Aerial Viewpoint - Specializing in Vertical Aerial Photography & Related Services
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RC30 Aerial Survey Camera Installation in Navajo Aircraft

Aerial Viewpoint provides vertical format imagery obtained from Swiss built Leica Heerbrugg RC-30 model aerial survey cameras. These camera systems are current generation cameras that were first introduced in the 1990’s. These cameras employ the use of Forward Motion Compensation (FMC), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Photo Exposure Meter (PEM) and Gyro-Stabilized Camera Mount technologies. By utilizing these specific cameras, our clients receive the highest resolution and accuracy available from any type of airborne camera or sensor. In 2006 there are approximately forty five RC-30 cameras in use in North America including governments and the private sector. Aerial Viewpoint is one of only two companies in the state of Texas which operate an RC-30 aerial camera system.

Aerial Survey Camera Basics – An aerial survey camera produces a 9” x 9” (230 mm x 230mm) image size and uses aerial film on rolls which measures 9 ½ inches x 500 feet. These camera systems weigh approximately 325 lbs and are mounted directly over a camera port in the floor of an aircraft. These cameras are operated at altitudes (in Aerial Viewpoint’s aircraft) varying from 900’ to 25,000’. Today’s aerial survey camera is a very precise and extremely complex system of technologies all engineered into one single system. These cameras are electro mechanical, they contain optical lens elements, are operated by multiple computer chips and are linked to GPS satellites.

Forward Motion Compensation – This technology enables the apparent ground image motion to freeze on the film emulsion during the exposure cycle. The image quality with respect to sharpness and resolution is substantially increased by use of this technology. This has been a standard option with the Leica Heerbrugg cameras since 1988 when it was first offered on the RC-20 model aerial survey camera.

Global Positioning Systems – Aerial Viewpoint utilizes this technology extensively throughout the flight planning and project acquisition phases of all aerial survey projects. All of our survey camera systems are coupled to survey grade GPS systems to insure extremely accurate navigation of flight lines and to precisely expose pre-determined photo center positions throughout an aerial survey mission.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) Camera Calibration Reports – In order to provide aerial mapping photography services, it is vital to our clients that Aerial Viewpoint’s aerial survey cameras have an accurate and up-to-date Aerial Mapping Camera Calibration Report issued by the USGS. These calibration reports outline precise measurements of the specific characteristics of each camera system. This report basically outlines the overall accuracy of the camera lens and camera drive unit. An example of a few of the categories on a report are, lens distortion (expressed in microns), calibrated focal length (measured to 1/1,000 of a millimeter), lens resolving power (known as AWAR) and fiducial measurements. All of our aerial survey cameras have up to date USGS calibration reports.

Aerial Film Emulsions – In order to fulfill a client’s exact requirements, Aerial Viewpoint provides many different film emulsions. The two most requested film types are panchromatic (black and white) and natural color, with color infrared being the least requested. There are many different types of each film emulsion and all are used for specific needs. As an example, Kodak and AGFA both produce numerous varieties of panchromatic, color, and color infrared aerial films; each is to be used for a particular application. Currently, Aerial Viewpoint utilizes approximately 15 different types of commercial aerial survey films. Each of these film types require a specific filter and exposure setting in order for optimum project success.


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