If you read any of the geospatial periodicals, the name Bluesky is likely familiar, given that they are often making news for the impressive projects they complete, often on a national level. (If you haven’t been paying attention, check out the news page on the company’s website.)
They are making news again, this time for the acquisition of an UltraCam Eagle! I am looking forward to seeing more news from Bluesky about the efficiencies they will gain on their projects–especially the larger, national ones–from the UltraCam Eagle’s whopping 20,010 pixel image footprint.
But no one is more excited than the Bluesky team, evident by a tweet posted on February 2nd when they received their Eagle that read: “The Eagle has Landed! Bluesky’s new UltraCam Eagle has been delivered. There are a lot of boxes!”
Like a kid on Christmas morning! Love it. Congrats to the entire team at Bluesky!
Full press release below.
-Jerry Skaw, Sales & Marketing, Microsoft UltraCam Team
Bluesky Purchases UltraCam Eagle with UltraNav
Graz, Austria — January 22, 2014 — Bluesky International Ltd. has contracted with Microsoft’s UltraCam business unit and subsidiary to purchase an UltraCam Eagle digital aerial photogrammetric camera system with a 100mm lens, an UltraNav GNSS-Inertial Direct Georeferencing + Flight Management System and a gyro-stabilized UltraMount. The UltraCam Eagle has an ultra-large footprint that results in enhanced data collection capabilities.
“Bluesky needs to maximize data capture when we have good weather in the UK, therefore we need a camera with the largest acquisition capacity possible without sacrificing data quality,” stated James Eddy, Technical Director of Bluesky International. “We currently update our aerial photography every five years, but with the UltraCam Eagle, we plan to update every 3 years. We need a big image footprint to optimize our flying, but also a camera that is compatible with our existing workflows. We have worked with UltraCam data since 2005 so we are familiar with it, and we trust it.”
“Our primary use of the UltraCam Eagle during the summer will be to update the UK national dataset, which is used across a wide range of markets, including government and commercial,” said Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky International. “We also use the aerial photography to create derived products, including DTM, DSM, the National Tree Map, and our color infrared data. During the winter we are looking forward to using the system in other parts of the world for project work, perhaps in the southern hemisphere.”
“We are pleased to have Bluesky as a repeat customer, having purchased an UltraCamX in 2012,” said Alexander Wiechert, Microsoft Business Director. “The advanced technology of the UltraCam Eagle will help support their future ventures and innovative activities.”
About the UltraCam Eagle
The UltraCam Eagle features a pan image footprint of 20,010 pixels across the flight strip and 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, 100mm, and 210mm options. This digital camera system boasts an integrated housing concept with all of the parts residing in a modular sensor head. The small physical form factor of the UltraCam Eagle requires minimal space in the aircraft and makes installation and operation simple.
UltraNav is an integrated unit that consolidates all navigation and flight planning components for simpler installation and more economical operations when compared to similar “standalone” systems. UltraNav is comprised of embedded GNSS/inertial hardware, pilot and operator displays, and office software for flight planning and generation of exterior orientation.
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. Also offered is the UltraNav Flight Management and Direct Georeferencing system, designed to maximize the efficiency of UltraCam aerial mapping. 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.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
About Bluesky International Ltd.
Since its inception in 2003, Bluesky has evolved into a leading aerial photographic mapping company pioneering new digital aerial surveying techniques and to that end maintains nationwide aerial photography and height datasets. The company has led the way with thermal heat-loss mapping, produced the first solar power potential maps and completed the only UK National Tree Map. Bluesky is also at the forefront of research into the use of geographic data to support renewable energy production with projects both in the UK and Europe. In addition to the UltraCam Eagle, Bluesky’s resources include an aerial survey system that integrates a photogrammetric survey camera, a LiDAR sensor and a thermal infra-red imaging system. For more information, please go to www.bluesky-world.com or contact Ralph Coleman, Sales Director, by telephone at +01 530 518518 or email Ralph.firstname.lastname@example.org.