included three UltraCamX systems and one UltraCam Eagle. The agreement was reached and signed in the Microsoft exhibit booth at the 2013 ASPRS annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Signing parties included Mary Potter and Ken Potter of Keystone, Tadashi Sasakawa of PASCO Corporation (Keystone’s parent company), and Alexander Wiechert of Microsoft. The first of the two new Eagles was delivered April 12th at the company’s location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The addition of the two new Eagles provides Keystone with expanded digital acquisition capabilities and offers potential greater project versatility given optional exchangeable lens systems at focal lengths of 80mm, 100mm, and 210mm. Meanwhile, project planning on flight missions requiring multiple UltraCam systems–specifically the Eagle–will be simpler given the common operating specs.
Full announcement included below. Congratulations to the Keystone team from all of us on the UltraCam Team!
– Jerry Skaw, Sales & Marketing, Microsoft UltraCam Team
Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc. Acquires Two Microsoft UltraCam Eagles
Graz, Austria — April 19, 2013 — At the ASPRS 2013 conference in Baltimore, Maryland, the Microsoft UltraCam team and PASCO Group signed an agreement to add two UltraCam Eagle systems to Keystone Aerial Surveys Inc’s arsenal of aerial camera systems. The acquisition marks six UltraCam system purchases for Keystone, the Philadelphia-based aerial surveying company that has been an UltraCam operator since 2005 and already owns an UltraCam Eagle and three UltraCamX systems.
“The UltraCam has become the cornerstone of our digital acquisition program,” said Mary Potter, President of Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc. “Our UltraCamX systems have performed reliably over the years and have allowed us to deliver datasets that meet or exceed our customer’s expectations. Meanwhile, the combination of the image footprint, fast frame rate, and storage capacity of the UltraCam Eagle make it a ‘must-have.’”
Like all UltraCam models, the UltraCam Eagle captures PAN, RGB and NIR imagery all in one flight pass. The UltraCam Eagle, meanwhile, features the largest PAN image footprint among UltraCam systems, allowing operators to capture 20,010 PAN pixels across the flight path, making it the most efficient of UltraCam systems. This efficiency was a key factor in driving the two system purchase.
“It seems that there are currently more companies in the market chasing after less work,” added Ken Potter, Vice President of Keystone. “You have to have the right tools to compete. We have found over the past year that our UltraCam Eagle increases our operational efficiencies so that we are able to complete projects more quickly and cost-effectively. This experience now leads us to confidently expand our UltraCam fleet by two additional UltraCam Eagles.”
John Schmitt, Keystone’s Vice President of Sales, added, “Customer demand also factored heavily into our decision to move ahead with adding the two new systems. Some of our customers are now going all digital. Those clients who have seen the imagery from the UltraCam Eagle just love it and some are demanding that their projects are flown specifically with that sensor. When you have just one, that is a problem. “
A significant feature of the UltraCam Eagle is its availability in three exchangeable lens configurations: 80mm, 100mm, and 210mm. The Keystone cameras will be configured with the 80mm lens system for consistency with their first system and optimal mission planning. However, the ability for trained customers to make the exchange of the lens in their hangar environment without the need to recalibrate the camera provides Keystone with the option of later adding the 100mm for projects where building lean are an important consideration and the 210mm for high-altitude flying.
“The UltraCam Eagle is the most versatile of UltraCam systems and extremely competitive because of this along with its performance,” said Alexander Wiechert, Microsoft Business Director. “We congratulate PASCO Group and Keystone Aerial Surveys (a PASCO group company) in taking this important step in expanding their data acquisition capabilities to better compete in their market.”
About the UltraCam Eagle
The UltraCam Eagle features a pan image footprint of 20,010 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 innovative high-resolution, high-performance lenses and state-of-the art CCD technology (@ 5.2 µm pixel size) for sharp images with a high dynamic range. The UltraCam Eagle is the first multi-cone digital photogrammetric camera to offer an exchangeable lens system with 80mm (standard) and 210mm (tele for high altitude flights) and includes filters with curved characteristics to flatten out vignetting. This digital camera system boasts a new housing concept with everything integrated into a modular sensor head. Compared to previous UltraCam systems, the smaller physical form factor of the UltraCam system requires less aircraft space, weighs less for more efficient aircraft fuel consumption, and is easier and quicker to install.
About Microsoft’s UltraCam Business Unit
With its operations based in Graz, Austria, and sales and support teams in North America, Microsoft’s UltraCam business unit brings more than two decades of photogrammetry expertise to Microsoft’s Bing Maps business unit. The division is responsible for the highly successful line of UltraCam digital aerial mapping systems that today include the UltraCamLp, UltraCam Falcon, and UltraCam Eagle digital photogrammetric sensors, and the UltraCam Osprey nadir/oblique photogrammetric digital aerial sensor. Rounding out the UltraCam offerings is the fully integrated UltraMap workflow software system, with features that include high-density 3D point cloud creation, highly accurate and detailed digital surface model (DSM) generation, and ortho mosaicing capabilities based on an automatically generated DSM or traditional DSM.
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About Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc.
Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc., based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been providing airborne acquisition services to clients throughout the US, Canada and Mexico for nearly 50 years. The company currently operates three UltraCamX digital cameras and an UltraCam Eagle digital camera, and twelve traditional film mapping cameras. Keystone utilizes 19 aircraft that have been modified and equipped specifically for airborne survey operations. Keystone’s web library, www.kasview.com, allows customers to view digital, film and aeromagnetic archives geographically. For more information about the company, go to www.kasurveys.com.